Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Batter Up September 11th

With all eyes trained on the A’s offense which continues to bail out the team with come from behind victories, that is until Boston rolled into town, the real story going on in Oakland is what happened to the starting pitching?

Beginning on August 26th, the A’s have played 13 games, most against the overmatched Orioles, Devil Rays, White Sox, and Blue Jays. The starting pitchers have given up 4 or more runs in 11 of those games, yet the A’s are 8-5, including the losses to Boston.

In 2 of the games, the A’s climbed back from 5-1 deficits to win 8-7 and 9-5.

Click below for more Batter Up.You can talk all you want about the A’s hitting philosophies, which guarantee wins over the lesser pitchers, but unless Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, and Barry Zito start shutting the opponents down as expected these next three weeks will become very dicey.

With only top of the rotation pitchers Kelvim Escobar and Bartolo Colon ahead, the A’s offense should continue to score enough to keep the ship steady, but it sure would be nice to see Eric Chavez go on a hitting tear to take the pressure off clean up hitter Scott Hatteberg.

It’s time to simply enjoy the Giants season instead of continually analyzing which trades they should have made at the trading deadline or even last winter. The Giants are still very much in the race even though difficult games with LA and Houston remain. It’s tough to get to the postseason without dominant starting pitching, but somehow or other this Giants team is hanging with everyone else.

Simple answer: Barry Bonds. He affects every game. The safest way to deal with him is to walk him, yet managers continually give him the chance to turn the game around. Bonds is the definition of MVP.

If you list the problems of the Texas Rangers these days pitching is 3rd on the list behind hitting and defense. Lately, you can count on 2 to 3 errors per game from the Rangers.

Some writers in New York are predicting that Tampa Bay’s Lou Piniella will do what ever it takes to get out of his remaining contract with the Rays so he can move onto the Mets. What’s the bargain with Piniella anyway, his team is 20 games under .500 and in the midst of an 11 game losing streak.

The Mets woes this year were not caused by current manager Art Howe, instead the season was sabotaged by injuries to virtually every player counted on by the owners.

It may be more likely that current Phillies manager Larry Bowa will be added to the Mets coaching staff next year to tutor infielders Kaz Matsui, Jose Reyes, and David Wright.

With healthy players next season the Mets are contenders.

ESPN’s Peter Gammons is pushing Jimy Williams for the Seattle job if Bob Melvin is let go, which seems very likely. A more logical choice would be Angel bench coach Joe Maddon, a former colleague of GM Bill Bavasi during Bavasi’s days with Anaheim.

The Cardinals scare you with all that thunder in the batting order. The real strength in the majors winningest team lies with its defense. People wonder how the Cards no name pitching staff has led this team to close to 100 wins. I’ll tell you. Ground ball outs. Matt Morris, Jason Marquis, Chris Carpenter, and Jeff Suppan keep the ball down and let the gold glovers in the infield take care of the rest.

Just check their ground ball to fly ball out ratio.

Jim Tracy is manager of the year in the NL in my book. The Dodgers are still leading the division and this weekend throw Kaz Ishii, Jeff Weaver, and Hideo Nomo at St. Louis. Not very scary. Tracy has pulled off a minor miracle keeping this team on top in the West.

Houston’s Carlos Beltran should consider staying in the National league next season. Quietly, Beltran is on the verge of a combined 40-40 season, with his NL stats eclipsing what he did in KC before his trade to the Astros.

Most likely Beltran’s success in Houston will just drive up his price with the Yankees.

If Nomar Garciaparra really thinks he is still a 15 million dollar a year player, he will be in for a shock this winter. The Cubs would love to have Garciaparra back, but not anywhere near that price. The success of the Red Sox since Nomar left isn’t helping his bargaining position either.

With another Hurricane expected to be on the way to South Florida early next week, baseball may be moving the Expos-Marlins series to Comiskey Park in Chicago to avoid the storm. What else could major league baseball do to the Expos this year?


1 Anonymous { 09.11.04 at 11:58 am }

The A’s starting pitching has been fine for the most part. Zito pitched a good enough game against the Sox. Redman was Redman. Unfortunately, Hudson was too pumped up. At least he is throwing the ball hard and isn’t tired like Mulder. I think the offense is the main factor right now. They are emulating the 03 A’s by making every starting pitcher look like a Cy Young candidate. They should have scored more runs off both Lowe and Arroyo and look at last night’s game against the Indians. They were successful with that last season cause all the starters were performing. This year, it’s a different story. The starters aren’t as dominating. They are really missing a righthanded power guy to protect Chavez. They should have made a move for someone. I know you liked Kent. But was there any outfielder available? Two rookies in the lineup make this team meek. I know I expressed my reluctance in such a move, but that was before I knew how bad Dye was hurt.
-Mike E.

2 Anonymous { 09.17.04 at 1:05 pm }

any idea whats going on with the big three? A slump is normal, but with Zito having a terrible first half and Hudson/Mulder having awful second halves, what is the explanation. This is uncharted territory. Did Rick Peterson take his magic with him to NY. I would say thats a possibility, except the Mets’ pitching was less than exemplary this year too. Is Curt Young to blame? Thats the only idea I can think of. These guys have been rocks down the stretch over the years.

3 Anonymous { 09.17.04 at 2:10 pm }

The team is playing on tired legs which means not enough support from the bench and the bullpen this season. Mentally the nine starters and the five in the rotation needed to be on every day since April. I think they are tired both physically and mentally. Macha hinted at this when he said the other day that Texas is playing on young legs. If Texas could field the ball they would have swept this series. No matter how well that infield hits, they can’t catch or throw the bal lwell enough to win a pennant. Blalock can’t throw, Soriano won’t get in front of the ball, Teixeira doesn’t have the hands, and Young is OK but not a great shortstop. The save can come at any time in the game and Buck let his season slip away by trying to get five innings from Kenny Rogers, Crosby made him pay.

4 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

5 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:51 pm }

You must log in to post a comment.