Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

After Bonds Throws Out the Leading Run, Then Homers to Win Game, What Next ?

Marty; Before the series with Arizona started this week the thought was that one should await the outcome of the four games before drawing any conclusions respecting their significance. However, after watching the first three games, one doesn’t feel the need to await today’s result ( just FYI, the Giants swept Arizona behind an amazing day by Barry Bonds) to draw conclusions. From the beginning of the year the question was asked, why does this Giant ballclub keep on winning, why are they ten games in front of Arizona and eleven and a half ahead of LA with sixty games left to play? We received an answer, finally, this week, from an authoritative source, Curt Schilling.

Click Below for the Answer, story by Ed Stern.After losing to the Giants on Tuesday, he was asked by a reporter whether there was a sense of urgency, it still being early in the season. Schilling’s answer, “It’s late July. The urgency is, they’re better than us. They’ve outplayed us, outpitched us, outhit us and outdefended us. That’s the reason they’re nine (now ten) games up on us….We’re playing as hard as we can play. They’ve just been better than us.” We can finally put the question to rest. The Giants win because they’re better than the opposition. They are nine and two against Arizona and thirty-two and fourteen against the division. It is instructive to look at recent developments when considering the Giants’ prospects for the remainder of the year. It was only a short time ago, a matter of a few weeks, when so-called knowledgeable observers, this being one of them, was defining the Giants’ pitching rotation as ” being in a shambles”, or at least raising the question whether that wasn’t the case. Moss hadn’t had a decent performance in months, Brower was an unknown as a starter ( and then proceeded to get bombed by Arizona), Foppert was sent down so that he could find out why he didn’t seem able to throw strikes, Rueter was on the DL, the team seemed to have two reliable starters, Schmidt and Williams, with Williams a twenty-one year old and Schmidt, shortly thereafter, coming down with the semblance of an injury. This was before the All Star break. Since then, the team has won seven straight games, beating Colorado four times and obliterating Arizona in their first three games. Brower has thrown two very strong games as a starter and Moss has confounded critics, including this observer, by going up against Schilling, pitching seven innings, giving up one run and two bases on ball. He threw strikes, was seldom behind a batter. Williams, altho he didn’t get the win, didn’t do anything to disprove the contention that he was a remarkably mature pitcher,given his years and experience. The first game of the series was an extremely important game for each club. The Giants were seven games in front of Arizona at the start of the series and Arizona needed to come away with at least three games if they were to be happy with the results. They have lost all three games and have looked a thoroughly dispirited team in the process. In the first game they took a four run lead into the bottom of the sixth inning and saw the Giants come back in that inning with four runs, a lead they held onto for the remainder of the game. In the next game, it was Moss’ turn to come thru against Schilling. Last night, in the first inning, they played bush league baseball, requiring Bautista to get the equivalent of six outs before he could return to the dugout. Sitting on the third base side of the stands, and looking directly into the Arizona dugout, one saw what appeared to be a listless, discouraged bunch of ballplayers. The eigth inning was meaningful. The Giants had a 4-0 lead. Nathan was pitching. He struck out the first three batters he faced, each taking a called third strike. That is not the way a team in contention goes down. The Giants, as of this morning, are 10 games ahead of Arizona and 11 and 1/2 in front of LA. The rotation has, for the moment at least, been stabilized. In fact, as one looks at the staff, there appears there may be a problem, one which is welcomed. As one counts the possible starters, the figure adds up to six. once Rueter comes off the DL. Does Brower go back to the bullpen? Probably, altho it is a great comfort to have him waiting to start if one of the other five gets in trouble. We still don’t know if Moss’recent start is the precursor of continued effectiveness, or if Schmidt is completely healthy. You mention that in today’s world, it is crucial that a team has a strong bullpen. After Rueter’s return, the Giants show thirteen pitchers on their staff, eight of them in the bullpen. One has to be sent down. It is probably Zerbe, altho Alou thinks enough of him to start him against the D’Backs today. Every other pitcher in the bullpen appears to be a pitcher any team in contention would appreciate having on their team. This is a measure of the team’s bullpen strength. The acquisition of Herges simply added to it. However, the team could use an outfielder with major hitting ability. Bonds would appreciate a Kent-like hitter in back of him. Cruz and Aurilia, and even Santiago when he returns, don’t meet that description. There is one pitcher who might be attractive enough, to an American League team,preferably, to produce, in a trade, such a hitter. That is Rodriguez. It would be a gutsy call for Sabean to make and one doesn’t even know if there is an outfielder available in the American League who can not only hit but who can play the game as well. In the National League a player has to do both. In any event, it appears that the team is well positioned, for the rest of the year, with respect to their pitching. A word about Torrealba. He has done nothing in the time he has been called upon to fill in for Santiago to discourage the notion that he is the Giant’s catcher of the future. He made two throws last night, each of them in a key situation, stifling a possible Arizona rally, which any catcher would envy, even Santiago. One caught a runner taking too big a lead from first base, the other, an absolutely perfect throw to cut down a runner attempting to steal. All in all, it has been a great week, irrespective of what might happen today. If Arizona should lose to Zerbe, then go into Los Angeles to play the Dodgers, while the Giants take on San Diego at home, it might be kitty bar the door for Arizona, even if there are still 60 games to play.


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