Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Posts from — April 2004

AL West Gets Early Wake Up Call

After winning three of four games on Tuesday night, the AL West was swept on Wednesday.

Detroit can hit and did so against Bartolo Colon who continues his disturbing pattern set last season when he would inexplicably lose games that you would think he had in the bag. It ended up costing the White Sox a shot at the division crown.

Anaheim can withstand injuries because of its depth, but with David Eckstein out, Garret Anderson on the DL, and Vladimir Guerrero hurting, they are not as scary with the bat.

Today Jarrod Washburn faces Nate Robertson in a battle of lefties. Washburn hasn’t gone past five innings yet in any start, so the bullpen better be ready. Scott Shields and Frankie Rodriguez will see some action today for sure. Robertson has a live arm, so this is a good test for the rookie.

The A’s are reliving playoff nightmares this week in NY. It will take sometime for this new group of Athletics to get their feet on the ground in Yankee Stadium.

Barry Zito was rocked in his last start and unless he has his good curveball, the Yankees will tee off on him as the Angels did. Zito likes to pitch in NY, but his stuff has been less than stellar so far.

Kevin Brown keeps the ball down and will be tough on the A’s who are hurting for middle infielders these days. Someone needs to surprise the Yanks today such as Mark Kotsay or Erubiel Durazo because you can’t put the onus on Eric Chavez and Jermaine Dye to lift this offense on a daily basis.

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April 29, 2004   No Comments

New Matchups Will Shed Some Light On The Race

The AL West gets to take a look at the intriguing AL Central this week when the Angels meet the revamped Tigers in Detroit. The Rangers get to match bats with the Royals in Kansas City.

The A’s meet the Yanks in the Bronx and Seattle sees the Orioles in Camden Yards.

Kansas City throws lefty Jeremy Affeldt against the Rangers. Affeldt, the only legit power arm on the staff, had an excellent seven innings against the Indians his last time out. The Indians don’t hit very well, Texas does.

Kenny Rogers who missed his last start with the flu will have his hands full with this team. Mike MacDougall is back in the KC bullpen and will be in action right away.

Anyway, it will be instructive to see if the Rangers can hit with Kansas City or vice versa.

Detroit has scored more runs this month than they did in two months last year or so it seems. They will need to hit to keep up with Anaheim. Nate Cornejo is righthanded, so maybe he’ll slow the Angel bats to a measley four runs in six innings.

John Lackey pitched well his last game and with a day off the Anaheim bullpen is ready and loaded, so if Detroit is to get lucky tonight they better do it before the sixth inning.

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April 27, 2004   No Comments

Has the Day of Reckoning Come? Analysis by Ed Stern

Marty- Glenn Dickey beat me to the punch. His Saturday article outlined the systemic problems the franchise has, problems which go beyond their present difficulties on the field. He discussed “three mistakes in judgment” the team made. He probably stopped there because he ran out of room.

Click below for Ed’s look at his Giants! [Read more →]

April 25, 2004   No Comments

Three Weeks Into The Story and Many Surprises

The 2004 season is three weeks old and the surprises are outweighing the predicted performances by far.

How about the NL Central where the Reds are tied with the Cubs for the lead. The Brewers knocked off the Cardinals again and they did it with pitching and timely hitting. The Pirates aren’t exactly pushovers either sweeping the Mets last weekend.

Texas may be the biggest surprise in the AL. Given up for dead after the A Rod trade, the Rangers are tied with the A’s and the Angels for the lead in the West. Texas is doing it with a young lineup and hold onto your hats: good starting pitching.

Detroit, the pathetic team that lost 119 games last year, is 1/2 game out of the lead in the AL Central. How about that? The revamped lineup scores runs, Ugueth Urbina leads a semi reliable bullpen, and Pudge Rodriguez gets my vote for most enthusiastic player in the league.

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April 25, 2004   No Comments

Batter Up April 24th

The key to winning the AL West may lie with the team that matches up best with the Central Division this season. See, the Central is loaded with left handed starting pitching. Kansas City has five lefty starters, Cleveland three, add in Chicago, Detroit, and Minnesota with two each and you get the idea.

The Western team with the strongest righthanded hitting lineup may be the Angels. Will Anaheim pound the Central enough to overcome the A’s for the division title?

Depends upon whether or not the Angels figure out what to do with starters John Lackey, Ramon Ortiz, and Jarrod Washburn. Right now I can’t see any of those three ending the season with ERA’s under 5.00.

And fans, if that continues, that’s spells trouble for Mike Scoscia’s team, no matter how well they hit the ball.

Click below for the conclusion to “Batter Up” [Read more →]

April 24, 2004   1 Comment

Athletics and Giants: Rivalry only for the fans

The local media writes about the San Francisco
Giants and the Oakland Athletics “rivalry”,
but it is more for the fans and for these
teams front offices than for the players.

By Amaury Pi-González
San Francisco [

April 23, 2004   No Comments

Daily Dish: Weekend Baseball

One thing is abundantly clear. As I noted last season after the teams in the West met for the first 19 games, there wasn’t a team that could beat the A’s over the long haul, if Oakland’s starting pitching stayed healthy.

Seems like deja vu all over again. The Angels slug the ball, but their starting pitchers put the offense in a hole too often.

This year both Seattle and Anaheim have money to spend in July, plus both teams have an abundance of excellent minor league talent to trade. After watching the A’s smoke the league during the summer with superior pitching neither team in the West can sit back and go with what they have once the peaches are on the trees.

One can never predict injuries, but barring any, the Angels and the Mariners will chase the A’s most of the summer.

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April 23, 2004   No Comments

Thirteen Games, a Season Doesn't Make, by Ed Stern

Marty; It is even more hazardous to start risking suggestions after thirteen games than it was offering predictions when spring training started. Having said that, where do the Giants stand today?
Click below for Ed’s expert breakdown on the Giants!

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April 20, 2004   No Comments

A's and Mariners Match Up Evenly

The A’s and Mariners match up very evenly. In fact, the A’s pitchers handle the Angels hitters much better than the Mariners hitters.

Also, the A’s have a tougher time hitting Seattle’s pitching staff than they do the Anaheim staff.

The only thing Anaheim has going against Oakland is a bullpen that gives the A’s fits. Also, Garret Anderson gives just about everyone on the A’s staff trouble.

Who will win the West?

The team that beats up on the rest of the league. The teams in the AL West generally end up playing each other relatively equally.

Freddy Garcia kept his composure last night and more importantly kept the ball down with something on it. Now Garcia has put together two good games this season. One against Anaheim and the other against Oakland.

Mark Redman is showing me something too. He can pitch inside and is not flustered on the mound, no matter what the situation. He is a major upgrade from Ted Lilly.

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April 20, 2004   No Comments

A'S come to Seattle

The “second round”of games early
this season between the Mariners
and the Athletics starts Monday
and ends Thursday here at Safeco
Field. The Mariners won their last
two games over Texas capturing
their first series of the season and
the M’S are getting healthier.

Scott Spiezio played for the first
time this season during the last
two games against the Rangers
handling plays at third
and driving in a couple with a
home run. Raul Ibanez came out
of a slump with a home run while
Bret Boone still hot and Ichiro
starting to get his hits.

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez
Seattle,WA. [

April 19, 2004   No Comments