Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Boston Grinding Seattle, Hernandez Slams Toronto

It’s starting to look like 2002 for the Seattle Mariners. Last year the Mariners simply ran out of fuel during the dog days of August and faded behind the A’s and the Angels.

As I said three months ago, Seattle is a catchable team. They play great defense, have decent starting pitching, and a fairly nice bullpen.

So what’s wrong?

The core of the team is made up of aging players and that isn’t a good formula for summer success.

Ken Macha told me last year on August first that the A’s, Red Sox, and the Mariners would battle it out for the playoffs, and it was time to see if the youth of the A’s would carry them past the other two teams during the summer push.

It did and the Mariners and the Sox were left at home last fall watching the playoffs on television.

Deja vu all over again in 2003, except the Red Sox made significant improvements to their team which should carry them past the Mariners and into the playoffs.

Bret Boone, Edgar Martinez, and John Olerud are the 3-4-5 hitters for Seattle. Ichiro hits .333 with a high on base percentage. The big hitters are wearing down and there is no one there to pick up the slack.

Dan Wilson, Randy Winn, and Mike Cameron are complimentary players, but if the big guns can’t carry you, there is trouble in River City.

With 32 games to go, Seattle will have to pick up the slack immeasurably to beat Oakland and Boston.

Today, Pedro, coming back from his sore throat and fever, tries to complete the sweep against Seattle and keep the Sox hot at home.

Gil Meche, another good/bad pitcher tries to figure out where he stands today, but without more offense the Mariners are hurting right now.

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Ramon Hernandez hit a major homer on Tuesday night giving the A’s the win over Boston. I compared it to Terrence Long’s catch in Fenway last year which propelled the A’s to a winning road trip in Boston and New York.

I think Hernandez’ homer this year did the same thing.

Yesterday, Hernandez’ first inning slam got the A’s rolling and they never looked back.

Tim Hudson is on pace to snatch the Cy Young from Roy Halladay and Esteban Loiaza. Hudson, who reminds me more and more of Ron Guidry every day, can duplicate what Guidry did in 1978 for the Yankees.

Guidry won all his starts but one from August 25th thru the playoff game with Boston to carry the Yankees to the division title. Guidry, built like Hudson, ended the season 25-3 winning big games down the stretch in dominating fashion.

Hudson is one-two in the league in almost all the important categories except wins, and those are out of his control, relying on a bull pen to save his games.

Without Luis Arroyo’s 29 saves in 1961 Whitey Ford wouldn’t have won 25 games. Arroyo finished most of Whitey’s wins. Ford started 39 games and threw 11 complete games, a modest total in those days.

Most of Keith Foulke’s bullpen failures this season have come in Hudson games.

If Hudson wins out down the stretch and ends up 18-5 or thereabouts, he should get the award because this season he is the most dominating pitcher in the league. I’ve seen the other contenders and there is no comparison.

The ball is in Hudson’s court.

Johann Santana pitched well yesterday for the Twins, although 105 pitches in six innings would indicate he labored, not a good sign this time of year.

Kevin Appier’s elbow hurts once again, meaning he most likely won’t be much help down the stretch for KC.

Any question that Tony Pena is manager of the year in the AL?

Felipe Alou in the NL?

It proves that minorities can mange if given the chance.

Jose Contreras will pay a role in the Yankees post season. It just isn’t clear what role he will have. He can start for sure, relieve too, but his season of inactivity would worry me because there isn’t room for error once October play begins. One thing is for sure, the Yanks would like to get rid of Jeff Weaver pronto and Contreras is just the ticket to do that.

The A’s will miss Damian Moss in Oakland. Good news because he has pitched well for Baltimore and is a lefty. As I said a couple of weeks ago the A’s will be seeing righties almost exclusively the rest of the way and that gives their lefthanded batters a tremendous advantage.

The NL Wild Card is still scrambled. The Marlins need to go on a roll to get their confidence back after losing 5 of 6 in Colorado and SF.

The Cubs and St. Louis renew their century old rivalry this week in St. Louis. Will Kerry Wood show up? Will St. Louis simply out hit their rivals?

Cory Lidle an Oakland A again? That’s what the papers say can happen. If he is healthy and pitches decently today why not?

Let’s see how he throws against this hot lineup and Ted Lilly.


1 Anonymous { 08.25.03 at 1:16 pm }

If the Red Sox beast Seattle today and the A’s win they will tie for the division. Marty has been right on the mark about Seattle all year. What has suprised me is how long they took to start the slide. The A’s will win the division and play either
the White Sox or the Royals. Don’t think the twinkies will make it and that is a plus for the A’s.

Went to the Giants-Marlins game yesterday and was toast by the 2nd inning. It was hot out there with no wind blowing. Found seats in the shade but still got drained. The Giants will play the Central division champs in the playoffs and
probably face the Braves for the Chiampionship
which they should win but who knows?

Jerry F

2 Anonymous { 08.25.03 at 1:24 pm }

Any news on the A’s picking up a pitcher? Or are they waiting to see how Lidle does tonight? Just heard that Brian Anderson went to the Royals. I think like you that they need to get someone. I do not like seeing Halama start as he seems to do a much better job in long relief. While it is nice to think that Mulder could be back for the post-season, he will have not pitched for 6 or 7 weeks and will probably be rusty.

Let’s hope that Tejeda and Chavez stay as hot as they have been. It was good to see Mike Neu out there. I think he has a future with the team in the bullpen. And with Seattle losing to Boston right now, we could be tied for the division lead tonight. That would make for a nice flight home.

3 Anonymous { 08.25.03 at 1:46 pm }


I hope the papers are wrong about Lidle coming over to the A’s. Yes the A’s know him etc. but he’s a choker and is coming off the DL. I would prefer we pound him tonite and pick up either John Thompson or Pat Hentgen.

Any team we deal with is going to be asking for young pitching so I’m a little concerned about what we have to give up but with Zito shaky, Lilly inconsistant, Harden inexperienced, and Halama just bad, we need a starter to step into at least a number 3 spot in our rotation.

I think our offense is going to be enough and maybe we’ll strike lightning with a healthy Jermaine Dye hot streak down the stretch.

Reno Bill

4 Anonymous { 08.25.03 at 3:45 pm }

The Red sox did their part. They won today sweeping Seattle and are giving the A’s an
opportunity to move into a 1st place tie with Seattle.

I like Hentgen ,too but only if he has something left in his game

Jerry F

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