Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Hitting Will Be The Key To The Summer

Solid pitching propelled the A’s to the top of the wild card race in the American league.

Solid hitting will keep them there.

One through nine in the batting order the A’s are tough outs at the plate. Game after game the A’s work the opposition pitchers into deep hitting counts, then deliver key hits.

The A’s are putting crooked numbers on the board, a sure way to win games.

Click below for more!With sixty games to go in the season, don’t focus on the teams the A’s have to play in determining whether the team will make the playoffs, but the starting pitchers on the teams the A’s will face.

Check out the rotations. There are very few starters in the American league capable of shutting down this batting order.

During the A’s hot streak pitchers regularly come into the Coliseum with gaudy statistics, only to see their record in shambles after facing the A’s relentless attack.

Manager Ken Macha’s finest decision may be when he decided to bat Nick Swisher second in the batting order.

With Bobby Crosby and Eric Chavez coming up next, Swisher is getting fastballs to hit.

Swisher doesn’t miss his pitch anymore.

With Kotsay’s chronic backaches, I’d drop the veteran center fielder down to the fifth spot when he is ready to play again.

Even though the A’s never really play small ball, they are moving runners from second to third with less than two outs with regularity. They hit sacrifice flies as often as they hit home runs. They’ll even drop a bunt in a key situation without anyone fainting in the front office. The runners tag up and move from first to second on deep fly balls.

Excellent pitching turned the A’s season around. The hitting will determine how far this team goes in the second half.

With all the good planning the front office does in signing key players to long term deals, please give me one good reason why Macha and his coaching staff have not had their current deals extended with multi year contracts.

Now is the appropriate time for the A’s to acknowledge that the manager and his coaching staff are the ones who teach these talented young players how to win once they get to the major leagues.

Here’s what playing .700 ball for two months means:

Ken Macha will give Chicago’s Ozzie Guillen a run for his money for AL manager of the year.

Nick Swisher and Huston Street are co-leaders for AL Rookie of the Year.

Rich Harden will sneak into the Cy Young race if he continues his run as the top power pitcher in the league.

I’d give the Marlins the choice of any combination of players in the Athletics farm system, other than Daric Barton and Andre Ethier, to land pitcher AJ Burnett.

Looks like the Red Sox are getting tired of Manny Ramirez and his lackadaisical attitude. Seems Manny was promised a day off and wouldn’t play when that day arrived even though teammate Trot Nixon went down with an injury.

Manny is Manny, the Sox should get over their disappointment with their petulant star. If they don’t, I’m sure the Mets would be thrilled to take him off their hands. Big mistake for Boston if that happens. Players who drive in 150 runs per year don’t come along every day.

Give Manny his days off and you’ll see the BoSox in the playoffs.

Trade him and the Red Sox nation will be watching October baseball listening to color commentator Tim McCarver.

Listening to the boring Mcarver describe a game is a fate worse than watching Manny mysteriously disappear into the Green Monster during a game as he did this past week.

Anyone home in the Orioles front office?

For the past month their twin GM’s, Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan have idly stood by as the Oriole offense disappeared along with the teams AL East division hopes.

Can newly acquired Eric Byrnes bring the Orioles back into the race? Probably not, but he’ll have a ball exciting the crowd with his all out play. Byrnes just didn’t look right in the NL.

Can’t wait to see Byrnes play in Oakland when the O’s come in on August 15th.

You can’t win without a good set up man. Houston is cruising in the eighth inning behind reliever Dan Wheeler setting up for all star closer Brad Lidge.

San Diego couldn’t wait to send Phil Nevin packing. They finally wised up and sent Nevin to a team that he couldn’t refuse to go to in a trade. How bad did they want to get rid of Nevin? The Padres got starting pitcher Chan Ho Park in return, ‘nuff said.

Arizona should turn its closer’s role over to Jose Valverde. The A’s tried to acquire Valverde over the winter via trade, but the righty wouldn’t travel to Oakland from the Dominican Republic for a physical. Valverde throws rockets and is back from last season’s arm miseries.

Say what you want about Kenny Rogers, but his objection to the method used in determining the appeal of his suspension has merit.

Here’s the deal: Bud Selig metes out the punishment, then Selig is the one who hears the appeal of that sentence. That system wouldn’t even fly in the old Soviet Union.

If the Yankees get lucky with over the hill starting pitchers Hideo Nomo, Al Leiter, Shawn Chacon, or Aaron Small, then the commissioner should call George Will and reconvene the old blue ribbon panel to figure out how it happened.


1 Anonymous { 07.31.05 at 11:36 am }

Marty, great comments. In regard to needing a good setup man, who exactly is the setup man for the A’s now? The Duke? Has he permanently replaced Calero? Is Calero just a mediocore pitcher now with his elbow problems? As long as Duscherer (spelling?) has his curveball working, I think he will be effective, otherwise, look out. He won’t be solid. It’s nice to know that Cruz is still a possibility and is pitching so well in Triple A. Team better bring him back up soon, though, to get him used to the pen.

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