Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Posts from — April 2004

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Houston unveiled this year’s version of Lidge to Dotel to Wagner last night when they brought Chad Harville into his first game in Houston.

The former A’s righty will be given a chance to be the bridge to Brad Lidge who then turns the ball over to Octavio Dotel for the save.

Harville has a big league arm, and if he learns how to pitch in the majors, he will be a great pick up for Houston.

Kirk Saarloos never quite fit with Houston. If the A’s bring him along slowly as a starter in AAA, he may help the big club next year.

Tom Glavine throws seven great innings, then leaves with a stiff shoulder. The Mets bullpen turns Glavine’s 2-0 lead into a 7-2 deficit in the eighth inning. If the Mets didn’t have bad luck, they wouldn’t have any luck at all.

By the way, no word on the return date for Jose Reyes, injured Met shortstop. Whispers about him that he may be a slow healer and a softy.

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April 18, 2004   No Comments

Batter Up April 17th

Jermaine Dye is locked in. Major leaguers get their share of fastballs to hit, the good ones don’t miss their pitch. Right now Dye is not missing his pitch.

Even though he takes his walks and hustles down the line, Erubiel Durazo’s lack of RBI production is alarming. It’s a race to see if Durazo drives in a run before a Kansas City Royal’s starter wins a game.

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April 17, 2004   No Comments

First Big Weekend of the Season Coming Up

The A’s face the Angels in Anaheim, a good test for both teams.

Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, and Barry Zito against Bartolo Colon, Jarrod Washburn, and Kelvim Escobar.

Angels starters John Lackey and Ramon Ortiz, who have ERA’s over 10 are being spared this weekend.

Arthur Rhodes gets to see if he can close out the righthanded power of the Angels, while Troy Percival and company will be ready for the A’s and Jermaine Dye.

Tim Hudson got an extra days rest because he went nine against Seattle last Saturday.

Bartolo Colon hasn’t been tagged at all this season, so this is a good test to see if he can withstand the first pressurized series between these two teams.

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April 16, 2004   No Comments

A's Crush Rangers 9-4, White Sox Beat Royals 10-9

Not much was decided between the White Sox and the Royals Wednesday other than the fact that neither team has a closer that can be relied on when the game is on the line.

Jon Garland acquitted himself quite well over the first six innings of the game before losing his spot in the seventh when Benito Santiago and Carlos Beltran took him deep cutting his lead to 6-5.

For five innings Garland looked like a more than decent third starter and that’s good news for Chicago.

On the other hand, Jeremy Affeldt is nowhere near the pitcher that KC needs to win this division. Affeldt is all over the place with his curveball and can’t command his fastball either.

Both teams can hit. Beltran can be an MVP, but only if this team develops some pitching.

Now the closers. Curtis Leskanic doesn’t have the stuff to get big league hitters out on a nightly basis (Mike MacDougal is still out). Billy Koch is a disaster every time he steps on the mound. Seeing Koch give up homers to Beltran and Sweeney, the latter giving the Royals a short lived 9-8 lead in the ninth, was painful.

Cliff Politte should be given the closers role before Koch destroys another good pitching performance.

The AL Central is wide open until someone comes up with a bullpen, then watch out.

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April 14, 2004   No Comments

Angels Hammer Mariners Again

The Angels have the formula down for beating the Mariners. See how many runs Seattle can score early in the game, then let the big bats clobber the either the Seattle starter or the out of shape Mariner bullpen.

One thing I like about Vladimir Guerrero is his smile. It seems every time the slugger comes through with a big hit or scores an important run, his face lights up.

Last night Rafael Soriano continued his spring training session in the majors with another loss, his second of the year.

Scott Shields, who should be in the rotation, Francisco Rodriguez, and Troy Percival ended the game in fine fashion for Anaheim.

Tonight Freddy Garcia who pitched extremely well in his first start against the Angels goes against Ramon Ortiz, a pitcher the Angels would love to trade.

The A’s got timely hitting and a big out from Chad Harville to hang on against Texas.

What’s up with Barry Zito?

Is it focus? Arm strength? Who knows, but this pattern of his not being able to consistently make an important pitch when he needs it, is getting old.

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April 14, 2004   No Comments

Sunday Morning Thoughts

Tim Hudson is looking very good. Unbelievable, Hudson’s major league record is now 81-33.

We are talking Whitey Ford, Spud Chandler, Pedro Martinez winning percentage right now for Hudson.

This man can pitch and should be resigned this season before his contract runs out in 2005. I wouldn’t wait around.

The Mariners are struggling and can’t get the big hit or the right pitch when the game is on the line as they fell to 0-5 Saturday.

Just as Rafael Soriano showed he needs more spring training on Friday, Eddie Guardado’s debut Saturday indicated that the lefty’s velocity is not where it should be right now.

Marco Scutaro continued his magic weekend, driving in the tying run and playing major league defense in the field.

It’s too early to determine just where Scutaro will be in a month when Frank Menechino and Mark McLemore are back, but for the first week of the season, Scutaro is a major reason the A’s are 4-1.

The Angels were pounded by Texas again Saturday.

What does it mean?

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April 11, 2004   No Comments

Batter Up Column April 10th by Marty Lurie

THE SHOULDER injury to A’s second baseman Mark Ellis not only has affected the A’s infield defense but also has had a profound impact on the batting order.

A healthy Ellis would have been batting seventh behind either Eric Karros or Scott Hatteberg. Now, rookie Bobby Crosby has been moved up to the seventh spot, a place where the rookie has some pressure to drive in runs while he gets acclimated to the big leagues.

With light-hitting Damian Miller hitting behind Crosby in the eighth hole, then utility man Marco Scutaro following, the trio went 2-for-27 in the opening series against Texas.

That’s not good for an American League offense. Looks more like the end of the Brewers lineup in the NL.

Here’s the rest of my Oakland Tribune “Batter Up” column that appeared on April 10th.

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April 11, 2004   No Comments

Mariners Struggles May Continue

Seattle has been a force in the AL West over the past few years because of its excellent bullpen and stellar defense.

After watching last night’s game in Oakland, one the Mariners gave away following a dramatic four run seventh inning rally that catapulted them to a 6-4 lead, it became painfully obvious that Randy Winn is not to close to replacing Mike Cameron as a centerfielder and Rafael Soriano is nowhere near being in pitching shape for this season.

The A’s are a hungry team being carried offensively by Bobby Kielty, Eric Chavez, and Jermaine Dye.

Chad Bradford didn’t have his usual stuff last night, neither did Ricardo Rincon. Chris Hammond had a great changeup and Arthur Rhodes simply blew Seattle away for his third save.

A’s bullpen was better than Seattle’s and that turned the game when it mattered.

But the story for me was Winn and Soriano, two big parts of the Mariner puzzle.

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April 10, 2004   No Comments

I have seen then 2004 Angels and they are for real

Yes, the season is one week old, and
most teams haven’t even gone into
their fifth starters yet, but belive me
I have seen the Angels and they
are for real.

By Amaury Pi-González [

April 10, 2004   No Comments

Padre Win Christens New Home by George Devine, Jr.

Fox Sports Radio’s Bay Area Correspondent George Devine, Jr. joined over 41,000 fans for a historic evening in San Diego.

Thanks George for a terrific first hand view of the opener in San Diego.

Click below for George’s story. [

April 9, 2004   No Comments