Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Cubs Play Two, One Spot Left

Ernie Banks said it many times during his hall of fame career in Chicago, “It’s a beautiful day, let’s play two”, well, today the Cubs get to live out Ernie’s wish as they meet the Pirates in an old fashioned doubleheader in Wrigley Field because yesterday’s game was washed out.

Mark Prior still gets the opening game nod against Josh Fogg. Prior pitching today means he will not pitch in game one or two of the NLDS against Atlanta if the Cubs get that far.

In fact with Kerry Wood going Sunday in a game that should matter, the Cubs rotation against the Braves could open with Carlos Zambrano and Shawn Estes.

As I pointed out yesterday if a playoff game is needed on Monday with the Astros, a distinct possibility, Shawn Estes is due for that game.

For all those reasons, if Dusty Baker can get this team to the world series, he deserves manager of the century.

Houston got pounded by Milwaukee Friday night. Richie Sexson the best kept secret in the NL, hit two more homers. As I said after Sexson hit two bombs in SF a couple of weekends ago, somebody should make Milwaukee an offer they can’t refuse for him, because the Brewers will not win while Sexson is still a young man. The Brewers will try to duplicate their efforts today against lefty Ron Villone in Houston

The Red Sox are thrilled to be coming to Oakland to play the A’s. The A’s have the best home record in the majors as of today. The Red Sox hit significantly lower on the road than at home. The A’s have a method that at least has been successful in Oakland, getting Pedro Martinez’s pitch count up by the sixth inning. So, you tell me why are the Sox so happy about facing three of five in Oakland against the best pitching staff (ERA) in the league?

Click below for more!Some Yankee people feel that the Twins are due to win one against the Bombers after losing their last thirteen to NY.

The Twins have been crushing righthanded starters over their past 45 games or so , going 34-11 or thereabouts against the righties. Remember what they did to a subpar Tim Hudson last fall. Mike Mussina, a righty will open the series for NY, Roger Clemens will be in there too. The Yanks say David Wells might not see the Twins instead going with Jose Contreras in game four. If that is the case, the Yankees might be playing right into the Twins hands with only Pettitte going from the left side.

The Marlins cannot be taken lightly because they survived a very difficult run through the NL East in September. The Phillies and the Braves never let up in trying to knock Miami off and couldn’t do it. What I like about the Marlin offense is they have potentail hitters one through eight in the lineup. Juan Encarnacion can hit with power, so can Derek Lee, and Jeff Conine is having one of those revivals with the Marlins that baseball history loves.

What makes the Giants so tough? They catch the ball, they grind out tough at bats, they have the best player in the game, they don’t beat themselves with foolish mistakes either in the field or when running the bases, and they have an ace in Jason Schmidt.

The Marlins have Chad Fox for the eighth and Ugueth Urbina in the ninth, they better get lucky with either Braden Looper or Rick Helling in relief or it will be painful for the Fish.

The Marlins have speed on the bases that is why the Giants are thinking of starting lefty Kirk Rueter in Pac Bell. I think that is a huge mistake because Rueter is capable of being hit hard and why give the Marlins a chance to win one in SF? Sidney Ponson will keep the Marlins off the bases for six innings because he throws down in the strike zone and will have the Marlins beating the ball into the dirt.

Carlos Beltran drove in his 100th run last night for KC. What a player. For the sake of the league you hope the Yankees are not in his future. Wherever he goes, he is capable of hitting third and he is a legit force.

Rich Harden will be in the pen for the A’s. If he isn’t overworked there is a remote possiblity that he could start game four. If the A’s are up 2-1 would you start Tim Hudson on three days rest in Fenway against Tim Wakefield or John Burkett or go with Harden? The Red Sox probably wouldn’t think of bringing Pedro back in that scenario unless he got out of game one with under 100 pitches. So, would you rather have a rested Hudson against Pedro in game five at home or Zito on three days rest in game five if the A’s can’t close it out in four? I’d rather have a rested Hudson at home against Pedro in game five than Zito pitching on three days rest for the first time in the playoffs.

Bill Mueller leads Manny by .002 for the batting title in the AL. Vernon Wells, Ichiro, Michael Young, and Garret Anderson all have 200 hits or more this season. Alfonso Soriano, who is really hitting the ball lately, Nomar, and Aubrey Huff have a chance at 200 hits also.

In the NL, Albert Pujols, Todd Helton, and Juan Pierre are already at 200 hits, Rafael Furcal and Edgar Renteria have 193 and they are too far away to make the charmed 200 hit club, still a mark that differentiates the great hitters of all time (Wade Boggs, Ty Cobb, and Pete Rose come to mind quickly).

When Ernie said let’s play two he didn’t want to do it on back to back weekends against the Pirates who split last Friday’s twinbill in Pittsburgh.

Who knows maybe Ernie would have liked today’s scenario, he was that upbeat about baseball.

At least the games are in Wrigley today.
Believe me, Houston will be tuned in.


1 Anonymous { 09.27.03 at 12:25 pm }

Hey Marty,
Personally, I don’t want to see the A’s have to play Game 5. I think there will be too much pressure on them. We all know that the A’s can pull major choke jobs in high pressure situations. Why not Hudson in the 4th game? Harden got crushed last time he pitched in Fenway. I don’t think he could handle the pressure and start. Plus, with the short porch in left, a groundball pitcher is a better bet. And we all know that Hudson wants to redeem himself from last playoff season.

2 marty { 09.27.03 at 1:06 pm }

Sounds like your plan is what the A’s have in mind. Should be a terrific series no matter what. The A’s will be in the Red Sox bullpen every game and to me that will be the difference, but it sure would be nice to see the A’s score some runs early in the game. The A’s and the Red Sox are both different teams on the road, this series may go down to who wins in the other team’s park. Cubs have a tough road to hoe today in Wrigley, a lot of pressure for Mark Prior, you wonder how much his arm can take. Good day for baseball in Chicago.

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