Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A's Take The Lead, Cubs Miss A Chance

The A’s are in that part of their schedule when they play teams that are vastly inferior to themselves. The Orioles don’t hit very much against Oakland and seem to be waiting for the inevitable mistake which will sink their game.

I must say that Pat Hentgen didn’t show much last night, but then again most pitchers are having trouble navigating their way through the A’s lefthanded hitting lineup and their one fabulous righty, Miguel Tejada.

Which brings me to Tejada. He is the reigning MVP. He has played like the MVP for over two months now and has carried the team on his back. He is fabulous to watch every day.

I know Bobby Crosby is the phenom of the future, but if you watch these games, Miguel is the straw that stirs the A’s drink on the field.

The A’s couldn’t have asked for better matchups, facing righthander after righthander, giving Ken Macha a set lineup every night. Eric Chavez has benefited more than anyone. He gets great hacks off of righties, hitting .324 with 16 homers as opposed to .186 with 7 homers off the lefties. Now Chavez can hit third with confidence knowing he will get a good swing virtually every time up. It also helps his concentration in the field because he isn’t worried heading to third base because he knows he will get another nice at bat very soon.

Trust me, having Chavez as your number three hitter batting .324 helps more than having your number three hitter hitting .186.

The A’s will only see Joe Kennedy Friday, Jarrod Washburn down the road, and Jamie Moyer from the left side over the last 29 games. Eric Chavez must have done something right to deserve this gift.

Click below for more!As I said last week, after these games with Tampa Bay and Baltimore the A’s will have a nice lead on someone for the either the division or the wild card or both.

One question with a bullpen that is being used quite regularly by Ken Macha why would the A’s let Felix Heredia, a decent situational lefty pass through waivers and land with the Yankees? The A’s could have used this lefty in their pen since Ricardo Rincon is all they have from the left side.

Seattle has to be concerned about Joel Pineiro who got clocked again last night, this time by Tampa Bay a team that still surprises you once a series.

Tampa Bay unveiled one of the best young arms I’ve seen this year in Doug Waechter last night. The righty came in and blew away Edgar Martinez and Mike Cameron with the tying runs on base in a crucial mid game relief appearance. This kid can throw the high cheese, he made Edgar look silly striking him out.

The White Sox walloped the over the hill gang pitching staff again last night beating the Yankees senseless 11-2. This time David Wells (ripped today in the NY press by pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre) was lit up by the righthanded heavy Sox power. Big games for Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko, and Joe Crede. Thomas is my leading MVP candidate right now.

The Sox are showing confidence throwing rookie lefty Neal Cotts today against Mike Mussina. They have a full bullpen ready to save Cotts after five innings, if they have the lead.

Rondell White four RBI’s in his KC debut. What a start for this veteran who can swing the bat.

Jose Lima is on the DL. Other than Brian Anderson and Darrell May who is left to start for KC? Paul Abbott gets the ball today and actually he did all right in his last start.

The Cubs wasted Kerry Wood’s seven inning masterpiece last night when five relievers gave up four runs in the eighth inning as the Cards stormed back to win 4-2. Late inning meltdowns by a bullpen are tough to take, but from the fans standpoint they make one realize that you have to get 27 outs to win and you can’t give up until the 27th out is recorded.

Carlos Zambrano and Matt Morris today. Good pitchers who both can go deep into the game.

Curt Schilling gets lit up, the Marlins lose again, the Phillies drop one to the Expos, and the Dodgers get knocked around by Houston. Just another night inthe NL wild card chase which now has seven teams within 2 1/2 games of the lead.

Dontrelle Willis goes for Miami tonight in Pittsburgh.

The Phillies might get swept in Montreal since Amaury Telemaco faces Javier Vasquez in the finale in Montreal.

John Smoltz on the DL with tendinitis in his elbow is not good news for the Braves. But good news for Atlanta is Greg Maddux got win number 286 last night.

So, if the A’s win the West what happens. Boston should overtake Seattle, a team slumping badly at the wrong time of year. That means the wild card comes from the East, either Boston or New York.

Pedro and Derek Lowe or the Yankees, who would you rather face in October?

If the Yankees don’t throw Pettitte twice (games 1&5) I’ll take NY. Joe Torre might see the light and throw Wells and Pettitte to open the series in Oakland, if he fools around with Clemens and Mussina early in the series, the A’s will beat NY.

Not having Mark Mulder complicates the picture since Hudson will go twice (1&5), Zito, Lilly, and whoever in games two through four, which puts pressure on the bullpen, but that is the way the A’s have played since mid August, so it may work in October for at least one round.

The key for Oakland is not to face lefty starters. You know how many Boston has? Zero. Unless Casey Fossum comes back and that is too much to wish for.

So, pick your poison. Pedro and Lowe and the Sox bullpen or the Yankees, the ghosts, Mariano Rivera, and Pettitte two times.

Of course with 29 games to go all of this can change quickly, but I don’t think it will.

Thanks to the favorable schedule, reigning MVP Miguel Tejada and a very fortunate Eric Chavez.


1 Anonymous { 08.28.03 at 11:15 am }

I was shocked and surpised at the statement that
Mr.Schott made earlier this year about Tejeda. He
didn’t think they could make an appropriate offer
for Tejada. I think that may have affected Miguel’s
play earlt on. I have said before that he is the heart and soul of this club and he gives 150 percent every day he is out there on that field.
Talent like Tejada’s is hard to replace. I know that no is indispensable but the A’s have had great
success with Miggy as their leader. Business people know that you have to spend money to make money. Wake up, Mr.Schott before it’s too
late. Charlie Finley broke up his team in the 70’s
and was hated and the fans stayed away. You have a great product on the field right now.
Do the right thing. Sign Miguel and do not let him leave.

Jerry F

2 Anonymous { 08.28.03 at 11:32 am }

Hey Marty,
Apparently, Beane didn’t think too much about Heredia. I know Beane was working on other deals besides Guilien (spelling?) before the deadline. But not making an attempt at getting a righthanded bench player and another lefty for the pen makes me question his will to win. I thought the owners agreed to increase the payroll? What’s Beane waiting for? The A’s won’t be able to get very far in the playoffs with those holes.

3 Anonymous { 08.28.03 at 11:51 am }

I totally agree. Tejeda is worth much more than whatever dollars you need to sign him. He is the heart and soul of this team. Did you see him doing the Angels in the Outfield bit on Tuesday night in the 12th inning? The Rally Miggy really exists and the owners need to understand how important it is and how irreplaceable it is. While I love Chavez’s defense and power, he is so insecure that he will never be a team leader.

If Miggy leads this team to the postseason and a grassroots campaign develops to keep him, maybe, just maybe our dream will come true. Do you think there is any chance that the owners will listen?

Interesting column by Scott Ostler this morning about Zito and Palmer meeting and talking. Zito seemed like his old self – totally in a zone and really dealing out there last night. We can really use that kind of pitching the last month of the season. So thank you, Jim Palmer.

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