Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

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.Remember Matt Kinney who formerly pitched for the Minnesota Twins? He has resurfaced with the Milwaukee Brewers and pitched a gem Thursday against the Astros. Kinney had some very positive moments with the Twins and yesterday threw seven shut out innings giving up 4 hits, 93 pitches, and six strike outs against one of the better hitting teams in the league.

Jae Seo (Jay So) knows how to pitch. Given up for lost by the Mets after arm surgery the Korean born righty is an accurate, medium speed righthander for the Mets. He throws first pitch strikes, the best pitch in baseball, changes speeds and mesmerized the Pirates Thursday night.

Mo Vaughn and Mike Piazza went 7-10 and provided the Mets with all the offense they would need to beat the Pirates.

Now, if the Mets could catch the ball and get cocnsistent power from the two mentioned above, maybe they can stay close to the pack.

Tonight, Al Leiter, the Mets number two starter faces lefty Mark Redman. Lefties seem to hold the Mets better than righties, so this game looks like a close one. The Mets were out for pitchers fielding practice before the last road game after Art Howe got tired of seeing the hurlers lackadaisical efforts on balls hit to them (mainly Armando Benitez who didn’t cover first base on a sure DP).

Replay of last Sunday’s game in SF when Jason Schmidt faces Kevin Brown in LA. The Dodgers got a major surprise when Todd Hundley hit a three run pinch hit homer off Jaret Wright to win the game Thursday against the Padres. Darren Dreifort pitched another strong game going seven innings.

Carl Pavano completely dominated the Phillies and Kevin Millwood for the Marlins. Juan Pierre is hititng .329 and Mike Lowell is one excellent third baseman for Miami. The Marlins have the arms which means they will be in this race. I still feel this division is the most competitive in the NL, should be interesting to see how the NL West fares against these pitchers.

Don’t get too excited about Carlos Baerga’s seven RBI agaiunst Colorado Thursday, he is a part timer for Arizona. Do get excited about the nine inning four hit, no walk, ten strike out complete game for Curt Schilling. Now if Randy Johnson could just be back to his form the fans would relax in the BOB.

Matt Clement against Kris Benson. Pirates don’t hit a lick, Cubs are hot right now. Tight close game in Pittsburgh tonight.

Hey how about Esteban Loiaza? Minor league contract coming into spring training, makes the club, throws six innings against the hot Royals, 11 strike outs, wins his third game and lowers his ERA to 1.31.

After the A’s polish off the Rangers, Tigers, and Indians they play the Yankees and White Sox in back to back home and away series. Trouble looms ahead for Oakland when they face Buerhle, Colon, Loaiza, Wells, Pettitte, Mussina, Clemens, and Weaver over that 12 game stretch. The hitters in Oaktown better be ready for those two weeks starting April 29th.

Jason Johnson in Baltimore is back to his winning form of two years ago. He pitches tonight against Victor Zambrano and the Devil Rays.

Cleveland plays the White Sox in Chicago. Two pitchers going who like to throw inside, Bartolo Colon and Ricardo Rodriguez.

Part of the security problem in baseball is that the batters are always threatening the pitchers with their bats when they get brushed back form the plate, thus getting the fans in a fighting mood too.

Just watch the stares and glares tonight in Chicago with these two going.

Roger Clemens goes for win number 296 in Minnesota. Toronto’s three righties swept the Twins at home last week, Minnesota just fattened up on Detroit so expect them to give The Rocket a better test tonight. Brad Radke walked a bunch in his last start so we’ll have to watch him tonight to see if there is anything wrong with his arm.

Carl Everett is hitting the ball quite well and quite far, if this continues maybe the Rangers can pawn the troubled slugger off on another team looking for the quick long ball fix. The Rangers can only hope someone will bite at the bait because Everett can go bonkers at any time.

The Red Sox are hitting the ball into the new seats atop the Green Monster, now if they only had a bull pen and one more dominant starter maybe they could give NY a fight.

Another weekend of baseball coming up.


1 Anonymous { 04.18.03 at 1:47 pm }

Hey Marty,

Too bad the A’s hitters haven’t grown up yet. They have no consistency at the plate and can’t produce in the clutch. That’s why they’ve been eliminated the last 3 times in the playoffs. The pitching will carry this team once again. But, if the hitting woes continue, what do you think about the A’s trading for someone who can hit for average? I’m not sure who that might be. (Brian Giles? I know that’s unrealistic) Nevertheless, I wouldn’t mind seeing Dye and/or Long shipped out for someone who can hit if they don’t start producing.

2 Anonymous { 04.18.03 at 1:59 pm }


What is your take on Miguel? I know there are several other stars who are struggling this spring, but I feel like there is more than a slow start going on here.

I have a hard time when Tejada is likened to Giambi. There are 2 different players from two very different backgrounds and upbringings. Jason wanted to be a Yankee–Miguel just wants to be wanted. It is clear to this mother that he sees the A’s as his family. He has given them everything and gets told that it isn’t good enough. Sorry Miguel, you will need to go elsewhere. How can this not affect him and his playing? His defense has been fabulous–it’s as if he is saying please watch me. But at bat the pressure is just too much.

And what does everyone else on the team think. They don’t want the MVP so what will happen to me. It is pretty sad to watch.

Robert Baun is always talking about how the players’ union won’t let a superstar sign for less than market rate. Why not? Someone needs to step up and play for less where they want to play. How many millions of dollars do you need to be happy and set for life? Fans will get to cheer for franchise players. And the Yankees will not be able to buy anyone they choose. And maybe the field will be a little fairer–and certainly more interesting.

Come on Schott. Show Miguel the money.

3 marty { 04.18.03 at 2:22 pm }

I’ll be able to tell more about Miguel when I see him on this homestand. I would like to see an offer made to Miguel that reflected at least a three year deal, then it would give him some perspective on what may lie ahead. Being a number three hitter requires a lot of concentration, once the A’s start seeing teams out of their division I think you’ll see the whole team start to hit. This divsion wears the A’s down. It is not in the interst of the union to see megastars sign below market deals, but perhaps a three year 10 million dollar deal isn’t that far off the new reality in baseball economics. Anyhow, a steady diet of Rangers, Indians, and Tigers will do wonders for the team this week.


4 marty { 04.18.03 at 2:26 pm }

Maybe the hitters will look more like veteran professional hitters as Ken Korach described the Mariners batters, once they get about three hundred more at bats this year. Winning does a lot for confidence which is all I think they lack right now. Let a few of them get hot, which should happen this week and they will all start to hit better. I don’t think there is a true hitter out there for the A’s unless they wanted to make a blockbuster trade and it’s too early to think that way.


5 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

6 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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