Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Pettitte Steps Up Once Again For Yankees

Andy Pettitte came within one out of his first world series shutout, as the Yankees evened the series 1-1 heading into game three Tuesday night.

Game three is always a key in any playoff series and 2003 is no exception. With Mike Mussina going against Josh Beckett, it could be a preview to a game seven matchup as well if the teams keep trading wins.

Click Below for other thoughts.

As I said Sunday, Hideki Matsui has turned into the toughest out on the Yankees. Known as a big game player in Japan, it has taken Matsui the entire season to show just how tough a ballplayer he is.

Matsui’s three run homer broke open game two early and allowed Pettitte to coast through his start. Matsui will be an offensive force next season.

Game three is more critical to Miami than to NY because the Marlins young ace, Josh Beckett is on the hill. The Marlins cannot afford to lose this one since Carl Pavano and Brad Penny are next up for the Fish.

Game six? I’m not sure we’ll see Mark Redman again, perhaps Dontrelle Willis or Rick Helling will be brought out and that my friends ain’t good.

So, the Marlins need to win Beckett’s game, get lucky one more time and hold on and give Beckett a shot in game seven.

Sounds like the Cubs script all over again and you know what happened in that series.

The Daily Dish will take a break until the weekend at the earliest. Your comments during the week are welcome of course.

Still rooting for the Marlins, but now they have to come through at home.

Should be some week of baseball.

Good luck.


1 marty { 10.19.03 at 11:32 pm }

Here’s a comment I received about the A’s whose author shall remain anonymous, but much food for thought.

“However, in spite of another exciting, gutsy second half by the A’s which lead them to the division title, it is painful (again as usual) to reflect on a truly depressing, pathetic post-season collapse. How can this happen again? You know, I am a fairly regular contributor to Robert Buan’s post-game show and wanted to chip in with my thoughts after they had clinched. What I meant to impart to him and the audience was that this collection of A’s was simply not as talented nor productive as the previous two seasons’ teams in particular. I wanted to say that we as fans should be content with a division championship.

After all, not only did we lose Mulder (which, it could be argued, still cost us the first round since Zito/Hudson had to pitch on three days instead of…..), we had other injuries/ailments too. I mean Guillen played with a broken hammate, Hudson had been hit in the hand with a line drive, Hernandez had two bruised elbows, and Lilly stepped up–in spite of injury–and won the most important game of the year against Seattle. I felt with our poor post-season profile, combined with a relatively bad offense, and a beaten up squad; let’s just be happy with what we accomplished. I, at least, wanted to promise myself that. But dammit, you win an amazing Game 1, take Game 2 easily, and you can’t help but get excited. In the end, though, they did it to me again. What is with those guys!!!!

What is your opinion of their collapse? I heard your assessment of them on KNBR. You called it the “Curse of the Giambino”. You really start to wonder, don’t you?

As harsh a word as “chokers” is, unfortunately, it is accurate. How can you be as mindless as to not touch home plate–especially when the ball was thrown away? Why did Tejada not just run out that throw to home? He would have clearly been safe. Why is Tejada such a miserable post season player? Not to mention, their other so-called star, Eric Chavez? IF you want my opinion, I think they both are far too anxious at the plate (maybe even in the field too). If you watched Miguel closely, he had no chance. He was constantly pulling his head off the ball on nearly every swing. Last year, he kept “winding up” during each swing which ruined his timing. It has become mental. He was clearly a defeated player and basically a liability to the team–particularly offensively.

Now what about Chavez? Could somebody please tell him it is okay to work a count a bit? How many times did he corkscrew himself into the ground on an inside cutter/fastball? I think he popped out about 15 times in that series. He, too, got himself out. Its as though he was afraid to get deep into a count because he simply is not polished enough against the better pitching to feel confident in his chances.

After the A’s lost last year to Minnesota, they established themselves as big game chokers. This label was even debatebly accurate after 2001. To have done it again for a fourth straight season was, as Mark Mulder claimed, “almost comical”. This really sucks. They have earned this miserable legacy for sure. What’s worse is that after last year’s loss to Minnesota, I predicted the same dismal outcome this year. This team had the pitching, enough star quality, and a regular season confidence to get them there again. The only, problem is: they simply cannot finish.

My solution is far more strategic than Billy Beane’s soft “Moneyball” stance of: “The job is getting them into the playoffs, the rest is —-ing luck!!” In actuality, Beane should be obsessed with the post-season. Unless they tweak the everyday line-up, my prediction for next season is going to be a repeat. They might have one of the greatest starting fives in baseball history next year. Combined with what could be a solid bullpen and enough line-up production, and they could very well win a sliding American League West again. The problem is: what happens again in the post-season?

With Tejada a free agent, everyone thinks he is gone. With our miserly ownership, that could very well be the case. However, Schott’s recent, surprisingly passionate attitude towards anything but his profit margin or expenses, leads me to believe he might take winning more seriously. He has stated now, more than once, that he will make an offer. However, I would not sign Tejada and keep Chavez too. The two are simply too poor in the post season to keep both. That is what I mean by having an obsession with the post season. I could not stand another October with those two in the middle of our line-up. It sounds radical, but to be legit WS contenders, Chavez and Tejada cannot be on this team next year.

What I would do is try to re-sign Tejada. This is not easy given the financial constraints. Clearly, players need to be moved in order to create room. However, letting Tejada go is not only detrimental to the team’s mindset, but it means you get nothing back other than another silly draft choice. Therefore, I would offer Eric Chavez in a trade. He’s going to be a free agent after next season anyways. The likelihood of keeping them both is minimal. Also, I think Tejada is more passionate and has fulfilled his potential more than Eric. Chavez’s numbers were actually a notch below his two previous season’s. He also has regressed against lefties.

The only way I would trade Chavez is if another team was willing to take Jermaine Dye in the deal. This would trim about 15 million in payroll making it financially prudent to keep Tejada as well as another free agent or two (one of them being Jose Guillen or Keith Foulke). Also, instead of getting that lame draft pick they could get another strong outfield bat and/or perhaps an infielder. Finally, they could move Bobby Crosby to third.

For instance, what about Chavez/Dye to San Diego (Chavez’s hometown) for Brian Giles or Phil Nevin/Sean Burroughs? Or even Crosby/Chave/Dye for the two plus another reliever or minor leaguer. How about Chavez/Dye/Lilly/Ellis for Shawn Green (DogGerms pay 1/2 his contract) and a three way to get Jose Vidro/Ron Calloway? If you factored in Terrence Long going to the Mets with Rick Peterson, we could be looking at an even more manageable payroll. You probably have to give up a bit more in terms of manpower but would benefit financially since the other team would pick up the big salaries.

In the end, though, this team needs a more confident everyday lineup in order to keep us from calling them the C-word again. Combined with some payroll manipiulations, it can be done. The thinking though needs to be a bit more strategic with respects to the post-season. That means shedding the big game underachievers but still maintaining enough of the core (pitching) which has made this team succesful. Is this too hard core? Or what do you think? Obviously, I have put a lot of thought into this. But dammit, I’m frustrated.”

2 Ed { 10.20.03 at 12:33 pm }

Marty- I think it will be Willis in the sixth game if it goes that far. He presents the possibility, at least, of an outstanding game. The others are losers from the moment they step out on the mound. Willis looked good in his relief role which came at a meaningful moment. Marlins need to take two of the games at home and hope they can get another split in NY. Long shot but it would be a great story. Steinbrenner would have fits. Have a great time in Florida and root them home.

3 Ed { 10.20.03 at 4:43 pm }

Clearly, a knowledgable anaysis of the A’s. I am in no position to take issue with someone who has been following the club. All I know about the A’s is the result of casual reading from the sports pages. However, some general comments which don’t necessarily require much insight into the A’s problems. Conjecturing about possible trades always seems to involve transactions which favor the team one is interested in helping, without much consideration of whether the other teams involved would be even vaguely interested in making such a trade. As for Tejada and Chavez’ difficulties in post season play, they aren’t very dissimilar to the troubles Soriano is having. The problems facing Soriano, for instance, result from a number of factors. In the postseason teams who are possible opponents are much better scouted the month before the playoffs than they are in the regular season. Opponents are prepared to pitch to a Soriano after watching him struggle against one of the relatively few strong pitchers he faces during that final month. Soriano, for instance, takes far more strikes than balls in his appearances. He can get away with that when he is facing the run of the mill pitching he sees for the most part during the regular year. When he gets to the post season he is up against much better pitching and his weaknesses have been well documented by then. When Soriano gets to 0 and 2, after fouling off a few pitches, he is easy pickings for a wily thrower. Check the records and see how many hits he gets after going 0 and 2. An undisciplined hitter can get away with it, as Soriano does consistently, throughout the year., When he gets to the playoffs it’s a different story. I have the feeling Tejada and particularly Chavez are similarly situated. They aren’t the only ones.

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

5 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

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