Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Posts from — June 2003

When the rubber meets the road: Mariners at Oakland

Attention A’s fans.

If the A’s comeback in the

second part of the season

and win the West by 2

games over the Mariners

please invite the Padres

to your party.

By Amaury Pi-González [

June 30, 2003   No Comments

Seattle and St. Louis Meet A's and Giants

With interleague play finally out of the way, the Mariners show up to play the A’s in Oakland while the Giants send Jason Schmidt, the National league’s best pitcher against the Cardinals.

The A’s are 28-11 at home and the Mariners are 28-11 on the road. Seattle is 5-5 in its last ten games. The key is six of those ten games were against the Padres and Seattle lost four of them, two on ninth inning meltdowns by their Sasaki-less bullpen.

Seattle is due for a slide. Gil Meche hasn’t pitched more than 65 innings in his last two seasons. I thought he was very hittable in his last start against the Angels Thursday, his pitches didn’t have the snap like they did earlier in the year. Meche has already thrown over 96 innings. How do you think he will feel in September, or in July for that matter?

Eric Chavez will find a way to take Jamie Moyer deep tonight, count on it.

Aaron Harang most likely will be gone by the end of the sixth inning, that is the bad news for the A’s. Moyer will also not finish this game and that may be the good news for the A’s. In fact, with Seattle’s bullpen overworked the key to this series may be how the A’s deal with Arthur Rhodes, Jeff Nelson, and Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Normally, this crowd gives the A’s fits, if they are not in top form due to overwork, the A’s have a distinct advantage.

Bob Melvin didn’t bring Nelson into the game to face Rondell White in the ninth inning Sunday with the bases loaded and let Rhodes face the righty instead. Not only was Nelson upset that he didn’t get the call, but lost his composure when he was brought into the game because White hit a grand slam off Rhodes to tie up the Mariners 6-6. Nelson then blew the game and the stunned Mariners lost 8-6.

I sense a little trouble in Mariner paradise.

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June 30, 2003   No Comments

Sabean's Headaches, What the Doctor Prescribes by Ed Stern

Marty: Out of state this past week and therefore no opportunity to see any of the interesting games. Pieced together what happened by reading the box scores. It is now 80 games into the season and time to take a close look at beginning of the season thoughts respecting Giants’ prospects and how they have panned out. [Read more →]

June 30, 2003   No Comments

Fixing the A's

Don’t be fooled by the recent struggles of Chad Bradford and Ricardo Rincon into thinking the A’s primary need is bullpen help. They could use another arm to replace Mike Neu (who can’t really be effective until he adds a pitch to go with his awesome changeup), but otherwise their pitching is fine. Bradford had a bad run of games against Texas, but look at his numbers. He’s been steady for three seasons now. He’ll be fine. Mecir is also doing fine — as long as he can stay healthy.

What the A’s really need is a right-handed bat who can play outfield or second base. I think Rondell White would be a good addition with a salary that’s not too out of hand. Plus, the A’s might be able to get the Padres to pay his salary if they throw in a good prospect (like Justin Duchscherer).

Don’t count the A’s out of the Carlos Beltran Chase either. The Royals need a second baseman who can play in the big leagues now, and Esteban German might be the guy.

As for bullpen help, the A’s ought to give Jeremy Fikac another shot. He’s had great numbers at AAA since they sent him down. [Read more →]

June 29, 2003   No Comments

Sunday Morning Muse

Why is baseball such a great unpredictable game?

Barry Zito has a 6-0 lead in the fourth and the A’s lose the game 8-7 in ten scintillating innings.

The Red Sox score 25 runs Friday night, have a 9-2 lead in the eighth inning against the same Marlins the next day, then proceed to lose 10-9 in regulation.

The Yankees have the Mets down 9-0 in the sixth inning of game two (they already won game one 7-1 behind The Rocket) and barely hang on winning 9-8 with Mariano Rivera closing the game.

The Phillies who are charging in the East play 17 innings Friday finally winning 4-2 with three runs in the 17th, then get out to a 7-0 lead after four on Saturday, and barely hang on winning 8-5 over the Orioles.

The White Sox (yes, I told you to watch them) are down 6-4 to the Cubs in the eighth and rally to win 7-6.

The Diamondbacks, given up for dead in May, are within 2 games of LA for the Wild card in the NL.

The Padres (27-55), behind Tim Hudson clone Jake Peavy, knock off the Mariners (52-27) for the third time in four interleague games.

You never know what to expect and think about it, it’s just June 29th, we still have over half the season to play.

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June 29, 2003   No Comments

Inside the Giants 6-0 Win Over The A's

The Giants beat the A’s 6-0 and when you see the score you will probably think the Giants had the game all the way.

Ted Lilly did just enough to lose the game, but he had his moments, let me explain.

Lilly is still a very young starting pitcher in terms of his major league experience. His plan Friday night was to go away from the big hitters, trying to keep them in the park.

Jose Cruz, Jr. homered for the Giants first run on a pitch low and on the outside of the plate. Chalk one up for Cruz.

Then the fun started for the A’s lefty. With a runner on first, the first base umpire called a delayed balk on Lilly for not stopping long enough (he should have counted one Mississippi) in his delivery on a pitch that Barry Bonds lifted harmlessly to centerfield.

Bonds returned to the plate, where Lilly who seemed unnerved by the call, walked Bonds. Next Santiago flied to medium deep center field. Both Grissom and Bonds tagged, Byrnes without much of a chance threw to third to try to cut Grissom down. Too late, Grissom slid around Chavez and Bonds took second on the throw.

Now, here’s where Lilly learned a valuable lesson which may help him later on this season. After working very hard and staying with breaking stuff, Lilly struck out Andres Galarraga. Now, with Pedro Feliz at the plate, a batter who is notorious for chasing pitches out of the strike zone, Lilly threw a weak breaking ball over the plate on the first pitch, boom! single two runs scored and the Giants were on their way home with a 3-0 lead.

Why Lilly didn’t bounce one to Feliz only he can answer, but his mistake effectively ended his night on the mound.

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June 28, 2003   No Comments

Last Weekend Of Interleague Play

The last weekend of interleague play comes at the right time. The pitchers in baseball are getting worn down, the runs are coming in bunches and it is time to concentrate on the games within ones own division.

July first is right around the corner, The Marlins get a shot at the Braves next week, the A’s try to whittle the Seattle lead, and the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays will be fighting it out to see if one will be left standing in the wild card race come October first.

Randy Wolf showed he is for real with a sterling performance over the righty lineup of Atlanta Thursday night. Jarrod Washburn showed he better throw something other than hard stuff as Seattle mashed him again. Finally, before we go on, Gil Meche looked very hittable last night in the same game, even though his teammates bailed him out with ten runs.

A’s-Giants in Pac Bell tonight, click below for more. [Read more →]

June 27, 2003   No Comments

They call David Eckstein “Just Enough” because when he throws the ball to first base he has just enough on the throw to get the runner. Eckstein’s arm is not one of the best in the big leagues, but he gets the job done.

Mired in an awful slump, the diminutive leadoff hitter has been dropped to the number nine spot in the Angel’s batting order. Last night he came up big with four hits, a game icing homer in the eighth off of Matt White, and a key defensive play in the sixth with Anaheim ahead 4-3. Eckstein fielded a sharp ground ball off the bat of Ichiro and threw out Mark McLemore at the plate (rundown ensued), then his teammates completed an unlikely double play by getting Dan Wilson out at second after he rounded the bag too far. End of rally, end of Mariners for the night.

A great night’s work for Eckstein who is the catylyst for this Angel offense. Hitting .240, many blamed the Anaheim slump on Eckstein.

At least last night he got the team rolling. Today it’s home run heaven as Jarrod Washburn who has gotten rocked by the long ball in his last three starts goes against Gil Meche. Meche, who was robbed of his 10th victory last week when Jeff Nelson melted down against the Padres, will face the A’s next Tuesday or so in Oakland probably against Tim Hudson, great matchup.

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June 26, 2003   No Comments

Is Wee Willie Keeler Next Up for the Dodgers?

If you ever wondered what it would be like to watch a game between two teams from the deadball era of baseball, just tune into tonight’s game between the Giants and the Dodgers.

Granted Jason Schmidt is the hottest pitcher in the National league right now, and deserveedly so, but this Dodgers team poses no threat at the plate. Come to think of it, with Edgardo Alfonzo in a deep freeze for the Giants, very few of the Giant batters worry the opposition (don’t forget the greatest player of all time Barry Bonds). Marquis Grissom continued punishing lefthanders with a game winning homer off southpaw Odalis Perez Tuesday night. Grissom must be licking his chops knowing he gets to face Ted Lilly, Barry Zito, and Mark Mulder this week in the big Phone Booth, known as Pac Bell Park.

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June 25, 2003   No Comments

Dodgers Hitting Lacking, A's, Giants Again Find A Way To Win

Watching the Dodgers play the Giants Monday night it became obvious to me that the Giants sputtering offense is light years beyond what the Dodgers batsmen can generate.

The Giants have one constant going for them…Barry Bonds who is a threat to produce a game winning event every time he steps into the batters box.

Bonds drew a leadoff walk from Eric Gagne in the 11th inning, then stole second base (his 500th lifetime steal), then rode home on the Giants other legitimate hitter’s (Benito Santiago) single to win the game.

In the dugout after Bonds scored the run, Gagne kicked the water bucket, threw his glove violently against the railing, then stormed away into the runway leading to the clubhouse. One of the great childish temper tantrums of all time.

The Dodgers don’t have much to offer at the plate. I don’t care how much pitching they have, they don’t have the offensive tools to make this pitching stand up over the course of 162 games. They don’t have an offense based on speed like the Dodgers of the 60’s had, they don’t have legit power threats in the lineup, they just don’t have very good offensive players, save for Paul Lo Duca who puts the ball in play with some authority. Shawn Green is a fine man, but cannot carry this team alone.

LA’s pitching keeps them in the game, but its offense needs a transfusion big time.

Scott Hatteberg delivered once again with men on base for the A’s against the Rangers. Hatteberg is shocked when he doesn’t put the bat on the ball, he delivered with his team down by one in the ninth with the bags loaded after Joe Hardy (Eric Byrnes) struck out looking for out number one.

Teams are coming in hard on Byrnes and he must adjust, he took three strikes well on the inside part of the plate and did not look good in his last at bat. You know baseball is a game of adjustments, well Byrnes better adjust to the inside fastball pronto.

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June 24, 2003   No Comments