Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Posts from — April 2003

Records are made to be broken, except for this one

All records are made to be broken, except this one.

For me that’s the way it should be…

Click Read More and I’ll tell you why this one is special.

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April 24, 2003   No Comments

Baseball Novel Unfolds in Oakland

It felt like a John Tunis classic baseball novel being written last night in Oakland as 20 year old Jeremy Bonderman former first round pick of the Oakland A’s, seeking his first major league win, matched up against reigning Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito.

Bonderman grabbed the crowds attention by the end of the first inning when he dispatched Mark Ellis, Scott Hatteberg, and Miguel Tejada without blinking an eye.

The story continues just like Tunis’ novels did with the rookie getting stronger each inning, while the 23 game winner showed signs that it wasn’t to be his night to shine.

Click below for more on the story. [

April 24, 2003   No Comments

All of a Sudden It's Tough to Close a Game

Hey Mrs. Robinson, where have all the closers gone?

Seems like everytime I look at a box score whoever is trying to salt the game away in the ninth inning is having trouble.

All except John Smoltz in Atlanta, who may be an MVP if the Braves can win the East for the 12th straight time.

Eric Gagne in LA is pretty automatic, but he is the only other recognizable name doing the job.

The rest are either struggling or new guys on the block who haven’t shown they will be there in August.

Armando Benitez becomes very valuable on the trade market if the Mets decide they aren’t going to resign him. He has closed successfully for four years and even though he is off to a miserable start there is another team out there who will give him a chance and pay to do it.

No lead is safe and that is good for baseball, the games have taken on a sudden death ninth inning quality similar to overtime in football, exciting down to the last play or pitch.

More games today, click below.

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April 23, 2003   No Comments

New Challenges As Schedule Moves On

After three weeks of playing the same teams the major league schedule turns the corner as all the teams get to play new opponents.

How will the AL West fare against the rest of the American league after beating each other up for 19 games?

How will the Giants do on their first trip to Pennsylvania to take on the Pirates and Phillies?

Boston takes their bull pen by committee to Texas and the Yankees take their undefeated starting pitchers to Anaheim to face the Angels, the team that chewed up their pitching staff last October on the way to the World Series.

Click read more and let’s see. [

April 22, 2003   No Comments

Significance of an early winning start

The significance of the Giants 15 and 3 winning record has been questioned by some very knowledgable people who have a day by day interest in the game. They point out that only 18 games has been played by the Giants, that the season has a long ways to go, that it cannot be considered a sprint but is more in the nature of a marathon, that the team that has momentum during the last few weeks is the team that wins.

Click below and I’ll tell you why this start is significant in the context of the long season. [Read more →]

April 22, 2003   No Comments

Do Players Add to the Fans Violence?

The other day I mentioned that I thought the nature of how a baseball game is played today adds to the fans violent reactions twoards umpires and players.

Here’s what I mean.

The pitchers used to brush back batters routinely as part of the game until the last ten years or so.

Now, if a batter is merely moved off the plate with an inside pitch he glares at the mound. If the batter is actually hit by the pitch, then he takes a menacing step towards the pitcher and motions toward the shocked moundsmen with his fist or even his bat.

Fans see this and get in the spirit of wanting to club the pitcher or the batter depending on where the incident takes place. By the time this scenario is repeated two or three times during the game, the fans are now part of the action taking place on the field.

No wonder with drinking in the park by the later stages of the game, someone from the stands vents his frustration and jumps the fence or throws something at the player.

If the players would play good ole country hardball and not flip out every time the ball comes close to the batter, I think the fans would be calmer and you’d see fewer incidents.

Just an observation, but watch the batter and how he threatens the pitcher when he is brushed back and watch the crowd reaction at the same time.

Now, back to the game. Click below. [

April 20, 2003   No Comments

Zito Reigns Supreme, Clemens Notches 296, Giants Beat Nemesis

Barry Zito raised his lifetime record against the Texas Rangers to 9-0 Friday night with his fourth career shut out, beating the bumbling Rangers 9-0.

The A’s offense came alive and once they had Rangers starter John Thomson on the ropes, they didn’t let up.

Roger Clemens is on a mission. The Rocket notched victory number 296 against the Twins Friday and could be going for number 300 in Oakland during the Yankee-A’s series May 9, 10, and 11th. Now that would be something to see.

Kevin Brown no longer has a hex over the Giants. Brown no hit the Giants in 97 and beat them regularly over the next four years, but now the righty has given up 28 runs in his last 29 innings against SF after last night’s five inning five run start.

If the Mets win today against Miami (I like that better than Florida) it will be Art Howe’s 1000th win as a major league manager. Art is putting Steve Trachsel on the hill against hard throwing righty AJ Burnett.

More baseball news below. [

April 19, 2003   No Comments

Silver Lining in A's Cloud, The Bull Pen is Alive and Well

Even though the A’s are not winning right now Thursday’s game provided a glimpse of what the summer may be like for the defending AL West Champs.

The bull pen appears to be in good hands, a sure sign of many wins in the summer months. Chad Bradford came in and in a very efficient fashion quelched a Mariner rally that would have iced the game.

Ricardo Rincon followed with a very capable two innings from the left side. He appears to have turned the corner from early season woes.

Jeremy Fikac (great change up) followed, got two quick outs, then started nibbling, walked two and gave up the game winning hit to Mark McLemore, who proved there is a baseball god.

McLemore made a critical error with two out in the ninth to allow the A’s to tie the game and send the contest to the tenth inning. McLemore came up with two on and two out and placed a single to left to win the game and send the As’ home with a 3-7 mark on the trip.

All in all, once the big four starters (I’ll include Ted Lilly for now) get in their groove this bull pen is going to be a major asset, plus Jim Mecir is due back this weekend to further add to the opponents worries.

Are the A’s batters mature confident hitters? Not yet, but we’ll follow that story to see if and when they reach that point.

More on baseball, click below. [

April 18, 2003   No Comments

Are Cubs For Real, Number Five Starters Up Today

What makes the Cubs scary in the NL Central is the back end of their rotation. Today, they flip the deck and start off with their number one, Kerry Wood. The last two days Shawn Estes has returned from the missing pitchers list and young righty Carlos Zambrano continued his 2003 success with six strong innings against the Reds.

After Wood, here comes Matt Clement and Mark Prior, three very hard throwing righthanders, when you look at the group.

Starting to sound a lot like the Oakland A’s.

Can the Cubs stay in the race? Absolutely!

They will need to get big seasons from Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou. They are getting major contributions from Damian Miller, Mark Grudzilenek, Alex Gonzalez, and Hee Seop Choi, if this continues Dusty Baker will have a happy first summer in Wrigleyville.

More baseball today as those important fifth starters are on the hill as well as some of the big boys.

Click below for more info. [

April 17, 2003   No Comments

Royals, Yanks, Giants Keep Rolling through April

Someone asked me last night if I thought the Diamondbacks were through in the NL West race.

Not yet, and short of the Giants opening up 25-3 and the Diamondbacks falling to say a 6-20 mark, there is still plenty of season left to right the ship.

If today was September 16th instead of April 16th, then yes, Arizona could pack up the bats and wait until next year.

One winning streak of seven games (one week) coupled with a Giants losing streak of similar proportions and we have three or four games separating the teams in April or May or June or whenever. The key is not to fall 15 to 20 games behind, anything else is workable.

Having Miguel Batista pitch tonight against Colorado instead of the injured Big Unit doesn’t help things in Phoenix.

Arizona needs to trade some young pitching for an established hitter and get some offense on the field. Until they do that they will be a.500 team or slightly better.

Mike Mussina, a perrenial Cy Young candidate, won his third game last night. Maybe this will be his year.

More baseball just click read more. [

April 16, 2003   No Comments