Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Daily Dish Oct 23rd, 2004 The World Series

The baseball season unfolds slowly. Amazing plot lines develop as we watch the 162 game season plus the playoffs, play out day to day.

When the season is over, and it happens this way every year, the two best teams in baseball end up playing for the championship.

The World Series is the most memorable week in sports. Whoever is the hero or goat in the series will be memorialized for baseball eternity.

My favorite Series memories:

Johnny Podres beating the Yankees in game seven in ’55 2-0 for Brooklyn’s only title,
Boston’s Carlton Fisk’s 12th inning game winning homer in ’75,
Bill Mazeroski’s 1960 9th inning walk off homer in game 7 against the Yanks,
Sandy Koufax beating Minnesota in ’65 in game 7 on 2 days rest 2-0,
Reggie’s 3 homer game against LA in ’78,
Jack Morris 10 inning 1-0 shut out of Atlanta in game 7 in ’91.

Every great October moment, still clear as day.

Who’s going to win the series this year?
If you told me that Curt Schilling is healthy enough to pitch the way he can when 100%, I’d pick the Red Sox to win.

I don’t think that’s the case with Schilling’s ankle.

This year the Red Sox have methodically exorcised their ghosts.

Boston beat Oakland decisively 8 of 9 times wiping away the memory of the A’s dominance of the Sox in the ’88 and ’90 playoffs.

Next, in a most improbable fashion the Sox knocked the smirk off the Bambino’s kisser with their come from behind win in this year’s ALCS.

Now, the Sox try to clean up the remainder of the family business by beating the Cardinals, a franchise that beat Boston in the ’46 and ’67 series in heartbreaking fashion.

I don’t see it happening.

Thanks to Alfonso Soriano’s homer, the American league won the All Star game in July. The win gives Boston the home field advantage with four games in Fenway Park.

All year the Sox hit much better at home than on the road.

The extra game in Fenway won’t be enough.

Key matchups:

David Ortiz versus Albert Pujols. Ortiz will have to play in the field in St.Louis, that’s not good for Boston. Pujols is the next best thing to Barry Bonds, that’s good for the Cards.

Manny Ramirez versus Scott Rolen: Manny didn’t hit a homer or drive in a run in the ALCS. Scott Rolen is a true power hitter who will light up when he sees the left field wall in Fenway.

Larry Walker versus Trot Nixon: Walker is a former batting champion and considered a potential Hall of Famer. Nixon is adept at making sliding catches in right field.

Jim Edmonds versus Johnny Damon: Edmonds catches everything in center, has a great arm, and hits with power. Damon has long hair, a weak arm, and went 3-30 before hitting 2 homers in game seven.

Jason Isringhausen versus Keith Foulke: Izzy looked strong this week even though he blew the save in game 6. This time of year, Foulke looks like his next pitch might be his last.

Julian Tavarez, Kiko Calero, and Ray King versus Mike Timlin, Alan Embree, and Bronson Arroyo. Tavarez is a weird dude, but he can dominate in the key spots. Calero and King keep the ball down. The Red Sox trio must be perfect for the Sox to win and that’s unlikely

Starting pitching: Woody Williams, Matt Morris, Jason Marquis and Jeff Suppan versus Tim Wakefield, Schilling, Pedro Martinez, and Derek Lowe: The Cards starters are programmed to pitch six innings, then it’s turned over to the relief crew. For the Sox to win, they’ll need at least seven innings from their starters before looking to the pen for help.

Defense: The Cards have gold glovers all over the infield which means something because the St. Louis staff induces plenty of grounders. The Sox are a jittery bunch with the leather.

Tony La Russa versus Terry Francona: Abner Doubleday consulted with Tony before inventing the game of baseball. Francona consults with stat guy Bill James and Pedro’s mascot before making moves.

Final analysis: The Cards play all facets of the game better than the Red Sox, yes, little ball will play a role in this series. Boston’s starting pitching might be better if Schilling is Schilling. The Cardinal pen is more reliable and their roles are clearly defined. Both teams can hit the ball, long or short. Boston will suffer without the DH in St. Louis. La Russa has been here before, he can run his game without outside distractions. Francona must answer to the Red Sox Nation and Peter Gammons after every move.

I’ll take the Cardinals in seven terrific games.


1 Anonymous { 10.23.04 at 11:04 am }

jeez,Marty,after reading your column, I’m checking in
to heartbreak hotel.

Jerry F

2 marty { 10.23.04 at 11:26 am }

Jerry you’ve had a great post season with the Olde Towne team maybe they will get it done vs the Cards. St. Louis is every bit as good as the Yankees and probably more dangerous in a seven game series. We’ll see.

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