Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Dodgers-Giants Heading For Usual Finish, Who Should Start for the A's?

One thing you can always count on during a baseball season is the classic finish the Dodgers and the Giants stage the last week of the season.

Whether it be 1935, 1951, 1962, 1982, 1993 or 2002, these teams just won’t let the other get comfortable, if there is a breath left in their post season hopes.

The Giants lead by two games with six to play. Just let LA close this race to one game and then watch out.

San Diego comes in to Pac Bell Tuesday night, while the Dodgers play Colorado in Los Angeles.

Pitching at home against Colorado will give the Dodgers an edge since the Rockies go into a batting nose dive as soon as they leave Coors Field. San Diego has played every game as if their season was on the line.

This race isn’t over yet.

The A’s are close to clinching the West, needing three wins /or Angel losses / or any combination of the above to close the deal.

Who should start the playoffs for the A’s?

Click “read more” and I’ll tell you.The great stories of baseball unfold every autumn. Hall of Fame pitchers nail down their credentials for enshrinement in Cooperstwon by coming through in the big games.

The look of a big game pitcher on the mound is unmistakeable. The glare of Randy Johnson, the expression of Jack Morris, the determination of Sandy Koufax, the no nonsense approach of Bob Gibson, the power of Tom Seaver and Jim Palmer.

The character of these pitchers is unassailable.

It remains to be seen which of the A’s pitchers will have the killer instinct over the month of October to stand on the mound and stare down the opposition and bring a championship to Oakland.

Forgetting for the moment that Minnesota is more vulnerable to lefthanded pitchers, the A’s must decide on a rotation for the playoffs that maximizes the chance for a legend to be born.

The A’s need to find their pitching leader who will take the ball under the most pressure and not need perfect conditions to succeed.

Right now the toughest pitcher the A’s have is unquestionably Tim Hudson. If there is a need to pitch on three days rest, Hudson is the man I want to see on the mound. Barry Zito is a prisoner to a pregame routine that worries me if he is asked to vary from his meticulous preparation. Mark Mulder is a cool customer, but after seeing him work game five last year in Yankee Stadium on normal rest, (I felt he lost his stuff around the fourth inning of the most important game of the 2001 season), I would give someone else the ball in the first game.

Now, Mulder may have to get the ball in game five on short rest, but Hudson pitches games one and four for me.

I’m looking for the next Palmer, Seaver, Gibson, etc. Forget the niceties of matchups, stadiums, routines or any of those items which could be debated for days. Give me the guy who is going to stare down the batter like Dave Stewart would, with all the money on the line.

One of the A’s big three needs to take the big step up and say give me the damn ball, I don’t care where or when or how much rest I have, I’ll win this game for the team.

So, who is the guy? Could it be all three?

The pitching staff is so good that they may not need to go on three days rest in the first round. They could knock Minnesota out in three games, they really could.

But somebody has to get the ball in game one and be prepared to seal the deal in game four or extend the series to game five, if things don’t go well.

Hudson is the man. I trust him. He throws every pitch as if his life depended on it. To me, he has the post season look of the greats of the game.

Mulder and Zito are fabulous pitchers who have, and will continue to excell if the conditions are correct, but Hudson will pitch his game in a snowstrom, domed stadium, Yankee Stadium, or any stadium where his team needs him, with no questions asked.

Hudson is the leader of the pack.

Hudson gets the ball in game one next Tuesday. Then bring on Mulder and Zito.

I like the A’s chances in round one.

Greg Maddux won his 15th game of the year Sunday, the 15th consecutive season he has won 15 games. Simply amazing stuff for the Hall of Famer to be.

The Braves are set with a great bull pen, John Smoltz can be an MVP of the postseason. I expect him to be the difference in the NLDS.

The years that Smoltz and Eric Gagne have put together would win the Cy Young award in any other season that didn’t have Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling blowing away the competition.

It will be fascinating to watch the playoffs this Fall.

Who will be the pitchers that win the big games? Who will be the hero of the World Series? Will it be three pitchers from Oakland? The Rocket and Pettitte in NY? Maddux, Glavine and Milwood in Atlanta? Sheffield or Bonds? Washburn or Anderson in Anaheim? Radke and Hunter? Pujols and Tino? Johnson or Schilling?

The possibilities are endless and when it happens it defines the careers of the players involved.

Good or bad.


1 Anonymous { 09.23.02 at 4:30 pm }

wishful thinking

a’s over the twins

angels upset the yanks

a’s win the al

braves over giants

d’backs over cards

d’backs in 7 over atlanta for nl

a’s win the ws in 6

2 arizonabrett { 09.23.02 at 5:53 pm }

Marty, I have been telling Evan for the last month and a half how much i love Tim Hudson, and believe that he is the best pitcher on this staff. I know he likes all three but I think prefers Barry Zito and his devastating curveball over the likes of Tim Hudson. However Over his last 10 starts, (eight of which he won and two were no decisions), he has lowered his era by more than half run. His 1 to 0 shutout of seatle proved to me that he is the best pitcher on this staff and deserves to start game 1 of the playoffs. especially after posting a sub 1.00 era against the yankees last year in the palyoffs. for my money I wan’t Hudson starting two games in the first round of the playoffs.

3 marty { 09.23.02 at 6:56 pm }

I’m with you Brett, Hudson has the stuff to beat anyone without worrying about routines, three days rest, etc. Thanks for the comment.


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