Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

One Difference Between A's and Red Sox

As one goes through the baseball season at times one forgets the most important rule when analyzing the current game.

Starting pitchers go seven innings at best, relievers decide the games.

The strength of a pitching staff is judged from the back end forward.

The A’s bullpen gets batters out with amazing regularity. The Red Sox bullpen is an adventure every night.

The Red Sox hit the ball with much more authority than the A’s, no doubt about it.

The A’s hit the ball when the game is on the line. The A’s work the pitchers the entire game. When Terrence Long is 1-5 which is often these days, that one hit may decide the game.

The Red Sox are a gritty bunch, my standard for postseason play, but that bullpen is going to be tough to overcome as they chase the Yankees this month.

Scott Williamson when with the Reds was a power closer. Today, as a Red Sock, he is 86-87 MPH and leaves the ball up.

If Scott Sauerbeck is only effective when tired, I suggest the Boston staff use him every day because what he is throwing out there now won’t make it. He blew the game against Oakland last week, walking two batters in a crucial situation and did the same gasoline on the fire job last night against the Blue Jays, who will hand you the game if you let them.

Today the A’s see Pat Hentgen who would welcome a trade to Oakland. The Red Sox see Roy Halladay who is vying for the Cy Young with Esteban Loiaza, Andy Pettitte, and Tim Hudson. The Mariners face a rookie with Tampa Bay.

Click below for more baseball!Chad Harville has added two off speed pitches which makes him very difficult to hit. Last night another two innings of terrific baseball which kept the punchless Orioles off the board as the A’s won in 12.

Rich Harden pitched better than he had since his third start as he continuously hit 95 plus on the stadium radar gun. Now, if he could only fast forward his career two years, the A’s would be set for the playoffs.

Erubiel Durazo could use a couple of days off. He is tired looking in the field and searching at the dish.

How about Jeremy Affeldt in the KC bullpen? Another two scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Curtis Leskanic finished, lowering his ERA to 0.51. So, if they can get some starters to go along with Darrell May (tonight’s starter) and Brian Anderson maybe they can pull this thing off.

Armando Benitez lowered his ERA to 2.00 with a two strike out last inning for the Mariners.

So, Brian Giles is a Padre. The Pirates better be right about lefty Oliver Perez, the key piece in the trade for Pittsburgh.

Rondell White ended up in KC, good move for the Royals who are very impressive with all their moves down the stretch.

Odalis Perez took one for the team last night giving up 10 runs in 4.6 innings for the Dodgers before help was on its way.

Brad Radke beat the Angels again, glad to see he still likes pitching in Anaheim. Today it’s the all of a sudden reliable Kenny Rogers against the strugling, but game Aaron Sele for the Angels.

Shannon Stewart continues to lead Minnesota going 2-5 last night.

The Angels exposed the aging Yankee pitching staff in last years ALCS. You wonder just how much the Bombers can count on David Wells, Mike Mussina, and Roger Clemens this October.

Clemens was hit hard last night by Frank Thomas (MVP?) and Paul Konerko, who is now up to .231.

Tonight it is Bartolo Colon on center stage against Wells. The Sox are loaded from the right side so let’s see what Wells brings against this lineup.

How about them Mets? Art Howe knows how to manage, just give him a healthy Mike Piazza and three more hitters to go with shortstop Jose Reyes and he will bring this franchise back to the pack next season. Art is the best at running the end of the game, just watch the Mets box scores.

Has Florida hit the wall? Has Philly hit the same wall? Is there room for Arizona and LA? Someone will step up and seize this race, but the question is who will it be?

Kerry Wood pitches his biggest game of the year tonight aginst Woody Williams and the Cards in St. Louis. If the Cubs are going to survive in the Central or the wild card, they need Wood to pitch like Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano.

I said it couldn’t happen, but are the Expos in this thing until the end? They head to Puerto Rico for games pretty soon and that means runs, runs, runs, and they seem to be hitting pretty well right now.

Today, Tomo Ohka and Brett Myers in Montreal. See Jimmy Rollins is now back in the two spot for Philadelphia, still desperate for the right productive lineup and it is August 27th.

I wonder how Larry Bowa reacted after the Phils blew an 8-0 lead in the 5th last night?

Hideo Nomo, 15-9, and one of the toughest pitchers around faces Wade Miller in Houston tonight. I bet the Astros won’t score 18 in this game.

Seattle got a nice comeback win over Tampa Bay last night. Thier offense doesn’t have much room for error and must be productive if the starting pitching struggles. They will be looking at Joel Piniero and his velocity and command tonight.

Can the A’s ride their bullpen for the final 30 games, going deep into the pen almost every night?

I think it is fraught with peril to try to do this, (Red Sox case in point), Oakland should not delay any longer and go out and get a vet while there is still time.

One game leads on August 27th are nice and better than the alternative, but they don’t mean much with 30 tough games to go.

Things can change quickly.

Bullpens rule in baseball, but they have to be fresh for the stretch run or it could get ugly and lead to some disheartening late inning losses and who needs that.


1 Anonymous { 08.27.03 at 11:50 am }


I couldn’t agree more that the A’s need to go get Hentgen (preferably before tonite’s game please). He would easily slide past Lilly into the #3 spot in the rotation for the balance of the season and postseason. And provide more innings than Lilly and Harden (and maybe Zito) to help out with that bullpen freshness issue you astutely pointed out.

Macha has shown courage in managing late innings lately but I question last nite’s strategy a little bit. You know my fondness for Hatteberg’s game, but I thought last night that Macha should have let Byrnes hit against Carrasco to take advantage of Byrnes speed in staying out of a home to first doubleplay. The argument of course, is Hatteberg’s superior eye at the plate to make Carrasco sweat to throw strikes with bags loaded but I think Byrnesy could have gotten the ball in the air for a sac fly and benefited from the therapy of being a hero once again. It might have gotten Byrnes hitting confidence back on track for the stretch. Hatty’s seeing eye single made the point mute and we won the game which is the most important thing, but we might have missed a subtle opportunity there.

Or not. Some could say with justification that this is baseball afterall, not brain surgery, and we’re out to win games period.

Regardless. Go A’s.

Reno Bill

2 Anonymous { 08.27.03 at 12:17 pm }

Yes, we do need a pitcher now. I hope a deal is going down right now as long as we do not need to give up too much.

I agree about Byrnes. It would have been great for his self confidence to have had a chance to bat. But we will never know what would have happened because Hatteburg saved the day. Let Byrnes DH in some games if Hatteburg can play first again. Durazo is exhausted and needs to rest up. He seems discouraged and that is not a good thing. And the crowd getting on him is not a good thing, either.

And once again clutch T Long comes through. At least the third time in recent time that he has led off an inning with a triple when we were tied. Yes, he has a loopy swing and looks almost lazy at the plate at times, but I still like him out there. He has been asked to do everything and play everywhere on the field, and he never complains. He is also a positive spokesperson for the team. I see a big September and post season for him.

3 marty { 08.27.03 at 1:11 pm }

All good points. Carrasco was going to give it up no matter who batted. The key was winning the game which would have been tough to lose after investing all the bullpen innings. How about Harville? Pretty good in my book. The Orioles don’t have much power so four runs ought to finsih them tonight.

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