Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

AL West Sweeps, NL East Tough, Too

It didn’t take long for the AL West teams to win on the road, they all won their first games on their current road trip in impressive fashion.

As I said earlier in the season, Gil Meche has top of the rotation stuff for the Mariners. Coming back from arm surgery is always iffy, and who knows how the season will play out, but Meche’s dominance of the Yankees in NY Tuesday night is a positive sign for the Mariners.

The two Japanese stars in the game excited the crowd by their presence, but did little else on the field to distinguish their night’s play.

Brett Boone, Edgar Martinez, and John Olerud continue to lead the way for Seattle. Similar to last year, they need one more legit bat in the line up, not getting one in 2002 eventually led Lou Piniella into a dispute with management and his banishment to baseball purgatory in Tampa.

The Angels crushed the Indians, the Rangers unloaded six homers on the Blue Jays and their minor league relievers, and the A’s played a solid game in beating Bartolo Colon and Chicago 3-2.

More baseball below:

Mark Mulder needs to duplicate Barry Zito’s CY Young performance tonight if he is going to win the game because the A’s hitting woes are becoming more glaring each day. Hitting goes in cycles and the A’s must get some production out of the three and four spots in the order pretty soon before Erubiel Durazo and Scott Hatteberg cool off. The A’s are very vulnerable to lefthanded pitchers with Miguel Tejada hitting .150.

Mark Buehrle can spin his curves on the lefties and it will take a team effort on Oakland’s part to beat him. Last night the A’s got great relief pitching, timely hitting and fielding, and a fabulous start from Zito to win the game.

It looks like the A’s will hit any righty in the league which is good news because there are more righties than lefties down the road.

This weekend the A’s will face three starters in NY who have all lost their last starts (Wells, Weaver, and Clemens). If the A’s get what they expect from Ted Lilly, Tim Hudson, and Barry Zito they will win the weekend series, in fact they could sweep the Yankees if they don’t have to go into the bull pen until the eighth inning.

It is becoming obvious that the A’s only have confidence in Bradford, Rincon, and Foulke in the late innings. So, any game where the starter goes less than seven innings creates tough decisions for Ken Macha.

Now, the Angels get to feast on the Indians. Jarrod Washburn kicked it into gear around May last season, so he is due for a good game. Cleveland does look better against lefties, but that still isn’t saying much.

Jamie Moyer in Yankee Stadium, I’m sure Bob Melvin is nervous every time Moyer goes to the hill, Moyer must be perfect to survive, he is one tough pitcher. Can the Yankees stop the skid before Oakland hits town? If Andy Pettitte can bring them in tonight with help from Mariano Rivera, then they can take the series behind Mike Mussina Thursday.

Jason Giambi hitting .204, yet it doesn’t seem to matter. Derek Jeter appears very happy when being interviewed about his possible return in two weeks, his current mood is a good sign for NY.

The Rangers score 16 runs and win by 5, the score tells you all you need to know about the Blue Jays too. Ryan Drese and Tanyon Sturtze tonight in SkyDome, watch out.

The Cubs looked like they had more spring in their step than the Giants last night. Hard to understand how Kirk Reuter will make it through the season if he continues to throw 117 pitches in his starts. Dusty Baker matched Reuter up with the opposition’s fourth or fifth starters last season on a regular basis, I don’t think Felipe Alou has figured how to handle Reuter just yet.

Joe Nathan is very valuable on this team since the Giants go to the bull pen all the time. Nathan hasn’t given up an earned run this season and it’s not a fluke, he’s good.

Mike Hampton and Wade Miller in Houston. Miller was awful in his last start in NY and Hampton is a Leo Mazzone project, this one will be decided by the bull pens which makes it anyone’s game.

Can Pedro Astacio stop the Mets free fall? The Cards offense is light years ahead of the Mets so don’t count on it tonight. Woody Williams goes seven and does need relief help often, but the Mets just don’t hit.

Phillies and Dodgers in a good series in LA. Vincente Padilla threw well against the Giants last Friday night even though he didn’t win. Odalis Perez has yet to throw that big game this season for LA. Phils hit better than the Dodgers and Kevin Brown ain’t on the hill, so maybe it’s the Phillies night.

The Marlins knocked off Arizona last night and tonight face Miguel Batista whose success varies from start to start. Carl Pavano pitched in the 20 inning game Sunday, so I guess he’s ready tonight, but this isn’t 1955 when that sort of pitching pattern was typical. Bears watching to see how sharp Pavano is in this game.

Montreal turns to Livan Hernandez against the Brewers. Isn’t this a team Livan can beat? Ben Sheets is very good and he is at home. By the way, another good start for Matt Kinney last night for Milwaukee, perhaps the surprise of the staff so far.

One of the truly genuine baseball players comes back tonight, Jason Schmidt, after his mother’s death last week. I, for one, hope he is OK and has a good game tonight.

If the AL playoffs started today it would be KC, Boston, NY, and Seattle, think that will change?

See you at the park.


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