Dallas Braden is Oakland's last hope to avoid a four-game sweep by the Yankees as he starts this afternoon at Yankee Stadium.  He will be opposed by CC Sabathia (18-5, 3.14).

Braden has had a whirlwind season.  In April, he lashed out at Alex Rodriguez for stepping on the pitcher's mound in Oakland. [Sabathia also started for the Yanks that day]. In May, Braden pitched a perfect game against Tampa Bay. But he went 0-5 after that and was placed on the disabled list in early July. He was 4-7 with a 3.83 earned run average at the time.

Braden has pitched well since his return from the DL, going 5-2 in raising his overall record to 9-9. His ERA is 3.28

The Stadium fans will boo Braden, but he is prepared for that.  A welcome sight on Wednesday was a green-clad A's fan in the stands.  Braden tossed a ball to Stephanie Marcus, a California native attending the game with her Long Island-born husband, Keith, a fan of the Yankees.    

By the way, there will be no dustup will A-Rod, who is on the disabled list.

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