Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Giants, A's playing Hardball This Weekend

There is some good baseball being played between the two Bay Area teams as they wrap up interleague play Saturday and Sunday in Oakland.

Last night, John Mabry had four hits against the Giants. After his third staright safety, Giants starter Livan Hernandez drilled Mabry in the back with a fastball. Mabry seemed stunned by the tactic, almost reaching the third base coaching box as he recoiled from the pain.

No problem. A’s pitcher Mark Mulder promptly drilled Shawon Dunston in his next at bat, obviously retaliating for the shot taken at Mabry. Dunston walked to first shaking his finger at Mulder.

Mulder didn’t look at Dunston, a dead give away that the pitch had a purpose.

Let me tell you who handled the situation the best.

Believe it or not the home plate umpire, Alfonso Marquez.

You see, the pitch to Mabry was such an obvious message (hey, you have three hits off me, move back off the plate, buddy), that the umpire could have jumped in right there and warned the benches that any further balls thrown at the hitters would result in automatic ejections.

Marquez didn’t do that, but instead let Mulder get his shot in, and then warned both benches to cut out the intentional drilling of the batters.

End of story.

The game moved on the way it would have with Marichal and Blue pitching in days of yesteryear.

By the way, Mabry singled his next time up capping a four for four night in the A’s 10-6 win.

He had to feel good.

Stay loose today, John.

Al Leiter pitches against the Yankees today for the Mets. Leiter, a Jersey native, was traded by New York to Toronto early in his career and has never forgiven the Yankees for the move. Leiter told me that he gets no bigger kick in baseball than beating the Yankees. He is matched up with Ted Lilly inthe Bronx. Lilly is coming off a great start against San Diego last Sunday.

Any questions about who is carrying the Yanks these days. Jason Giambi owns New York this morning. Giambi has 20 doubles, 64 RBI, and is hitting .317.

More bad news for the Red Sox. El Duque pitched four outstanding innings in relief last night saving the Yankees and Mike Mussina’s win over the Mets. El Duque’s return, apparently in good health, is huge for NY since Roger Clemens has been stinking up the joint lately.

Derek Lowe goes for the Sox today against Kevin Millwood. The Sox continue to have trouble scoring runs against righthanded starters.

Alan Embree the lefty reliever the Sox just picked up from San Diego walked two batters and retired one in the eighth inning with the score knotted at 2-2. Most baseball scouts tell me Embree is way overrated and Boston will soon realize that he cannot be trusted in tight situations.

Seattle is rolling with Edgar Martinez back in the line up. Being at home, with the DH against a weak Colorado bunch, is just what the doctor ordered for Lou’s crew.

Freddy Garcia tries to shake off his debacle from last Monday against the A’s, in a start today versus Mike Hampton.

The Mariners are a patient team and Hampton has no clue where the ball is going, one would think Freddy will prevail in this scenario.

The best news for the NL West is Greg Gagne got his 29th save last night. It’s only June 29th, the Dodgers have played 79 games, Gagne has never closed before this season, his arm and brain will be fried by August 15th if this keeps up.

Jim Tracy should give Paul Quantrill some save opportunites or LA should deal for a veteran bull pen man to spell Gagne or else Gagne will be spelled “overworked” very shortly. The Dodgers are opening some ground in the West, give Gagne a breather, Jim.

Paul Konerko is having a triple crown season. Konerko is the best thing the White sox have on the field these days. Frank Thomas should be looking for a new address shortly as well as Jose Valentin and Ray Durham. Magglio Ordonez and Konerko are two players Chicago can build around. Now, if thye just had some pitching.

Lefty Johann Santana threw another gem last night against Milwaukee. His next start will be Wednesday night in Oakland against Mark Mulder. That game will be a test to see if the young lefty is the real deal or not. He struck out nine, walked none, and threw 95 pitches in eight innings Friday.

Great numbers and the type of game (throw strikes) you have to pitch against Oakland if you are to survive against the patient A’s.

Cory Lidle tries to throw back to back good games for the first time since last year as he pitches against Jason Schmidt today.

One thing is for sure. Art Howe will not pitch to Barry Bonds with the game on the line in the late innings. Howe has seen his other fellow managers go down the other road when Bonds comes up late in the game. The A’s Mike Venafro struck Bonds out to end the game yesterday, but the A’s had a big lead at the time. They’ll walk him today if the game is close.

These teams go at each other tooth and nail. Even though the A’s scored ten last night it’s no guarantee as to what will happen today.

Just remember the 13 runs Oakland scored last Monday night in Seattle.

Things looked bright for the rest of the series.

The A’s lost the next three games to the Mariners, scoring six runs in the process.

You just never know what will happen.

Has anyone heard from Bartolo Colon since the trade to Montreal?

Just wondering what he thinks.


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