Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Veterans lead Arizona, Yankees Bull Pen Better, Ichiro Homers

Anyone who thinks the Arizona Diamondbacks are being carried by rookies and only youngsters better take a look at last night’s Arizona box score.

Steve Finley, Luis Gonzalez, and Shea Hillenbrand hitting in the middle of the order, went 7-12, with 6 runs scored, and 4 rbi’s in the win over San Diego. All experienced players.

Couple that hitting with Miguel Batista’s dominating pitching, and you can see why the NL West will be a terrific baseball race to watch for the rest of the season.

Randy Johnson comes back tomorrow from a serious knee injury. He loves to pitch in San Diego and that is why the Arizonans don’t want his debut to be in Pac Bell Monday night. Today is the anniversary of the day Johnson struck out 16 Padres in the completion of a suspended game in 2001 in San Diego.

The Unit flat out can pitch in that park and with Brandon Webb all set to go today, the series with the Giants will be one to watch.

Shawn Chacon comes off the DL to face SF this afternoon. Chacon has handled the Giants quite easily in the past, so Felipe Alou will send out his ace Jason Schmidt to further destroy the Rockies season.

The middle of the A’s batting order continues to struggle.

Click below I have some thoughts on what may ail them.If you ever played any sort of baseball or softball, you know it is fun to grab a bat and hit. No one runs out to the diamond excited about playing defense or pitching.

The A’s don’t have fun hitting. They look anguished and uncertain at the plate.

There is an old baseball adage: “See ball, hit ball.”

I think the A’s are trying too hard to work the count, get the perfect ball to hit, and demonstrate to the brain trust that they can execute a patient game plan.

Miguel Tejada and Eric Chavez are very talented hitters. My advice is don’t give them any advice, let their natural talents as baseball players take over. Throw away all the charts.

Yes, let them rip the first good pitch they see. Don’t criticize them if they don’t work the count. Pitchers know the A’s are timid at the plate. They throw strikes and the A’s take the pitches. Erubiel Durazo is a monster at the plate. Wouldn’t you like to see him go up to the dish and rip three times at a pitch, even if he strikes out? I’ll guarantee you he’ll break up more games with big hits than ruin rallies by striking out.

Jason Giambi is the only A’s batter who could consistently let pitches go by and still have a great at bat and he is the best hitter in the American league.

Let the boys play baseball. Stop with the charts on how many 2-0 pitches you need to see, how many outs are recorded after a 1-2 count. Let the boys go back to playing the game they loved as kids and excelled at better than any other kids in the world.

I want to see Tejada, Chavez, and Durazo go up and swing at three pitches, come what may, because what you have right now is not working and down right ugly.

Let the guys play baseball and get out of their heads. They have the ability and I trust them to get the job done if given the chance.

Mark Mulder is having a tremendous season and should continue the A’s fine pitching. With all the road games coming up, pitching is not enough as Minnesota has shown the A’s so far this week.

The A’s will bring the lefthanded hitting brigade out to face Brad Radke who has been abominable this season. Radke loves to pitch against Oakland and throws strikes, so here we go again, the A’s will have to swing the bat and hit some balls out to beat him.

If only Ichiro could use his power more often the Mariners would be in better shape. Remember when Lou Piniella moved him to third in the order only to move him back to leadoff when it was obvious that Ichiro was satisfied hittng .350 with 175 singles and 29 rbi’s.

Well, last night Ichiro hit a grand slam and Seattle won a big game in KC with five in the ninth.

Jeremy Affeldt was sailing along for the Royals before his blister problems knocked him out of the game. KC has a nice lead in the Central, but trust me it can disappear in one week if Chicago or Minnesota starts playing good baseball. With Affeldt hurting and Jose Lima questionable with a groin strain, the Royals may be in for that tough week very soon.

Armando Benitez is more than just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees. Benitez is so strong that he asks to pitch two innings instead of just one to set up the final frame for the closer. With Benitez prepared to go two, the Yankees no longer have to mess around with pitchers who cough up the lead on a regular basis.

Benitez is the missing piece to the Yankees puzzle.

Derek Jeter is now hot, joining Giambi and Hideki Matsui as hitters carrying NY.

Let’s see what Gil Meche brings to the table today for Seattle. Meche hasn’t pitched well since throwing seven innings in Oakland a few weeks ago. On the other hand, journeyman lefthander Darrell May has been outstanding for KC.

Sidney Ponson can add to his free agent to be status with another good game against the Angels. One thing about Ponson he won’t need the bull pen, he goes nine.

It was inevitable for Boston’s offense to slow down. Things may pick up today with Cory Lidle going for the Blue Jays. With Lidle mentioned as the key player for every team looking for pitching, the scouts will be out in full force in Fenway today.

The Cubs are below .500 and sinking quickly. If they can’t hit, no matter how well they pitch it will be difficult for them to stay with the Astros and Cardinals.

When does Dontrelle Willis pitch? Maybe tomorrow against Mark Prior, that would be something. 26,000 plus in Miami last night, it is happening for the Marlins, I can feel it.

What would the A’s do with Juan Gonzalez when Jermaine Dye comes back? I still say the Rockies Jay Payton is a better bet for Oakland. To make my case for the people who count, Payton has a .351 on base percentage.

Tom Glavine goes for another thrashing today against his former team the Braves who eat lefties for lunch.

So, let the boys play baseball just as they did growing up, let the hitters have fun, let them swing the bats, let them put some fear into the pitchers.

Then we’ll see some three run jacks and the team (A’s) will perk up.

More tomorrow on why the A’s are better off as a wild card team!


1 Anonymous { 07.19.03 at 12:27 pm }


Excellent comments about the A’s hitting woes. Yea, the A’s just need to start swinging the bats and not worry about taking pitches. Pitchers are just throwing strikes to them early in the count, letting them get behind and get themselves out by swinging at something outside the zone. I’ve been thinking about the same thing you are in regard to Giambi and the A’s philosophy. Only Giambi has been able to implement that in practice successfully. He had a great eye and a quick short stroke (he still does, of course) that allowed him to stay back on the ball as opposed to Chavez and Miguel that throw their body into their swing and have to get started early. Giambi is one of the rarest and best hitters in the game. That should tell the A’s something. That their philosophy is not going to work for 80%-90% of the other players in the league. Let the players swing.


2 marty { 07.19.03 at 12:41 pm }

Amen on your comment. My new show Inside Baseball Saturday Night will begin tonight after Extra Innings, this is one topic we will take up. Tom Candiotti will be on with Shooty and I and we also expect Harold Reynolds and perhaps Tony Womack to join us. KFRC 610 AM I guess sometime between 5:15 and 6 PM depending on how long the game takes. But with Mulder pitching we may be on earlier than I expect.


3 Anonymous { 07.19.03 at 12:53 pm }

The only problem that I have with Jay Payton is that he plays in Colorado. What are his numbers at sea level? If they match up then make the deal. If Payton’s numbers are good

because he plays in Denver then forget it and

go after Juan gone.


4 marty { 07.19.03 at 1:01 pm }

What do you do with Dye when he comes back if you have Gonzalez who wants a one year extension also? Payton is a decent player who made it to the series with the Mets, he is an upgrade at a reasonable price.


5 Anonymous { 07.19.03 at 1:20 pm }

Heard that Zito and Hudson are camped outside Macha’s door asking to be traded to a team that scores some runs. Zito gets 12 runs in his 7 losses. They have to be ripping their hair out. Zito was masterful last night, but it has to wear on you when your team puts the leadoff batter on and then leaves him at 1st over and over again. Please, Chavez, try bunting.

I agree. Go up there and swing. Who cares if they strike out? The entire lineup except for Long right now look sick. Take a clue from McMillion. Goes in and smacks the first pitch he sees. When was the last time they had a big inning or hit a 3 run jack.? Please, no more pop-ups.

6 Anonymous { 07.19.03 at 2:08 pm }

You make a good case for Payton but Gonzalez is a better player than either Dye or Payton in my opinion.Sure,Gonzalez will cost some money but

isn’t winning the reason the games are played?

You can’t make the playoff with a .222 batting average. Dye will be gone next year if someone

else wants to take a risk on a reclamation project.


7 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

8 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

9 Anonymous { 09.27.10 at 6:43 pm }

State you live, into Year-Round Residences

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