Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up June 12th

After the Athletics finish with the Pirates this weekend, the team faces a twenty five game stretch against the Cards, Cubs, Angels, Giants, Red Sox, and Indians taking the team right up to the All Star break on July 12th.

By that time, general manager Billy Beane will know just where he has to tinker to strengthen the team for its annual second half run. From here it looks like a dependable hard throwing righthander will be needed in the pen.

So far, Justin Duchscherer has been terrific in spot outings in close games. Not an overpowering pitcher, the A’s run the risk of the league catching up with Duchscherer’s curves if they continue to use him every other day.

Click Below for More “Batter Up”Take a good look at Pittsburgh closer Jose Mesa this weekend, he just may be the best “real” closer on the market next month.

Another headache for Ken Macha is the pinch hitting. At one point early in the season the reserves delivered late in the game. It’s been a long time since Billy McMillon, Eric Karros, or Adam Melhuse have come through with clutch hits after the seventh inning.

The Angels are getting healthy just at the right time with seven games coming up with Oakland over the next couple of weeks. Garret Anderson is back, so is DH Tim Salmon. Next off the DL this week, will be Darin Erstad and reliever Brenden Donnelly. How long this crew will last before breaking down again is the real question?

One major concern in Anaheim is pitcher Bartolo Colon’s velocity. Colon looks like he has downed a few too many donuts and is having trouble throwing the ball past 92 mph. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s the next Angel with arm trouble.

As good as new Angel closer Frankie Rodriguez is, he is still wet behind the ears closing ball games. It takes more than great stuff to be a closer. The mental part of maintaining ones composure during the heat of the ninth inning is the key. Even Eric Gagne and Mariano Rivera get into trouble in the last inning. It takes a real pro to keep his cool and not let the game get away as the tension mounts. I’m reserving judgment on Rodriguez until I see him shut the door consistently in the ninth.

The Yankees are starting to seriously turn their attention to Seattle’s Freddy Garcia as insurance in case Kevin Brown’s back spasms are significant. In the past, when Brown’s back has gone out, he was sidelined for more than a few turns.

What can the Yankees offer Seattle? Minor league catcher Dioner Navarro is high on every scout’s list. Don’t be surprised to see the Yanks try to include Jose Contreras in the deal too, eating a good portion of what’s left of his contract to sweeten the deal.

Nomar is back playing in Boston, but for how long? Rumors persist that Garciaparra will be playing second base for the Yanks next year.

About time the local media jumped on the Scott Hatteberg All Star bandwagon. If you’ve been following Hatteberg’s season you know he is the best clutch hitter on the team, has played excellent first base, and is the team MVP. With the usual big boys at first having subpar seasons, Hatteberg deserves to be the one offensive player from the A’s chosen to go to Houston.

How come the umpires can get together to discuss whether a home run left the park fair or foul after one their brethren sees the play and makes an emphatic call? You see the call reversed more often than not. Now, picture this, a play at second base comes up, the ump clearly blows the call, everyone in the park knows it, why can’t the umps get together and correct that call too? C’mon give me a good reason for the distinction.

While I’m on MLB and its shortcomings, how in the world did the commisioner let Raul Mondesi get out of his contract in Pittsburgh and then sign with his buddies in Anaheim? Never mind the fact that the out of shape Mondesi is now sidelined for two months with a torn quadriceps muscle, after Mondesi jumped the Pirates in May, he should have been placed on the suspended list, and not given a chance to join a big market team looking for help.

Don’t hold it against the Giants for getting back into the NL West race by beating sub .500 teams. Last time I checked you only play the teams that are on the schedule. Now to stay in the race, the Giants will have to figure out a way to beat the Dodgers and Padres head to head. Getting another legit starting pitcher is still a necessity.


1 Anonymous { 06.12.04 at 12:19 pm }

McMillon needs to play more to stay sharp. He was playing more in the outfield last season than he is now. That’s why, I think, he was able to deliver more as a pinch hitter. Macha needs to find a way to give him at bats. Taking Kielty out of the game and putting in McMillon when a righthander comes in is one way. Their defensive abilities are about the same. They are both slow. Kielty’s arm may be a little better.
-Mike E.

2 Anonymous { 06.14.04 at 2:45 pm }

It doesn’t take a rocket scientest to see what Stoneman was up to in the off-season.
With the A’s adding Redman, bringing their ‘finesse’ lefty starter count up to three, that stocking up on power right handed hitting was the call.

So far so good.

The upcoming series will be tell-tale…
If Anaheim has recovered health wise…
…and repeats from their previous trip to Oaktown I expect to see Beane looking to see what he can get for either Redman or Zito.
-the problem with this is finding an upgrade. Suitable closers are quite rare…
Starting Righties that can help the A’s are not so rare… -but getting one that is an upgrade is no small thing.

-C. Pyle
Morgan Hill

3 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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