Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

A's now Play Like The 2001 Mariners, Dog Days Bite Angels

Last year the Mariners swept through the American league with such regularity that the A’s would look at the scoreboard and ask “when are these guys going to lose a game?”

This year the A’s are sweeping through the weak sisters of the AL and NL enroute to a 39-10 mark against those patsies.

It is hard to imagine KC jumping up either tonight or tomorrow to beat Mark Mulder or Barry Zito, meaning the A’s should end this road trip with 15 straight wins.

The Angels bull pen wilted under the stars in Fenway, blowing a 9-5 lead in the ninth inning when Troy Percival, who couldn’t throw the ball past Rey Sanchez when it counted, gave up a two out single to the second baseman to tie the game.

The Giants picked up a game on the Dodgers, while the Cards, Astros and Mariners were idle.

Today is more of the same, bull pen collapses and late game comebacks, for sure.

Remember it’s the Dog Days.In 1972, the A’s trailed the White Sox by two games in the West on August 26th. The A’s then went on a tear which led them into the postseason and the world series.

I point this out because there is still a a lot of baseball left to be played.

The Athletics line up is clicking right now. The pressure is off Dave Justice and he is actually producing big hits from the 5 or 6 spot in the order. As I said earlier, just put Ray Durham out there every day and over the course of 30 games he will produce. He does fit the need for a top of the order guy, very much like what Johnny Damon did for Oakland last season, plus he hits the hell out of the AL Central, where the A’s are playing right now.

Cory Lidle pitched well last night, but I still say let’s see what he does in September before annointing him a legit member of the big three.

If Ted Lilly comes back strong and projects to be healthy next season, I would trade Lidle while his value is high in the off season for a big time outfield bat, preferably a center fielder.

Hey, who wouldn’t jump at a chance to acquire the soon to be named pitcher of the month in the AL. I also would keep him out of the starting rotation in any five game playoff series.

The A’s have to be careful not to have the typical let down that occurs when a long winning streak ends, which this will at some point.

The division will be a mine field to manuver in September, believe me there is still a long way to go before ordering playoff tickets.

Boston got a much needed boost last night with the Yankees coming in tonight. The Red sox have pounded lefties at home and David Wells has been less than perfect. With Pedro going tomorrow, the Yankees need to win this one tonight. Look for Joe Torre to bunt, run, steal, or do anything to get the lead for his team. The Yankees haven’t been hitting with much authority lately and don’t have Rivera to close the deal, so the playing field should be level, at least for this short series.

Joe Mays is still working himself back into shape from his earlier injury. Ismael Valdes carries the hopes of the Mariners today. Seattle needs to establish a reliable offense quickly before they find themselves four or five games behind the A’s.

The Dodgers are not a solid playoff club. Losing last night’s game hurt. Nomo needs a big game tonight against Miguel Batista, who will be a big part of the postseason for Arizona. He throws hard and should get a start in the five game NLDS.

The Cards play two in Cincy and send Simontacchi and Finley against Moehler and Dessens. Houston hopes Carlos Hernandez is back to form as he gets the start for the Astros tonight.

This division is far from over, but no one outside of the three cities involved, seems to care.

The Angels are home after a tough loss last night in Boston. They went 3-4 on the same trip the A’s went 4-2 (New York and Boston). If they keep the pedal to the metal, then they should be where they want to be when division play starts Sept. 8th.

No accusations from the negotiators in NY yesterday, that’s a good sign. The next two days are crucial to the negotiations. If they remain quiet that means they are working, if they blow up at each other in the press, see you in September.


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