Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

All of a Sudden It's Tough to Close a Game

Hey Mrs. Robinson, where have all the closers gone?

Seems like everytime I look at a box score whoever is trying to salt the game away in the ninth inning is having trouble.

All except John Smoltz in Atlanta, who may be an MVP if the Braves can win the East for the 12th straight time.

Eric Gagne in LA is pretty automatic, but he is the only other recognizable name doing the job.

The rest are either struggling or new guys on the block who haven’t shown they will be there in August.

Armando Benitez becomes very valuable on the trade market if the Mets decide they aren’t going to resign him. He has closed successfully for four years and even though he is off to a miserable start there is another team out there who will give him a chance and pay to do it.

No lead is safe and that is good for baseball, the games have taken on a sudden death ninth inning quality similar to overtime in football, exciting down to the last play or pitch.

More games today, click below.

The Tigers are as bad as advertised. They swing at everything, they don’t have quality pitching, and they absolutely look defeated on the field.

Other than that, new manager Alan Trammell is doing fine. He is a winner, a very patient man. Maybe most interesting is the fact that bench coach Kirk Gibson, known throughout his career as a complete maniac as a player, hasn’t gone ballistic during this losing streak.

Ramon Hernandez will be the all star catcher this season. Other than Jorge Posada who is no where near the receiver Hernandez is, there is no other catcher in the league in Ramon’s class. Hernandez handles the staff expertly, hits to right consistently, and is becoming a team leader. Just think two years ago the A’s wanted to move him for Eli Marrero.

Tim Hudson threw 116 pitches before Dimitri Young hit his 117th for a disputed three run homer bringing the Tigers into the game. With Ricardo Rincon heated up and ready to go, Ken Macha stayed with Hudson for one more pitch. Why? Not one writer asked Macha the tough question so I can’t answer, but Macha left Chad Bradford in the game to face Carl Everett Sunday night when it called for a switch and Everett hit the game winning homer. The toughest part for a new manager is learning how to handle the bull pen, for the A’s it is still a work in progress.

Today some interesting games.

Carl Pavano terrific his last time out searches for consistency against Milwaukee in Miami.

Dusty doesn’t lose to San Diego. Sammy is beaned Sunday, last night three Cubs are hit, I wouldn’t dig in today against Kerry Wood, if I was a Padre.

Matt Morris versus Greg Maddux, if it was in October I would be excited, but both pitchers have been less than stellar this season.

Roy Oswalt and Al Leiter. Leiter and Glavine have been the Mets meal tickets so far. The Mets have to resort to little ball to make something happen because the big boys just aren’t going to hit. Mets need this one to have a chance at taking the series with Astacio coming back for them tomorrow night.

Darren Dreifort versus change up artist Chris Reitsma. Dodgers are the better team and they do have a bull pen which Dreifort will need.

Bartolo Colon and Jason Johnson. Both pitchers throwing extremely well, but the White Sox can hit and don’t need to get the ball to Billy Koch, who hasn’t had a clean inning in awhile, because Colon can go nine.

Jeremy Bonderman and Barry Zito, what can I say, how about 1-18 for Detroit.

Tim Wakefield and John Thomson. I expected more out of Texas last night and didn’t get it. After facing Pedro, Wakefield’s knuckle balls will be tough to hit, but, oh that bull pen, this game looks like a slugfest.

Brad Radke has been awful last two times out, lefties usaully hurt the Twins, but is Chris George up to it? KC has a legit closer which is keeping them afloat so far.

Roger Clemens goes for 297, one step closer to 300 in Oakland May 9th. Mickey Callaway has not been very good. Erstad out with injury, Appier on the DL, Glaus still limping, and Chone Figgins in AAA, maybe the Angels aren’t at top speed just yet.

Sasaki can’t pitch again today, can he? What more does Bob Melvin have to see as his closer blew another save last night. This is big trouble for Seattle. Mike Cameron took Danys Baez deep for a grand slam in the ninth to win the game and get Melvin off the hook. Seattle will crumble like blue cheese if they don’t get their bull pen straightened out.

Can Gil Meche follow up on his terrific outing last Thursday against the A’s? Is Ricardo Rodriguez the real deal, he certainly has been impressive so far for the Indians.

The Giants have a lot going on with the team. Barry Bonds’ father Bobby has a brain tumor, Jason Schmidt’s mother died yesterday after a long illness, Barry’s neck mysteriuosly started hurting Tuesday, and they are on their first Eastern trip. Kirk Reuter needs to give them a good game tonight or they could be looking at a tough week because it is Damian Moss, and a call up starting after Reuter.

No lead is a safe a lead right now in baseball, makes for some exciting finishes for the fans, but not for the managers.

Let’s see who gives it up tonight.


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

You must log in to post a comment.