Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Hey, Who Are These Guys?

I’m sure the Yankees woke up this morning quoting the famous line from “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” about the posse that chased them all over the Southwest. Looking back and asking who those guys are who keep following us?

The Marlins are a fine baseball team that very rarely beats itself and has a legitimate leader who is having an enormous postseason, Pudge Rodriguez.

Combine all that with some little seen speed these days at the top of the order and some clutch relief pitching (you tell me, will Ugueth Urbina last for three more games) and you’ve got a team that now has the Yankees attention.

My feeling yesterday was that the Marlins needed a split in NY this weekend to have a chance at winning this thing and guess what, if they win tonight the Yanks might be in bigger trouble than anyone in NY will admit.

David Wells pitched a terrific game in the opener, the Yanks let him down with some sloppy play on the bases and in the field.

Click below for more!Juan Pierre has no fear. The speedy leadoff man has all but disappeared from the game. I used to enjoy Mickey Rivers, Maury Wills, Luis Aparicio, Davey Lopes, Omar Moreno, Campy Campaneris, and Brett Butler to just name a few. Once they got on base, you knew the defense was concerned and immediately made an error fueling a big rally.

Aaron Boone’s cutoff of Hideki Matsui’s throw cost the Yanks an out at the plate in the fifth, allowing the Marlins to score a decisve third run in the game.

Boone’s explanation was that he wanted to take a shot at Pierre who had rounded first aggresively after his single to left. Boone’s gaffe, he had Juan Encarnacion dead at the plate by ten feet, in fact Encarnacion was about where Miguel Tejada was when he stopped running against the Red Sox (you remember that) when he caught the throw from Matsui. Encarnacion was dead meat at the plate.

Also, why play the infield in, certainly the Yanks had to think they could score three or four runs in this game? Brad Penny was pitching allright, but you knew his straight fastball wouldn’t last three times through the NY lineup. Joe Torre moved everyone in and Pierre lined his hit right where Derek Jeter would have been playing. Way too early in the game (5th inning) to take that chance.

What was Nick Johnson thinking as he wandered off of third base? The last time someone stole home in the series seems to be 1953 when Jackie Robinson slid under Yogi’s tag. If you are on base, you better be alert with Pudge behind the plate.

Tonight, it is Andy Pettitte, another lefty going against Mark Redman. The Marlins love to see lefties and Pettitte on three days rest has never been as effective as when he has his normal four days between starts.

Mark Redman seemed to be shortarming the ball in his last start against the Cubs, also on Wednesday.

This one has the Yanks attention. I expect them to come out focused and very determined, knowing a loss could end their season in Miami this week. Carl Pavano could see early action tonight for Miami. I’m not sure who is first up for NY out of the pen? Jeff Weaver? Chris Hammond?

A few thoughts:

Hideki Matsui is one tough out at the plate. He is a champion and is showing his baseball acumen on the big stage. He doesn’t hit for power very often, but he can if you aren’t careful, and he can play the game. I enjoy watching him play baseball.

Dontrelle Willis is a different pitcher with runners on base. He rushes his delivery and loses control of his stuff because he is so concerned about the baserunners. One time through the lineup is plenty for him. In fact, the Marlins will need him big time in this series to get lefties out in crucial spots. I’m not convinced it will be that pretty if they bring him in with runners on base. His role is huge since Miami really doesn’t have a reliable situational lefty and you know how many lefties the Yankees have in their lineup. I see trouble ahead in the late innings.

Jose Contreras is OK for one inning. Joe Torre looked very disgusted, his expression said, I’ve seen this before, when Contreras walked Jose Castillo with two out in the ninth. They are not very patient with Contreras I can sense that.

The Marlins loaded with righthanded hitters don’t want to see Mariano Rivera at anytime in this series.

Jorge Posada can be run against if his pitchers aren’t on top of their game.

Jason Giambi will crush Urbina in this series because Urbina cannot throw the high fastball past Giambi.

Once the Yankees realize that Urbina’s big out pitch is his change up, Urbina will be in more trouble. He is ice on the mound, but he better get ahead in the count more often.

Terrific first game, the story line is coming together very nicely.

The Yankees blinked first giving the Marlins the chance to take game one and they did.

Maybe the Bambino was still celebrating the win over Boston and didn’t make it to the game last night.

He better be there tonight because the Yanks need him against these guys now.


1 Anonymous { 10.19.03 at 12:47 pm }

The Marlins sure do bring a lot of diversity in terms of their offense (small ball, they can run the basepaths, the ability to hit in the clutch, power). They’re fun to watch. Too bad the current A’s organization doesn’t understand that. If the A’s could do anyone of those things consistenly, they would have beat the Sox.
Marty, in regard to the Peterson to Mets rumors. What do you think about it? Wouldn’t it be a big loss? And I heard a rumor that Peterson became unhappy with Macha over the Bosley firing. If that’s true, then it seems Macha is more of a problem than anyone else. Maybe what Terrence Long said about Macha being unliked by the players is true.
-Mike E.

2 marty { 10.19.03 at 1:13 pm }

My take on Rick Peterson and the Mets is Rick very much needs to be on the east coast with his family. His family was supposed to join him in No.Cal. after he signed his multi year deal last fall, but it didn’t work out and he needs to be closer to home with his wife and three teen age boys. Rick works intently, very much on his own, Macha is more hands on with everyone and there was an adjustment needed between the two, but I think the personal reasons outweigh everything else on the move.
The A’s need an overhaul at the top of the lineup, this postseason shows how important a table setter can be for the rest of the lineup. Sort of like the keys to the car, the car won’t start without them, speed gets the offense going against the best pitchers.
The A’s will be very active this offseason reworking the leadoff spot as well as at least one outfield spot as well. Thanks for the comment.

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