Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Mulder Pain In The Hip, Bonds Does Unbeliveable Again

What a night for Bay Area baseball fans. First the A’s snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, then the Giants tie the Braves on a wild pitch and then have an emotionally drained Barry Bonds hit one into the bay off of lefty specialist Raymond King to win the game.

Ramon Hernandez hit a game winning homer the impact of which on the A’s season could be as big as Terrence Long’s catch on a ball hit by Manny Ramirez last season robbing Ramirez of a game winning home run.

The A’s used that catch and win in Boston last August to propel themselves to the division title.

This homer by Hernandez came at the right time as the A’s were reeling from the injury to Mark Mulder and the two hit pitching of Derek Lowe.

Mulder has not been himself for the last week or so. Now he reveals that his hip tendinitis has been an issue since July 19th.

When injuries like this occur in baseball one of two things may happen.

Either the team deflates and goes into a tailspin or they pull together and some aspect of the team steps up to take up the slack.

Now, if Mulder is out for any prolonged period, the offense will have to shoulder more of a burden if the A’s are going to keep pace with Seattle and Boston.

Hits like Hernandez had last night go a long way.

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Last week while the Red sox were in Oakland I realized how the hopes of New England fans wear upon this team.

The Red Sox with all their gaudy offensive numbers have come back to earth. They now have lost 5 of their last 8 games to Oakland and Seattle and have yet to hit the ball with any consistent authority in any game.

Boston had numerous opportunities that they couldn’t cash in on last night. Once Derek Lowe exited the game with a blister problem after six innings, you se! nsed that the Sox bullpen would be tested.

It was only one game, but now Boston is 6 1/2 behind NY and in danger of falling behind the A’s with Seattle on the horizon for four this weekend.

If the Red Sox don’t regain their offensive swagger soon, they can kiss their postseason hopes good bye.

Tonight Ted Lilly needs to go deep into the game because the A’s used the pen for six innings last night. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Jim Mecir get another chance to work his way back into the fold tonight if the A’s are leading after seven. Keith Foulke? He is always ready and available to close the deal.

Anyway, I think the offenses will pay a bigger role in this series from here on out. One way or another even with Pedro pitching tomorrow, timely hitting will decide who leaves Boston with the wild card lead.

It did last night.

Seattle looks to Gil Meche against Josh Towers in SkyDome. Meche good one start, bad in another, struggled against Toronto last week in Safeco. Towers was hit hard by the A’s in Oakla! nd. Runs are in the picture tonight.

The Cubs picked up Tony Womack to help in their infield. The Astros simply had to get home to put some runs on the board. Jeff Kent, who I thought would be the difference for Houston this year drove in six last night.

Brad Lidge had another shaky seventh inning, but Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner finished the deal.

Mark Prior is listed to go today and the Cubs need the young man to do his thing big time against knuckleballer Jared Fernandez.

Colorado got home and the bats came alive as they crushed the Marlins 10-2. Tonight Darren Oliver who loves to pitch in Coors goes against Mark Redman who relies on breaking stuff not a good recipe for success in Colorado.

Aaron Harang against Randy Johnson in Arizona tonight. Somehow I didn’t see this as a potential matchup when I analyzed the Reds and Diamondbacks in spring training. Harang may be throwing harder than Johnson right now.

KC is asking alot fr! om Jimmy Gobble as they take on the Rocket in NY this morning. Jeff Ne lson and Mariano Rivera looked like the relievers of ’99 as they closed out the Royals last night.

Brad Radke has had trouble with Cleveland throughout his career. This Tribe team doesn’t hit very much but somehow Radke crumbles at the sight of the Cleveland uniform.

The White Sox send Esteban Loiaza out tonight against the punchless Angels. Loiaza got rocked by Texas last weekend so with his history of second half fades, he bears watching tonight.

Texas needs to go 22-14 down the stretch to play .500. I’m rooting for them to get it done, Buck Showalter has kept this team focused for the first time in years. If they do, they will make the AL West very intersting as they play the A’s and Seattle in September.

The game tonight is bigger for Boston than Oakland because the Red sox have to be doubting themselves and their ability to beat the good teams down the stretch.

The tension will be thick tonight in the Fens.


1 Anonymous { 08.20.03 at 3:57 pm }

The Braves showed their ability to score runs against Ted Lilly earlier in the year when they hit six homers in one game off him and some of the other jokers in the bullpen and they are doing it again this week in San Fran. Atlanta is threat to win the world series every year but they seem to get knocked off in the post season by a team that got hot at the end of the year. Winning a world series is very hard, do you think that the stress of the pennant race going down to the wire will wear on the A’s and their chances of beating people in October?

Art Vandalae

2 marty { 08.20.03 at 5:29 pm }

Art: I think teams that are pressed down the stretch are stronger in the playoffs. Of course, good pitching is the key and the Braves have gotten a boost from Mike Hampton which will help them in the playoffs. I still think the Braves are the best team I’ve seen all year, but they can use some help in the eighth inning. The A’s will need some of the offense to come alive because the pitching cannot carry this team without more help from the batters especially with Mulder’s hip injury.

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