Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Baseball Races Still Murky With 100 Games To Go

With about 100 games left in the 2006 baseball season things are no clearer now than they were when the first pitch was thrown on April 2nd.

The AL West is still a mystery.

The Angels are not playing good baseball. Perhaps the most disturbing sign for Angel fans is the lack of hustle exhibited by super utility player Chone Figgins this week.

The Angels are a team built on hustle. They play the game correctly. Not so this year.

Click below for more! The Angels can pitch. Good news: Bartolo Colon returns from the DL this week.

If Los Angeles is going to make their move over the summer they absolutely need to upgrade their offense. Injuries have sapped the power of Darin Erstad and Garret Anderson.

Something is not right with the Angels.

Injuries are playing havoc with the A’s. Rich Harden’s season is in doubt. Even if he returns later in the year, how effective will he be?

Kiko Calero has been lights out in his set up role. When will Justin Duchscherer return to help Calero? Can the A’s keep Duchscherer healthy for the rest of the season?

Where is lefty Joe Kennedy?

No matter how slow Frank Thomas may be running the bases, his home run trot is very graceful. Pure power. I expect pitchers to start pitching around the Big Hurt unless someone steps up in the five spot in the batting order.

The best news for the A’s: they win within the division.

Seattle is still an enigma. The Mariners have shown signs of life at various times this season. Trouble is every time they go on a winning streak, the A’s pop up on the schedule.

The Mariners are playing better baseball in June. Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre are even showing signs of breaking out of their season long slumps.

After ending this weekend’s series with the Angels, Seattle comes to Oakland to play the A’s for three games. If the Mariners are going to stay in the race they need to find a way to beat the A’s.

The toughest team to read is Texas. No doubt they have the hitting to win the division. Can they continue to lead the West with inconsistent starting pitching? The Rangers won’t run away from their pursuers no matter how well they hit over the summer.

The one variable remaining is how the AL West will fare in interleague play against their counterparts in the NL West.

Arizona can hit. Righthander Brandon Webb might be the toughest sinker baller in baseball right now. Unless Arizona goes completely south because of the Jason Grimsley mess, the Diamondbacks can give you trouble in a three game series.

The Dodgers are hitting the ball. Nomar Garciaparra might lead the NL in hitting. Brad Penny and Derek Lowe can dominate a game. Aaron Sele has been a pleasant surprise on the mound. The LA pen has some power arms.

Playing games in Colorado is never easy. The Rockies aren’t hitting like years past, but their pitching staff is much better. Rookie reliever Ramon Ramirez is unhittable. Brian Fuentes can close with the best in the game.

San Diego has struck gold with former Texas pitcher Chris Young. The big righty flirts with a no hitter on a regular basis. In his last start Young struck out 12 in 6 innings. The Padres can close the game with Scott Linebrink, Scott Cassidy, and Trevor Hoffman.

SF’s Jason Schmidt has rediscovered his power game. Without Barry Bonds in the lineup the Giants don’t score many runs. If Matt Cain, Noah Lowry, and Matt Morris are pitching well, the Giants are a dangerous club. Rookie lefthander Jonathan Sanchez looks like the real deal too.

In what has been a very unpredictable baseball season how fitting it would be if the winners in the West turn out to be the teams that played best against each other during interleague.


1 pachyderm { 06.12.06 at 8:11 pm }

Hey Marty,

I also can’t figure out the AL West, too. In some sense, it is a blessing since other divisions in the AL and NL counterparts can’t figure out either, which could be a theory for the Yankees taking the A’S lightly over this weekend. All the power in AL is the Central as you mentioned before, but West should be taken lightly and the East is still the East. In the NL, the Dodgers and Reds are in first place in their divisions. Well, it proves again that baseball can’t be predicted.

A 100 down and 62 to go.
Edgar Martinez, A’S Fan.

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