Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Last Weekend Of Interleague Play

The last weekend of interleague play comes at the right time. The pitchers in baseball are getting worn down, the runs are coming in bunches and it is time to concentrate on the games within ones own division.

July first is right around the corner, The Marlins get a shot at the Braves next week, the A’s try to whittle the Seattle lead, and the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays will be fighting it out to see if one will be left standing in the wild card race come October first.

Randy Wolf showed he is for real with a sterling performance over the righty lineup of Atlanta Thursday night. Jarrod Washburn showed he better throw something other than hard stuff as Seattle mashed him again. Finally, before we go on, Gil Meche looked very hittable last night in the same game, even though his teammates bailed him out with ten runs.

A’s-Giants in Pac Bell tonight, click below for more.The local teams are evenly matched in the Giants home park. Since Pac Bell has opened very few visiting teams come in and knock the ball around the yard.

The A’s are going to need to rely on smart hitting to win this series. Giants pitchers seem to know how to keep the lefthanded batters from hitting the ball out in right field. This means you have to use the whole park to score runs. Eric Chavez, Ramon Hernandez, Erubial Durazo, and Miguel Tejada have to shoot for right center and triples alley.

A pull hitter like Scott Hatteberg has got to stay away from the temptation to pull everything down the rightfield line, it’s just a tough place for a dead pull hitter to make a living.

Ted Lilly has clashed with Rick Peterson over game time preperation according to one of my guests on Right Off The Bat, the Chronicle’s Glenn Dickey who implied that last Sunday on the show. More importantly, Lilly needs to have complete command of his breaking stuff in order to keep the hitters off balance. When he does that he is very tough to hit, giving up many harmless fly balls and some long fouls as hitters are on their front foot with their timing hopelessly messed up. Every game is an adventure with Lilly on the mound, I expect tonight will be more of the same.

The A’s come back from Texas rejuvenated at the plate. It’s like going to a spa for a break and then returning home for work. There is an initial high, but then it’s back to the same old routine.

The A’s aren’t going to see a pitching staff as sorry as the Rangers until Tampa Bay shows up in ten days, they will have to grind it out at the plate against teams with bullpens and starters that are expected to be around after the sixth inning as opposed to the Texas pitchers who get ready for a shower around the third inning.

The Giants will unveil Pedro Feliz as their thirdbaseman this weekend. How can they not? The wild swinging Feliz hit three homers off Oakland last weekend and for a Giants team which doesn’t score many runs, they need every hitter they can find. After watching the Giants play the Dodgers, one would think the A’s are a good bet to win two of three this weeeknd, simply because the Giants just have too many dead spots in their order.

Don’t let Barry Bonds beat you, keep the bases as free as possible ahead of the big slugger, don’t walk anyone needlessly, and pray the bullpen has it together, especially workhorse Chad Bradford, and there you have the A’s recipe for pitching success this weeknd.

With Barry Zito and Mark Mulder matched up against Kirk Reuter and possibly Jason Schmidt on Saturday and Sunday, there should be a playoff atmosphere at the old ball park. It is truly a great matchup, anyone can win.

Is Jose Lima for real? The Royals hope so, the independent league graduate pitched his third fine game in a row as KC held onto first place place with a win over Cleveland.

The Cards travel on the interstate to KC for the weekend to face winless Darrell May and company tonight. Garrett Stephenson is another of those pitchers who is so inconsistent that he becomes a mystery everytime he takes the mound. The Cardinal offense is not a mystery however, Bo Hart is leading off hitting .550, Tino Martinez is raking, and then the hot hitters get into the act. This looks like a tough weeknd for the Royals, any way you slice it.

Seattle lost two of three last weekend in San Diego, tonight Joel Pineiro faces Mark Eaton who is capable of pitching a nice game. The Mariners rested reliever Jeff Nelson as much as possible this week, so he should be ready tonight.

David Wells loves to pitch in Yankee Stadium and faces Jae Soe and the Mets. Dan Miceli passed his first set up test working out of an eighth inning jam yesterday. Lou Piniella went nuts when Ben Grieve took a third strike to end the game with the tying run on third base. His beef was that Grieve didn’t argue the call when the ump punched Ben out on what Ben thought was high pitch. Piniella and Grieve argued so much in the dugout after the game, you would have thought Billy Martin was back managing. Grieve will have a new home shortly if someone will take part of his contract.

Too bad the Red Sox don’t get to see Dontrelle Willis this weeeknd, this kid is Vida Blue all over again. Instead former Boston phenom, Carl Pavano who was traded to Montreal for Pedro Martinez returns to Fenway to start tonight’s game. Boston is smoking at home with Kevin Millar, Jason Varitek, Trot Nixon and Nomar doing the damage.

Toronto got Eric Hinske back which is further bad news for righties who face the Blue Jays. How about Toronto’s catching with A’s rejects Tom Wilson and Greg Myers? Wilson is hitting .324 and Myers, a defensive liability around .350. Unbeliveable.

Roy Halladay goes for his twelfth win in a row. He is a strong pitcher which helps, because the Blue Jays eventually put the runs on the board and even if Halladay has given up five, he is still in the game when his teammates start crossing the plate like sheep.

He pitches against Livan Hernandez in SkyDome, so you have to like his chances tonight.

Where will Juan Gonzalez end up? I still think someone from that Ranger team will end up in San Francisco, it could be him or Carl Everett.

Jermi Gonzalez has pitched extremely well for Tampa Bay and now finds himself going against the Braves. This could be a low scoring game even though the Braves rake just about everybody they see.

Kyle Lohse has hit the wall and will face a very loose Brewer team. If Matt Kinney can find whatever magic he had earlier in the season, this could be a good game. One thing for sure, the Brewers hit homers and the Metrodome is a cozy place to play.

The White Sox get the Cubs at Comiskey in an afternoon game. Why? I guess they are trying to be good hosts to the Cubs who play the majority of their games in the daylight.

I love following the fortunes of the Sox because everyone wrote them off early in the year, I have steadfastly remained loyal because of their pitching. Dan Wright has established himself in the rotation and has a shot today against wildly inconsistent Matt Clement who may become most known as the pitcher who was traded for Dontrelle Willis, the lock rookie of the year in the NL.

Give the White Sox a chance, this AL Central is far from a done deal.

Arizona and Houston should have successful weekends against Detroit and Texas respectively.

Kevin Brown takes his sore groin to the hill in Anaheim against John Lackey. Lackey has been rocked quite often this season, but you now how the Dodgers hit. This one depends on Kevin Brown’s health.

The hitters are starting to catch up to the pitchers more often, the bullpens are getting a little tired, now is the time to see how deep the pitching is, because the summer is here. If you have four or even five decent starters you are in business, if not, you start to look more like the Rangers, and that ain’t good.

Baseball is now in full swing.

Let’s enjoy the weekend.


1 Anonymous { 06.27.03 at 1:23 pm }

Hey Marty,

What do you mean by “preparation” exactly when referring to the conflict between Lilly and Peterson? Does Lilly not take his starts seriously? I know there have been some problems with Lilly changing speeds on his own during the game. And he seems to loose focus a lot on the mound. I’m wondering if the A’s, specifically Beane, are starting to doubt his abilities. Either way, he should be the 5th starter. That would take a lot of pressure off of him.


2 marty { 06.27.03 at 1:26 pm }

Glenn said on the show that Peterson has twelve step program and Lilly is only doing seven of the pregame steps whatever that means. This is the time of year when young healthy staffs do well, I expect it will be Harden time if the current 5 plus innings from the fourth and fifth guys continues.


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