This game was originally scheduled to be a matchup of Rich Harden and A.J. Burnett. There would have been some serious cheese being thrown in that matchup. But alas, Harden has some sort of lat/side/back soreness and won't pitch until Saturday. Or so they say.
On one hand, I'm glad they're treating Harden with kid gloves, taking no chances with any sort of discomfort whatsoever. Perhaps they've learned a lesson. Twice before we've seen Harden feel some discomfort, and then continue to pitch in the game for half an inning or so, and then promptly go on the DL for weeks and/or months.
And yet: in his last start, Justin Duchscherer experienced some discomfort, continued to pitch in the game for half an inning or so, and then promptly went on the DL thereafter. Perhaps the A's need to learn their lessons more universally. To complete this round of injury-prone pitcher musical chairs, Chad Gaudin trades places with Duchscherer on the roster and gets tonight's start in place of Harden.