Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Yankees Do it Again, So Do Red Sox

The Yankees are starting to hit with some power. Not just singles anymore, they are stinging the ball.
A Rod was a dud so many times as a Ranger in Oakland, but he brought his team back into the game last night with a monster three run homer off of Mark Mulder.

If you watch a tape of the pitch, it was one of the worst pithces Mulder has thrown in his career. The ball was high and over the plate excactly in the spot a slugger like Rodriguez makes his money.

The A’s have handled the Yankees before, but it takes pitchers who have command to stop them. Right now the A’s key pitchers have no command.

Will it change? It better, but this is the first time I can remember when the big boys look lost on the mound.

Don’t ask about the bullpen right now. The NY pen is solid with Paul Quantrill throwing strikes, Tom Gordon has the drop working, and what can you say about Mariano Rivera.

In an era of bullpens, the A’s pen is no match right now for New York’s.

The Red Sox continue self destructing at the plate as well as in the field. When Cleveland plays the game better than you do, the flags go up.

The Angels keep smacking the baseball, Detroit’s Nate Robertson, like Mulder gets too much of the plate when he pitches. Against the Angels, you can’t put the ball where they can extend because they swing from their heels everytime they turn it loose.

Tonight the Angels main guys in the pen are rested and ready to go if in fact Kelvim Escobar is on the hill for the Halos.

Click below for more!Why didn’t Erubiel Durazo slide into A Rod who was covering home last night during the Yankees botched run down of Jermaine Dye? Durazo could have planted A Rod who wanted no part of the collision which should have taken place at the dish. Shades of Jeremy Giambi once again.

Andy Pettitte looks like he is over the hump once more. Pettitte can give the Astros six good innings, if they don’t overwork him during the summer. They can ride Pettitte to 15 wins easily if Jimy Williams uses his bullpen wisely.

With the wind in his face, Arizona knuckleballer Steve Sparks is effective. He doesn’t need a pitching coach he needs a meteorologist as a coach.

Ichiro has been playing better baseball ever since I pointed out last week that he looks lethargic out there. His defense won the game for Seattle last night. Seattle’s lack of hitting gets them in these close games, another 16 inning game this week and the AAA staff will be needed to bail out the pen.

Kevin Jarvis and his 4.5 million dollar salary are gone. The Mariners let him go and called Rafael Soriano back to the majors.

Can San Diego win on the road? Russ Ortiz shut them down pretty well last night.Tonight a matchup of David Wells and Jaret Wright. Wright told me last week he is pitching better than he has since 1997. Wells may benefit from facing a depleted Braves lineup. Anyway, I like Wells tonight with seven solid innings before turning it over to the balking man Atinori Otsuka.

Joe Kennedy says don’t get excited about his start until June. OK, it’s May 5th but I’m still taking him tonight to shut the Expos down before 4,000 of his closest friends in Montreal, I don’t care how poorly the Rockies play on the road, these are the punchless Expos.

Ben Sheets has been solid almost every time out for Milwaukee. Can the Brewers score enough off of Jose Acevedo, I say yes.

Kerry Wood is pitching like a man possessed. If the wind is blowing in he’s an easy winner. If its blowing out Casey Daigle will give up five homers, either way Cubs win!

The Giants still are not clicking everyday. Without BB in the lineup, they look and play like the Mets. So, let’s see if he plays tonight.

The Marlins lost Luis Castillo and it hurts in the field. Once the starter is out of the game the Marlins are vulnerable. LA’s bullpen is lights out. Jeff Weaver will give up enough runs tonight, so it won’t matter who follows him, thus giving his main bullpen guys a night off.

What happened to Eric Dubose last night? 98 pitches in four innings and you think you have trouble.

Barry Zito better keep the fastball down or way inside if he is to survive tonight. Kevin Brown was pitcher of the month in the AL for April. Will he go more than six tonight, I say no, this one will be decided late once again.

Sidney Ponson got rocked his last two times out. He’ll win more than 12 this year won’t he? The Orioles can hit if Ponson just holds the opposition to four, than he’s a winner tonight.

How about Rodrigo Lopez out of the Orioles pen? Outstanding.

Doug Waechter has had two nice starts. At some point the breaks will go the Devil Rays way. They have some lefty power and the park in Arlington favors lefties. I’m not a Ryan Drese believer by a long shot.

Roy Halladay on three days rest already, panic time in Toronto. KC and Toronto two teams floundering through the first four weeks.

Quite a Wednesday lineup. Good stories everywhere.


1 Anonymous { 05.05.04 at 12:56 pm }

The Red Sox have lost 5 in a row and are now tied with the Yanks with a 15-11 record. What a difference a week makes. Tha Yanks are feasting on the A’s bullpen. The way the A’s are going they will not make the playoffs.This fan misses the heart and soul of the club,miggy. Too bad Billy Beane didn’t like his style of play. MVP, 30 homers
and 100 rbi’s. free swinger. Not good enough for this club. He won games and was the team leader.
Jerry F

2 Anonymous { 05.06.04 at 2:59 am }

Its definetely that time of year for the A’s. The most important point I can think to make about the A’s situation right now is that if you look back over every year of the last four (all playoff years), they were clueless and disjointed as a team this time of the year.
Its really become a trend set in stone for the A’s. And this is what happens. They start the year looking solid, energized. And they win about 6-7 of the first ten games.
Then things fall apart completely and they look like a team lost and hopeless through the end of April and all of May. BB then gets fed up, tinkers with things a bit. At this point, which is around the beginning of June, things start to turn around and the team gets it together for the duration. Until the playoffs (different topic).
But look back since 2000 and you’ll see that this absolutely has been the case every year. And the explanation is simple. When you have a low budget team that is in continuous change from year to year, its takes some time in the beginning of each new year for the team to gel and figure things out.
Its a testament to BBs genious that he’s been able to make the appropriate adjustments every year. This will be the biggest test yet because the A’s don’t have an offensive leader to jump on the back of. If you say Eric Chavez, I may not agree. Never clutch, never reliable. Other guys like him, they don’t love him. He’s no Miggy.
As well, the starters look lost. Curt Young?
And more worrisome, because I don’t think its “just a slump”, is the bullpen.
But I’m still confident in my assertion. Do watch as the season follows trend. The A’s will struggle for a while longer, the adjustments to the roster will be made, and things will improve in June.

3 marty { 05.06.04 at 9:27 am }

Well said Ned!
This team lacks one big bat right now. The bullpen is a problem because Arthur Rhodes cannot work effectively to righthanded hitters. Against lefties he throws the slider, against righties it’s all fastballs and when he misses it’s all over. One hard throwing reliever would be awelcome addition. don’t be surprised to see Bradford get the tough righties out in the ninth if it comes up today.
Otherwise, Zito pitched a very nice game, not his “A” game but good enough to hold this Yankee lineup in check. You are right when the peaches are on the trees, the A’s pitching will carry them.

4 Anonymous { 05.06.04 at 11:21 am }

I’ve said that Rhodes will struggle against righthanders, especially if he isn’t hitting the corners with his fastball. He doesn’t throw hard enough nor have enough movement (no movement, actually) to cause them to miss or overpower them. He looks much more comfortable against lefties. His slider seems to work much better for some reason against lefties. They don’t go into the dirt as much. Hopefully, he gets more consistent with location. And maybe he should use his changeup more to righties.
Regarding a hardthrowing reliever, the A’s have needed one for years and they just let him go. Just like they undervalue small ball and being agressive on the base paths, they undervalue a power arm in the pen. Make a trade with the Astros. They have plenty of them.
This team will go on a few 8 game winning streaks at some point and will start winning 66% of their games once the starting pitching gets in a groove. They are playing pretty decent ball right now, although they have little to show for it. They just ran into a very hot team. Helped make them hot in NY, unfortunately.
-Mike E.

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