Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Giants vs. Marlins, How it Shapes Up by Ed Stern

Is the “real season” beginning today as so many writers have been saying? If the “real season” can end for a team with a loss in a five game setup I suppose one can justifiably so contend. Perhaps I am more of a purist than one should be, but as far as I am concerned the real season ended this past Sunday. The best teams were established by their records over the 161/162 games played. What we have now is an intriguing aftermath to the real season. The best team doesn’t necessarily prevail.

Click Below as Ed Stern who has covered the Giants all season long for, gives us his analysis of round one and more!
Having said that, one might as well join the club and start making predictions respecting the probable outcome of an unpredictable postseason, as it relates, in the main, to the Giants, the club I have been following, with great interest, this year.

The Giants were one of four teams in the majors, the Yankees, Braves, A’s and Giants, ending up with the best records, over the full season, These were the best teams. We now have to close the door on that issue and get to the post season, a contest in which the best team doesn’t always win.

In the post season, to an even greater extent than in the regular season, pitching becomes the name of the game. The Marlins, interestingly, have records for their starters which are closely comparable to the Giants. The E.R.A. of the Giants’ starters is 3.86, the Marlins 3.91. The Giants relievers E.R.A., however, is 3.47, that of Florida 4.29. In a short series there are imponderables which enter into the picture. One such, for the Giants, concerns Tim Worrell. The closer takes on added importance in a five or seven game “season”. That season can be lost as a result of a closer melting down. There isn’t enough time in the post season environment to make meaningful changes. Keep in mind the melt down of Livan last year, as a starter.

Leaving aside possible problems with Worrell, which may not develop (after all, he did more than was expected of him throughout the full season) the rest of the Giants’ bullpen is far more impressive than the Marlins. In addition, the Giants are the team which is going to be throwing out the one pitcher who is most likely to go the distance, Schmidt. Schmidt will have to be beaten once for the Marlins to have a chance. If Schmidt wins two games, as is probable if called upon to do so, the Giants will come up with one additional game.

There may be a most interesting matchup during this series. If it goes four games the fourth game will be pitched, in all likelihood, by Willis and Williams. All of the comments to this point by interested observers seem to emphasize the anticipated debut of Willis. There is considerable agreement among them that Willis is a great young pitcher who will display his winning ways when called upon here. I have yet to see any comment by the writers respecting Williams.

If they go head to head, don’t be surprised if Williams prevails. When one takes a hard look at the performances of these two talented youngsters, Williams doesn’t take a back seat. In no game this year, save the first game he pitched, did Williams implode. In every other game, even if the game was lost, Williams pitched well. For example, in the last game he pitched, against the Dodgers, he took the loss even though he gave up only one run in five innings. Willis, on the other hand,had a few games in which he was knocked around.

Williams pitches as if he had been around the league for a while rather than the relatively short 3/4 of a season. He has a maturity which augers well for an impressive performance throughout this post season.

Another interesting statistic, in considering these two teams, is their fielding records. Each team has impressive fielding figures. They have made the fewest errors of any of the eight teams in the playoffs. The Marlins have made 74 errors, the Giants, 78. By comparison, Atlanta made 121. the Yankees, 110. Good pitching and good fielding go well together. In a short series, particularly, it can make the difference.

A final word about the Giants. Throughout the year there were expressed concerns, at various times, about the performance of players who were essential to the team’s overall success. Alfonzo and Aurillia, from the very beginning of the year, had trouble getting untracked. Alfonzo was hitting around .220 for a good part of the first half of the year. Aurillia was hitting into too many double plays, leaving Bonds standing there with the bat in his hands, and the fans in despair.

Cruz started the season as though he was the answer to the Giants’ long sought after right fielder. He hit well and with power. This lasted about three weeks. From that point on, he slowly dropped his average and stopped hitting with power. His fielding never fell off. He remained probably the best fielding right fielder in the league. His hitting, however, was well below what one desired in a right fielder.

With respect to Alfonzo, since the All Star break he has performed well. He has been hitting behind Bonds, the most important spot in the lineup. After the All Star break he has batted .358 with runners in scoring position. Aurillia and Cruz seem to have come alive these past few weeks, and not a moment too soon. With these three performing at the level thay have been at recently, the Giants are going into this post season as well prepared as they could have hoped for, although Santiago remains a matter of concern. His fielding and, in particular, his throwing, have fallen off dramatically. With the Marlins speed the Giants pitchers are going to need to get the ball up to the plate as quickly as they can. Florida will run on Santiago. The best defense, of course, is to keep Florida off the bases.

Prediction—-Giants in four.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.