Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up May 15th

Will the A’s have another season defining August winning streak this year?

Don’t bet against it. Just take a look at the schedule from August 10th thru August 29th, a span of 19 games. The opposition will be Detroit, Kansas City, Baltimore, and Tampa Bay. At that point in the season those teams will be disinterested and well out of the race. By contrast, the A’s pitchers should be in top form.

It happens every summer like clockwork. This year should be no exception.

Click below for more!Meanwhile, at some point soon all the injuries that the Anaheim Angels have suffered will catch up with them. The Angels have seen their entire starting lineup fall to one injury or another this season.

Losing Troy Glaus and Garret Anderson worry the Angels the most.

Even though he could DH, Glaus has a bad shoulder and will not play in the field anytime soon. Anderson, who hardly ever misses a game, already has been out one month with “stiffness” in his back. No one is saying what is causing Anderson’s back pain.

The A’s are in the midst of 12 games against the Royals and Tigers, while the Angels are facing the Yankees and surprising Orioles over the same two week period. With all that is going on in the trainers room in Anaheim, I expect the A’s to pick four games or more on the Angels by May 23rd.

Even though Chone Figgins, Alfredo Amezaga, Jeff DaVanon, and Casey Kotchman are nice fill ins, unless Anderson, Glaus, Darin Erstad, and Tim Salmon return at full strength, it’s just a matter of time until the A’s pass the Halos in the standings.

Wonder why teams are reluctant to give multi year contracts to pitchers? Just this week, Kerry Wood, Al Leiter, Rafael Soriano, and Jerome Williams left games with various pains in their pitching arms. It’s one thing when a player has a knee sprain or a hamstring pull, those injuries are easy to diagnose.

Predicting the effect of injuries on pitching arms and shoulders is still a medical uncertainty. When a pitcher goes on the DL with arm trouble, there is no guarantee that he will return in the same shape as he was before the injury.

Scary stuff for GM’s who risk millions on long term contracts.

The Cubs are thinking wishfully when they say that Mark Prior will return in early June.

Lefty Wilson Alvarez, who has battled arm trouble for years, finally is all the way back with LA. In fact, he may be the most effective starter on the Dodger staff, which in reality is good news for the Padres and Giants who are chasing LA.

The immortal Vin Scully who tends to exaggerate from time to time, called Alex Cora’s 18 pitch at bat, which ended in a two run home run off Cub Matt Clement, perhaps the best at bat he has seen in his 55 years in baseball. Vinnie has seen Duke Snider battle Warren Spahn ,Willie Mays hit against Don Drysdale, and Willie McCovey stand in against Sandy Koufax, I think Vin has gone too far waxing over Cora’s 14 straight foul balls.

By the way, why didn’t Clement just drill Cora after the tenth foul, just to get rid of him? No one would have complained.

The Rangers let RA Dickey throw 131 pitches against the Red Sox on ESPN’s Sunday Night Game on May 2nd. Since that start Dickey has worked twice, going a total of nine innings, giving up 20 hits, and 11 runs. Nice decision by Texas manager Buck Showalter.

If the Rangers are still around in August watch out, they have 16 games at home against the Yankees, Devil Rays, Indians, Twins, and Orioles, all in the searing Texas heat.

If the Giants would stick with a batting order of Ray Durham, Edgardo Alfonzo, Marquis Grissom, Barry Bonds, Pedro Feliz, and AJ Pierzynski, they will put some runs on the board.

What do I like most about Rich Harden? He has the poise of a veteran when he gets in trouble during the game. That’s why I think he will make a lights out closer some day. Nothing bothers this kid, in fact he does his best pitching when he is on the verge of disaster.

Something that could happen: The White Sox have a real chance to get pitcher Freddy Garcia from Seattle next month for Magglio Ordonez.

Seattle is desperate for hitting. The Mariners were swept by the Twins this week, getting 36 hits in the three game series. Not bad hitting, but the problem was 34 of the hits were singles.

It’s so bad right now in Seattle that when the camera catches Seattle skipper Bob Melvin in the dugout, he has look of someone who has eaten a bad meal. Not a good look for the manager.

The Yankees were all over Angel shortstop Alfredo Amezaga for side arming his relay throw to first base when completing a double play Wednesday night. The throw low bridged Jorge Posada who was trying to take Amezaga out with a late slide away from the bag. The ball glanced off Posada’s shoulder breaking the catchers nose. If more infielders threw the ball the way Amezaga did, you’d see runners get out of the way pronto, instead of trying to bust some infielder’s knee with a reckless slide.

Is Detroit’s Alex Sanchez the best bunter in baseball today? He’s not even close to the Marlins Juan Pierre, a fearless magician with the bat.

File this under every cloud has a silver lining: If the Giants are out of the race this summer, than the opposition will pitch to Barry Bonds more often, giving Bonds a shot at the 700 homer mark this year. Otherwise, Bonds has a better chance of getting walked 275 times, than hitting 32 more homers.


1 Anonymous { 05.15.04 at 2:46 pm }

Sounds like you’re predicting another 20 game win streak in Aug. Also, Sanchez and Pierre are good at bunting but don’t forget Rickie is still in baseball.

2 Anonymous { 05.16.04 at 4:02 am }

Rickie is still in baseball. But don’t forget, “Rickie” is spelled “Ricky”, and “Ricky” really was never a bunter.

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