Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Nomar's birthday, Zito May be Best, Summer Heating Up

Nomar Garciaparra had a shot to tie the record of five homers in one day after hitting three in the morning game yesterday, I thought he would get it.

Instead he didn’t hit any in the second game and the Devil Rays struck for five in the ninth inning and erased a 4-0 Boston lead, once again proving to me that the Red Sox bull pen is a sore spot for the team and two, you never have enough runs.

The A’s won, the Giants lost, Seattle won, and believe it, the Mets won again.

Here’s today’s scoop.Barry Zito needed every pitch in his arsenal to quiet the Angel bats. With 14 wins, Zito is a serious Cy Young candidate and will win the award if Pedro slips down the stretch.

Miguel Tejada has carried the A’s all season, and should be considered for the MVP award. I realize it is a long shot, but without the solid season from Tejada this team would not be in the race.

The Angels are for real. They keep the pressure on offensively for the entire game. Tim Salmon looks very comfortable at the plate. Kevin Appier pitched his best game of the season last night. Appier usually pitches as well as the competition and rarely spits the bit against top starters. His game last night was top drawer stuff.

Tonight, Tim Hudson better learn from Zito’s experience and not miss a pitch. The Angels raked him last time out and Hudson is the type who can have poor back to back games against a team who has hit him well. This has happened to him against the Red Sox and Indians earlier in his career.

Aaron Sele always sees the A’s. Sometimes they get to him, other times they don’t. If Dave Justice (13 extra base hits all year), Eric Chavez, and Jermaine Dye don’t hit well tonight, it could be a tough game for the A’s.

The Giants are singing the blues with all their injuries. Their lack of bench strength is showing right now. When the big guys are out of the lineup it takes exceptional pitching to compensate for their absence. This team has had trouble playing good offensive ball for two years, without Kent, Sanders, and Bonds the problem is magnified. This is a rough stretch for the team.

Bonds should be DL’d and they should pull the trigger on getting an outfielder to fill in for Sanders and Shinjo.

Now the good news, Andy Benes pitches for St. Louis tonight. He can make any team look better. Kirk Reuter is capable of keeping the Giants in the game at home. The Cardinal bull pen will decide this game because Benes will be out before the sixth inning.

Who needs Kenny Rogers? Everyone I talk to in baseball questions his heart and desire. His latest episode in turning down the Reds is another example of Rogers not wanting to be on the front line. He has a comfort level in “the go nowhere” Ranger rotation and that is where he belongs. The Reds are lucky he said no.

New Red Brian Moehler goes today and the Reds will be pleasantly surprised in his game.

Now, if Shawn Estes can find the mark, the Mets will be on their way. Believe me when I say this team is playing hard and they are in the Wild Card picture. Truthfully, Estes is a mess and may never help this team. He is adios next year. Javier Vasquez has the stuff to win, but is a .500 pitcher this year. With Vladimir Guerrero out, the Met bull pen will get the job done again.

The Yankees crushed Ryan Drese last week and will do so again today. The top four in the Yankee line up are all hitting over .310 and will overpower the righty today. David Wells is due for a really good outing, also.

Seattle slipped past Texas again, what else is new. The heartless Rogers pitches tonight against the mystery man Freddy Garcia. Lou has left Garcia in games and allowed his ace to get absolutely pounded. I just feel that somehow it has effected the righty. I have a feeling that the Mariners reign in first will end this weekend.

Kyle Lohse is on fire for Minnesota. The Native American is a perfect fourth or fifth guy and will help this team once the big three are back. Jon Garland had thrown well for the ChiSox until his last game against Baltimore. Maybe this game will be a good one today.

Joe Kennedy is struggling. Fenway Park is not a good place for a lefty to have problems. Frank Castillo is not the answer for Boston, either. This looks like a game of bull pens and could go down to the last pitch in an 11- 7 or higher slugfest. The Sox are hitting and that is bad news for the Devil Rays.

Esteban Loiaza got bombed in his last start, Rodrigo Lopez looks like he is out of gas, but survives. If Loiaza has another poor game today, the Blue Jays are stuck with him.

Paul Byrd is on the move, low salary and decent stuff. Maroth is no slouch, but alas another young inconsistent pitcher.

If you are a contender today, you must have consistent pitching, Check it out. That is what separates the contenders from the pretenders. It always works that way.

I’ll see you again in the Daily Dish when I return from Cooperstown on August first.

Many things will happen over the next week, you can count on it.


1 Anonymous { 07.24.02 at 5:03 pm }

another insightful column, are the best!

You must log in to post a comment.