Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Seattle and St. Louis Meet A's and Giants

With interleague play finally out of the way, the Mariners show up to play the A’s in Oakland while the Giants send Jason Schmidt, the National league’s best pitcher against the Cardinals.

The A’s are 28-11 at home and the Mariners are 28-11 on the road. Seattle is 5-5 in its last ten games. The key is six of those ten games were against the Padres and Seattle lost four of them, two on ninth inning meltdowns by their Sasaki-less bullpen.

Seattle is due for a slide. Gil Meche hasn’t pitched more than 65 innings in his last two seasons. I thought he was very hittable in his last start against the Angels Thursday, his pitches didn’t have the snap like they did earlier in the year. Meche has already thrown over 96 innings. How do you think he will feel in September, or in July for that matter?

Eric Chavez will find a way to take Jamie Moyer deep tonight, count on it.

Aaron Harang most likely will be gone by the end of the sixth inning, that is the bad news for the A’s. Moyer will also not finish this game and that may be the good news for the A’s. In fact, with Seattle’s bullpen overworked the key to this series may be how the A’s deal with Arthur Rhodes, Jeff Nelson, and Shigetoshi Hasegawa. Normally, this crowd gives the A’s fits, if they are not in top form due to overwork, the A’s have a distinct advantage.

Bob Melvin didn’t bring Nelson into the game to face Rondell White in the ninth inning Sunday with the bases loaded and let Rhodes face the righty instead. Not only was Nelson upset that he didn’t get the call, but lost his composure when he was brought into the game because White hit a grand slam off Rhodes to tie up the Mariners 6-6. Nelson then blew the game and the stunned Mariners lost 8-6.

I sense a little trouble in Mariner paradise.

Click below for more!Ichiro is a catalyst for Seattle’s attack. The A’s have lately found a way to keep him off the bases. Bret Boone in my opinion is the key to the Mariners, the A’s have to keep him in the park.

Over the long run the A’s can catch the Mariners because Seattle is relying on overage stars Edgar Martinez, John Olerud, and Moyer to carry them to 100 wins. It may happen, but then again it may not. Seattle was 50-31 at the half way mark last year and then faded to 42-39 in the second set of 81 games.

Ichiro wore down horribly in the second half last season who is to say that won’t happen again.

So here’s the point, The A’s may have a better chance to catch Seattle than to pass Boston and New York for the wild card.

This series the A’s throw Harang and Ted Lilly, neither gives me much confidence. Bullpens will be big this week, A’s fans better root for Bradford, Mecir, Rincon, and Foulke to get it done because it will come down to that each game.

Other than Freddy Garcia and Mark Mulder both teams will use every player on the roster in the four games. This should be an excellent series and answer some of the questions about the comparable strengths of the A’s and the Mariners.

I think the Mariners come in with their confidence shaken and the A’s can take a big step towards eventually defending their AL West title by taking three of four from Seattle.

Tonight’s game may set the tone for the series.

Matt Morris is hurting. On a normal team this would be a big loss. The Cardinals aren’t normal. They hit like crazy in a league that doesn’t have a DH. They have a player that may win the triple crown or hit .400 or possibly do both, in Albert Pujols. Everytime you turn around they bring up a new player that contributes right away. No matter how many injuries they have, you just can’t knock them out.

Four games in St. Louis will test the SF pitchers. The Giants look to Schmidt to get the ball rolling, he should come up with a decent game. The rest of the series will highlight the Giants problems, average hitting other than Barry Bonds and starters that will require a lot of bullpen help. The Cards bullpen is no day at the beach either, so these games should be exciting.

The Angels will patiently be playing the Rangers hoping that the A’s can sweep the Mariners.

Boston, New York, and Toronto get a nice week playing Tampa Bay, Baltimore, and Detroit.

The Red Sox have not hit as well on the road as in Fenway. Let’s see if the Devil Rays can hold then down. One thing is for sure, Tampa Bay will hustle and not quit no matter what the score.

The White Sox get Minnesota at home and this is the time for Chicago to keep whatever momentum they garnered during the Cubs series going. Jon Garland has been all right and he faces Joe Mays who has been hit hard this season.

Kansas City does one thing well, and that is win within the AL Central. They get the Tribe in town starting with a doubleheader tonight.

Over the years the Blue Jays have gone into inexplicable funks after winning at home, similar to the Rockies adventures on the road. Tonight Cory Lidle pitches against 2-12 Mike Maroth who isn’t that bad, let’s see if the Blue Jays crush the ball in Detroit.

The Padres are playing much better baseball and always play the Dodgers tough. After taking 4 of 6 from Seattle, I think San Diego will surprise both the Dodgers and the Giants this week.

Shawn Estes and the troubled Cubs in Philadelphia. The Phillies are hot finally and now are .001 ahead in the NL wild card. See. I told you their pitching would get them back in the race.

The BabyBacks, I mean the Diamondbacks with all their rookies, play in Colorado and face surprising Darren Oliver. Think Colorado is glad to get home after being shut out on the road by Jeff Suppan in Pittsburgh.

These games leading up to the all star break are really extraordinary.

81 games down for most teams after tonight, 81 to go.

It’s time to play hardball.


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