Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Bonds and Giants' Pitching May Be Enough by Ed Stern

Marty- After that road trip from hell, the Giants come back and sweep Atlanta. It says something about the character of the team. The heart of this club is Barry, a very strong bullpen, despite Worrell’s recent struggles, and two starters, Schmidt and Ponson, who are better than any other duo in the league. They remain ten losing games in front of the opposition with the season rapidly coming to a close. The team has problems, as do most teams at this stage of the season. Their injury list doesn’t seem to be diminishing.

Click below for more of Ed’s analysis.Durham hasn’t made an appearance altho his return from the DL was promised some time ago. The team’s trainer has recently conceded that they were putting the best face on his injury, which was and may still be more serious than originally disclosed. The addition of Young seems to lend credibility to that observation. They may simply be hoping for a return to health in time for the playoffs. It is probably time for Alou to come to grips with the possibility that the closer situation needs to be addressed. Worrell is running out of steam. It was surprising that Alou, who is not known for being patient with pitchers who are losing it, went as long as he did last night with Worrell. It was apparent with the second man he faced that he was going to run into trouble. Alou was fortunate that they didn”t lose the game in the ninth. The double play, on a hard hit ball, was not something that could have been foreseen. Worrell has done more than could reasonably have been expected of him when given the closer role early in the year. He could use a rest. The team has a closer in waiting on the staff and it isn’t Rodriguez. Nathan has given every indication that he could successfully fill that spot. He throws hard and he doesn’t self-destruct. He gets the ball over the plate. He has guts.( Alou describes it as a lower part of the anatomy.) Foppert is the latest injury victim on the DL. This is probably not a significant loss. Hermanson will pitch in his place. They are undoubtedly more comfortable with the veteran in any event and would have made this move even if Foppert was available. Young pitchers, thrown into situations where every game is an important one towards the end of the year, frequently have trouble throwing strikes. Foppert was having problems before the injury. Harden is another example. It will be interesting to see if Williams, the remaining member of the five man rotation, can pitch back to his earlier starts. He is still throwing strikes, but to a much greater extent than was the case earlier he is throwing some of those strikes over the heart of the plate and, predictably, the major league hitters he is throwing them to are hitting them over the fence. You mentioned Cruz” defense today, questioning whether he wasn”t the best defensive right fielder the Giants have had in recent memory. The answer is that he is and that he has saved more games for them this year than are likely to be recalled. He did as much to win last night’s game with his fielding as Bonds did with his unbelievable home run in the tenth. Almost without exception, everyone commenting on Bonds’ performance these days uses the term “unbelievable”. He is rapidly solidifying the impression that he may end up as the greatest player since the game began. The only player I can think off who, in his later years, approaching the forties, can possibly be compared to Bonds is Ted Williams, who hit to the very end. But even Williams couldn’t compare to Barry”s last four years. And he hasn’t finished. He may be hitting walk-away home runs when our grandchildren are watching. With respect to the playoffs, soon approaching, the Giants still are a lock to be there. It may very well be that they are more peculiarly designed for success in the playoffs than in the regular season, difficult as that may be to contemplate, given their nine and a half game lead today. In the playoffs two very strong starters, with a strong bullpen, one of the best defenses in baseball, and Barry Bonds, will be difficult to cope with. Despite Atlanta’s hitting, when they meet in the playoffs, probably in the seven game setup, the Giants should be favored, They have shown they can beat Atlanta. Their pitching gives them an advantage. Atlanta has no pitcher to match Schmidt and probably Ponzon as well. It will help Atlanta if Cox comes to the realization that if he goes toe to toe with Bonds he will lose the matchup. On the other hand, he may continue to pitch to Bonds. The Giants couldn”t ask for anything more.


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