Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A's First Game Loss Has Series Up In The Air

Even though it was only one game, the A’s first game loss has bigger implications.

Detroit got away with its fourth starter against the A’s number one guy, Barry Zito.

Now Detroit has Justin Verlander, Kenny Rogers, and Jeremy Bonderman lined up in the next three games with two of those games at Comerica.

Click below for more!The A’s have struggled against pitchers who know how to find the strike zone. A big inning for Oakland consists of two hits and three walks which results in three runs.

The next three games feature pitchers who know how to throw strikes with Verlander and Bonderman capable of bringing the fastball in the 95 mph plus range more often than not.

So what happened last night.

D’Angelo Jimenez made an error at second base on a throw he had no business making. Eric Chavez missed a routine ground ball, even though it was ruled a hit with the bases loaded.

The A’s had enough chances against Nate Robertson to win the game. Robertson made some incredible pitches when he had to, but he was beatable last night. The A’s just didn’t hit the ball squarely: net result four double play rally killers.

If the A’s see Robertson again in game five in Detroit they will again have a great chance to beat him.

Bigger dilemma what happened to Zito. Once again as the trouble started he couldn’t stop the bleeding. Zito says he nit picked after Inge’s home run. He said the same thing when Texas kayoed him early in the game in August. He has to learn to continue to pitch in the strike zone even though he gives up a run.

Zito is on his game 85% of the time that is why he will get a big contract. Zito loves to pitch against the AL West, well this isn’t the West, so he better get his game together in his next start. I trust he will.

Tonight Esteban Loaiza goes against Verlander. Again the issue is will the A’s score enough runs to offset the four the Tigers will score tonight.

Loaiza has very good numbers against Detroit, it’s just that the Tigers are very comfortable at the plate right now and Loaiza is not a big fastball pitcher so they will dig in once again.

Not until Rich Harden in game three and Dan Haren in game four will the A’s have a pitcher on the mound who can knock the bat out of the Tiger’s hands.

So even if the A’s fall tonight, they have a good chance to compete and win games three and four in Detroit solely based on their own strong starting pitching.

The A’s must hit much better to win the series. Offense was the question coming in and still is.

The Tiger defense is no day at the beach. Carlos Guillen hurts them in the field no matter where they try to hide him. If the A’s win tonight look for a key defensive play that the Tigers don’t make to be the turning point of the game, and I’ll bet Guillen is part of it.

Tonight’s scenario: Verlander gives up a home run or two, his pitch count is up, Oakland has some success against the secondary pitchers in the Detroit bull pen and the score will be:

A’s 5 Tigers 4 in game two.

That’s the way postseason baseball usually works out: back and forth games, very unpredictable. Just when you think you have the right guy on the mound something happens. Heck even the Tigers 31 game winner Denny McLain got rocked in his first start in the world series in 1968 and we all know how that series turned out.



1 Anonymous { 10.11.06 at 2:55 pm }


It was great to be at the Coliseum last night despite the result on the field. I moved to Oakland in ’99 as a casual fan with no attachment to a particular team; we could see the Coliseum scoreboard from the bedroom window of our downtown apartment, we were ecstatic to be living in a town with a big-league ballclub and we quickly became serious A’s fans. I have a drawer full of ALCS and World Series games that were never played and I’d been waiting for last night for 6 years.

The mid-October sunshine filling the postcard-blue sky, the bunting, attending a game in which the American League pennant was contested…it was a beautiful night for baseball in Oakland. I only wish Bill King and Roy Steele had been there.

We’ll be out there again tonight, beginning our evening, as always, with Right Off the Bat. I agree with Rick Kaplan’s piece the other day and will say that if the A’s win tonight Milton Bradley will be heavily involved. Go A’s!


2 Anonymous { 10.11.06 at 2:57 pm }

Dear Marty

If tha A’s win tonight, I predict it will go the full seven games. If they lose, the Tigers will win in 5. The Tigers may have the better pitching.

Jerry Feitelberg

3 Anonymous { 10.12.06 at 12:21 am }

Tigers are too comfortable in the batters box right now. They are all right on top of the plate. Someone needs to deliver them some chin music to back them off. Loaiza’s stuff was pretty good tonight. Just had some bad luck in that 4th inning and got burnt a few times with the Chavez misplay, but also by some hard hit balls that stem from tigers crowding the plate. Makes the soft speed stuff away even more hittable. Someone needs to back them off. Hopefully, it’s Harden.
-Mike E.

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:13 pm }

5 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:50 pm }

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