Braden welcomes what Bronx has in store

Braden welcomes what Bronx has in store

NEW YORK -- Dallas Braden is well aware that his Thursday start will likely be met with a rowdy New York bunch, but the A's lefty isn't about to shy away from any of it.

In fact, he's looking forward to it.

Braden's Thursday outing marks the first time he'll face New York since "Get Off My Mound" T-shirts -- inspired by his April run-in with Alex Rodriguez -- made their way into gift shops at the Oakland Coliseum.

Braden insists both he and A-Rod (who is currently on the disabled list) are well past any negative feelings that resulted from their feud, but he's pretty sure Yankees fans will do their best to offer a healthy diet of boos.

"I'm sure they'll be their normal New York selves," Braden said this week. "I wouldn't expect anything else -- should be interesting to see what they come up with."

Braden, tied for seventh in the American League in wins since the All-Star break, is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA in five career appearances -- two of them starts -- against New York. He came out of April's dramatic start against A-Rod and Co. a winner, allowing two runs on six hits and a walk with two strikeouts in six innings.

The A's lefty plans on bringing his normal approach against a Yankees team that has dominated Oakland starting pitchers this year. Entering Wednesday's game, A's hurlers had compiled a 3.47 season ERA -- second best in the Majors -- but a 7.41 mark when facing New York.

"They're a patient bunch," Braden said. "I don't need any motivation to throw strikes, though. That's what I always set out to do. That's the key in my game."