Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Angels Face Test in New York

How many more injuries can the Angels incur?

If you look at their opening day lineup everyone except Adam Kennedy has been hobbled with an injury, some more serious than others.

Vladimir Guerrero has limped through the entire season with a bad knee, Darin Erstad has a bad hamstring and is now on the DL with Garret Anderson, who might have a serious back injury, and Tim Salmon with his bad knee is on the DL too. Jose Guillen who is heating up with the long ball, sprained his right leg Sunday, but he is a fast healer and might be available.

David Eckstein has a sore groin and Troy Glaus a sore shoulder, both however are playing everyday.

Bengie Molina was out with a hamstring injury earlier in the season, leaving only Adam Kennedy injury free among the regulars.

So, how are they doing it? They are blasting the Devil Rays, Tigers, and Mariners pitching, while the bullpen, the best in baseball, does its thing saving games.

We’ll see how they fare against the big boys in New York and revitalized Baltimore the next two weeks.

The A’s get Detroit and KC during the same period of time. If Oakland doesn’t pick up at least four games or more in the standings over the next two weeks I’ll be surprised.

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Detroit has the virtually the worst bullpen in the majors, save for the job Ugueth Urbina can do. Esteban Yan, Danny Patterson, Al Levine, and company can fritter away a lead before you can say boo.

The Tigers are 28th best in major league baseball giving up 132 walks this season. Think the A’s are salivating getting ready to face this staff.

Barry Zito is coming around. Homers are killing him. Unbelievably he has given up 6 in the past two games. OK, but remember that his first six starts have been against Seattle, Anaheim, and the Yankees. Think things look upn for him as he gets ready to face the Tigers and Royals over the next two weeks?

Detroit can hit no doubt, but they will give up a ton of runs, so these games should at least be interesting.

Jason Johnson pitches against Oakland every chance he gets. I don’t know why? He rarely beats the A’s. If he gets his split down he can be tough, but he walks too many people to ever be comfortable against this team. After beating Toronto on opening day Johnson’s team has lost every game he has started.

Lefties are hitting .379 off of Zito, if this doesn’t change I’ll be surprised. His track record is too good to get racked by these guys tonight.

Kelvim Escobar has been hit hard by NY in the past. Jason Giambi loves to see him. Kevin Brown is tough and the Yanks have no problem going to Paul Quantrill in the seventh to bail Brown out.

With all the injuries to the Angels, at some point they will pay with a losing streak.

Boston has seen enough of Byung Hyun Kim after last night’s shellacking by Cleveland. Kim is out of the rotation heading to AAA, the bullpen, or rehab in Florida where he can sympathize with Jose Contreras.

Bronson Arroyo gets the start Saturday in Toronto.

Best relievers in the AL:
Mariano Rivera 12 for 12 in saves
Francisco Cordero 10 for 10
Keith Foulke 6 for 6
Urbina 4 for 4
Troy Percival 9 for 10
Joe Nathan 8 for 9
Jorge Julio 5 for 6
Billy Koch 5 for 6
Arthur Rhodes 6 for 8 with an OBA (opponents batting average) of .305
Eddie Guardado 5 for 7

Pedro Martinez loves beating Cleveland and should do so in Boston tonight against CC Sabathia if (he)Pedro can get loose.

Cleveland’s pen is a disaster with David Riske, whose velocity is down, leading the way. Rick White and Rafael Bettancourt get the most outs in what has been a nightmare for Erci Wedge. The Tribe gets outscored by a very large margin from the sixth inning forward.

James Baldwin got torched by Arizona last night, ruining a nice hitting night for the Mets. With the roof open the wind actually came into play as Mike Cameron lost a ball in the swirling currents. Luis Gonzalez hit three homers. Dan Wheeler is not a very effective reliever although Ricky Bottalico looked pretty good.

I’d give Casey Daigle two more starts before shipping him out. He has a big league arm, but his command is on vacation.

Joel Piniero hasn’t looked very good this year. Carlos Silva they tell me is the real deal. Let’s see if he can beat Seattle again. The second time around usually tells the story.

Ryan Drese has been a big surprise for Texas. In the past, Drese has had early inning troubles. Maybe something pitching coach Orel Hershiser is doing is paying off for Drese because he has gotten very good all of a sudden.

Texas is in Tampa Bay against Doug Waechter who has been hurt by the long ball. Texas is not a good club to try to get healthy against. Maybe Tampa Bay will start to hit and surprise Drese tonight.

Sidney Ponson has been awful lately, Mark Buehrle leads a staff that actually gets deep into the game. After getting swept in Toronto, the Sox could use a good game tonight at home against the O’s.

Kelly Wunsch took his 800 thousand dollar salary to AAA yesterday because Neal Cotts and Damaso Marte are getting lefties out.

After seeing Minnesota this weekend, I know they have some injuries, but I think Chicago has a legit shot to beat the Twins if they can handle them one on one. They start the first of 19 games against Minnesota this weekend.

Roger Clemens is due to get his lunch. At his age you cannot expect a good game from him every time out. Florida can hit and Brad Penny is their best pitcher right now, so it’s set up for tonight.

Kerry Wood against Jeff Weaver. I like the Cubs all the way tonight. The Dodger pen is a little tired after last weekend and Weaver does just enough to put his team in a hole.

St. Louis is starting to come around for me. Chris Carpenter looked strong even though it was against the Expos. Jason Marquis still is throwing well. Jeff Suppan is eating innings. Matt Morris is OK. Woody Williams is the weak link right now and once the Cards call Adam Wainwright up from AAA this staff will be for real.

Don’t count them out. The bullpen is adequate, Isringhausen can close. The offense will hit big time this summer, if this team was in the West, they’d win the division.

Too bad they are in the Central with the Cubs and Astros.

Toronto is starting to roll, probably saving Carlos Tosca’s job for another month.

Giants meet the Phils who have a better club than SF. Let’s see if the curse of SBC Park slows down the Phillies. Last year the Phils couldn’t do anything right here in SF.

If the Giants get good pitching at home they can beat anyone, but that hasn’t happened yet this season.

The Tigers not only walk the ball park every night, but they can’t catch the ball very well either.

Somehow they beat Texas two of three in Arlington, not an easy thing to do.

In baseball, you can never take anything for granted especially against a team that can hit.

Week six begins tonight.


1 Anonymous { 05.11.04 at 11:31 am }

I totally agree with you about the Angels, they are going to eventually have to deal with the injuries that just keep adding up.
Also Marty, what do you make of the constant Harden for closer propaganda that Peter Gammons is always spewing? As much as I would love to see Blanton in the rotation in June, I think it is a little too early to give up on Rhodes and Harden in their current roles. The A’s just need a power arm in the bullpen, was giving up on Harville a bit premature? And somewhere along the same lines what happens to the A’s roster when Mark McLemore comes back from his injury, which Ken Macha says will be this week? Thank you so much and keep up the great work!!–Luis

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