Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A's Relief Stands Tall, Prior Best in NL

As the season turns into the home stretch the good teams are putting their best players on the field and they are responding.

The A’s bullpen, a hearty three man bunch all season has come alive in Boston as all the relievers, save Jim Mecir, have gotten into the act.

You just can’t say enough about quality pitches in crucial situations. Chad Bradford, now Ricardo Rincon, and as always Keith Foulke, teeter on the brink of disaster almost every time on the hill. Yet when the chips are on the line, they throw pitches which turn into routine outs, ending rallies.

How much longer they can do this without being effected from daily use is anyone’s guess. If Chad Harville and Michael Neu come through more often, then the big three can continue to get the big outs.

The A’s rallied last night with only one walk in the entire game. A good sign for the hitters. When Byung Hyun Kim needed to make big pitches he didn’t, grooving an 0-2 pitch to Scott Hatteberg who hit a laser to right putting the A’s in front to stay.

Previous night, Scott Sauerbeck needed to throw strikes to Erubiel Durazo and Eric Chavez and couldn’t, two walks resulted, then Scott Williamson grooved an 0-2 pitch to Ramon Hernandez, three run homer, end of game.

When the Sox needed big hits, they weren’t there. The A’s pitchers consistently made quality, in your face type of pitches which ended the scoring chances.

That my friends is the difference in this series. The A’s get the job done with a minimum of flair. The Sox look good on paper, but when the game is on the line, they don’t produce.

Baseball has turned into a game of bullpens because starters rarely go more than seven innings, the A’s bull pen is clutch right now, Boston’s isn’t and that is the way the ball is bouncing with 34 games to go.

Click below for more!The tension created in Boston by the fans and fueled by the press is amazing. I think it actually affects these professional athletes.

Now Derek Lowe won’t talk to the press unless it is after he pitches. Pedro doesn’t talk much ever. He even missed the team picture yesterday, not a good sign for team unity. Kevin Millar, new in town, is on the press coverage.

The A’s face Pedro today and counter with Rich Harden, a very young man who is pitching the biggest game of his life.

The A’s have already won the series, not much to worry about today. Just let it fly and see what happens.

Josh Towers pitched a complete game and knocked off Seattle showing that anything can happen in baseball.

Today Jamie Moyer tries to mesmerize the Jays and will face off with soft tossing rookie Mark Hendrickson, which means the A’s won’t see Hendrickson in this weekend’s series.

Esteban Loiaza has led the Sox back into a tie with KC for the AL Central lead. Bartolo Colon who has been awful recently gets the call today against Colby Lewis and the red hot Rangers who are now tied with the Angels for third in the West.

Minnesota hosts KC and the best KC can put out there today is Paul Abbott which tells the story of the Royals sorry pitching right now. Kenny Rogers 10-6 never considered a clutch pitcher, gets his biggest start of the year as the Twins try to leap frog the Royals.

Mark Prior is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Can Kerry Wood, a native Texan, get over his back spasms and dominate the Astros today? Ron Villone has been steady for Houston, so this one is worth the price of admission. The bullpens will be busy if either starter falters early.

Nobody comes into Pac Bell and hits the ball. The Braves are the latest example. Of course the Braves weakness was exposed again last night: no consistent eight inning relief. The Giants have to hope they get home field in the playoffs, it makes them much more dangerous.

Jason Schmidt tonight against his former team. Let’s see if he lets it go and throws sliders.

Aaron Harang silenced Arizona last night, good game for the big guy.

The Marlins and the Phillies are gasping for air this week. The NL Wild Card is awesome, you tell me who has the advantage heading into the last month.

Which brings me to one of the prime tenets of baseball philosophy.

Stay close heading into September, whoever plays the best over the last month will win.

And that applies to everyone except Atlanta, SF, and the Yankees, they are in, everyone else, don’t count your chickens before they hatch, there is still is alot of baseball to be played.


1 Anonymous { 08.21.03 at 10:58 am }

How refreshing to see the bullpen step up bigtime! We have all badmouthed it throughout the year, and then we go 11+ relief innings without a run being given up. Mike Neu was amazing–not pretty, but effective. You could see him giving it 1000%. Who could not love the soccer kick and the pickoff. Hopefully, he will get more work as he has shown that he has great instincts and can keep his head in big situations. I hope that Halama is realizing how important his role in the bullpen is right now. We know he wants to be a starter, but it is great to have another lefty to bring in. And Foukle is beyond words. Where would we be without him?

You can feel the momentum moving west. Hatteburg’s catch was the catalyst. Mulder’s injury seems to have brought all aspects of the team together. They were possessed last night. May it continue.

The curse has moved into Boston once again.

2 marty { 08.21.03 at 1:08 pm }

The A’s are in the midst of consecutive 13 games, then one day off, then 16 more before another day off. Hitting must continue to be clutch or the bull pen will be gassed, too many close games. This month will be very exciting.
This is one tough team, they have been down this road before and they want to win, you can feel it, they don’t lose easily.

3 Anonymous { 08.21.03 at 4:22 pm }


Scott Hatteberg showed last night why the A’s re-signed him with another clutch performance, getting the key hit in the 7th inning rally and making a diving catch of the Damon liner in the eighth.

The nite before, Miguel Tejada showed why the A’s SHOULD re-sign him with a play on Ramirez in the eighth that demonstrated just how incredible his range and arm strength is.
Not sure you can ask a rookie shortstop next year (Bobby Crosby) to make that play in a big series in the heat of a pennant race.

Guess we better enjoy Miggy and possibly Foulke for this year and not worry about next year.

All the way in 2003 boys!!!

Reno Bill

4 marty { 08.21.03 at 6:07 pm }

Reno Bill: Scott Hatteberg is a clutch performer, last night he smoked that ball in the eighth inning. His grit is a big part of why this team is winning. Thanks for your comments.

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