Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Daily Dish April 19th, 2002 Time To Check The Standings

As we head into the third weekend of the season, let’s take a look at the teams right on schedule and the ones who are still looking good, but making their fans somewhat nervous.

Right on schedule :

The Red Sox couldn’t be happier with their start since half their spring training rotation is in trouble right now. Pedro works today. Who knows what he will bring to the mound? The positive is..he is pitching without pain (at least that’s what he says). Burkett is on his way back and Darren Oliver so far, is lights out. Shea Hillenbrand is hitting like an all star. Johnny Damon and Rickey Henderson are solid top of the line up guys. The offense is there.

The Yankees still have a very nice bull pen and David Wells, Mike Mussina and El Duque are looking like they will carry the staff. Have to be a little concerned about Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte’s health. Hitting will be fine, just wait.

Seattle lost Edgar Martinez, but gained in the standings. This means something. They are never out of any game. They pound the ball in the late ininngs. No one in this division is close to them.

The Mets are living up to the press clippings. Al Leiter, Shawn Estes, Jeff D’Amico and Pedro Astacio are more than enough right now. When Mo gets back, this team will continue to pull away.

Arizona and the Giants are where we thought they would be. Good pitching, quality vets, and they play the game correctly.

This next group is still looking OK and will hang around, but not without painful moments.

Cleveland, Chicago and Minnesota. Here’s the irony of the AL Central. Minnesota beats Chicago, Cleveland wallops Minnesota and Chicago nails Cleveland consistently. You figure it out. All three are doing fine and one will win the division.

Oakland has injuries. Who knows when Mark Mulder will be back? If Jermaine Dye can only DH, what happens to Scott Hatteberg, Dave Justice, and Carlos Pena. Somebody has to grab some bench. Art Howe earns his money this year and if the A’s are smart, a much deserved extension.

Atlanta, St. Louis, Houston. They all have injuries in the rotation to significant pitchers and to certain hitters.

Atlanta is showing signs that they might hit more than last year. The Cardinals aren’t clicking just yet. They have to figure out what to do with Eli Marrero, when you hit .555 you have to play somewhere. Houston’s set up guys have yet to hit their stride. This hampers Jimy Williams’ style. Wade Miller will be missed.

Next. Pleasant surpises.

The Dodgers are playing inspired baseball. Eric Gagne made them forget about Jeff Shaw quickly. If pitching holds up, this could be fun.

Pittsburgh, Montreal, and Florida. All could falter under the weight of the 162 game schedule, but so far they have shown decent starting pitching, solid bull pen work most of the time (except the Marlins), and the ability to hang with teams in their own division. That is the most positve sign for the long haul. We’ll see where they end up, but my interest is there.

Next, if they just had a little more on the field.

Toronto and Cincinnati. The Blue Jays scald the ball, but, oh doctor, that pitching will make Buck Martinez’ hair turn white. The Reds have the key ingredient of 2002 baseball..a solid bull pen. Injuries are killing them. Austin Kearns has been recalled, maybe the rookie will help. Just give them a few quality young starters and they can make trouble on a regular basis for the big boys.

Not looking OK right now, call for reenforcements.

Colorado, Texas, Anaheim, Philadelphia, and San Diego.

The Rockies are so inconsistent that they are now consistent. Texas needs to shorten their games to five innings and hope for rain. Anaheim needs to find some offense before they are 15 games behind. Philadelphia’s bull pen is blowing two games a week regularly. San Diego tries, but they just don’t have enough to stop the oppositon.

See ya’, wouldn’t wanna be ya’.

Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Baltimore, Detroit, and Milwaukee.

When any of these teams win more than they lose in a week, you have to wonder what happened. You name it and it applies to each. All of them lack power, timely hitting, starting pitching, bull pens, injuries, it’s all there.

So, as we enter weekend number three, 2002 baseball is looking like a pretty good story.

Who knows what it will look like in in week six?

That’s good.


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