Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Jeremaine Dye returns tonight, who's out ?

Jermaine Dye returns to the A’s line up tonight.

With the big right fielder slated to join the team’s 25 man roster it probably means, utility infielder, Mark Ellis will go back to AAA Sacramento to continue his apprenticeship.

But what about the big bad White Sox?Kenny Lofton is once again the toast of the league. The leadoff hitter is crushing the ball right now. He is leading the AL in batting, runs scored, stolen bases and just about on the top in on base percentage.

The A’s have seen Lofton’s act for years. When Cleveland pounded the A’s regularly, Lofton was always in the middle of the rallies.

So, what do you do? He likes to get ahead in the count. Throw him strike one, then knock him on his ass. Make him uncomfortable at the plate. This strategy worked most of the time with Jason Giambi this past week.

If you let these pesky hitters (like Lofton or Omar Vizquel) get comfortable, they hit like Babe Ruth after a while.

The White Sox team batting average is over .310. Amazing, even if it is only April.

The A’s will throw three righties at the Sox this weekend. Chicago pounds lefties. Don’t expect to see a lot of the three A’s lefthanded relievers this weekend. If they really thought about it, one might go to AAA instead of Ellis, since they face the Sox six times in the next ten days.

The A’s must get into the Sox bull pen early. Tonight is their best chance with either Jon Rauch or Jim Parque going to the hill. Neither pitcher will last past the sixth inning.

Mark Buerhle, lefty who has given the A’s trouble in the past, and newcomer, Todd Ritchie throw Saturday and Sunday. Ritchie is particularly worriesome to Oakland because he throws in the 90’s, and the A’s haven’t seen him before.

Kenny Rogers is throwing the ball very well. He told me he is healthy and expects to have a good year. So far, he is right on. Knocking Seattle off with a shut out clinched the deal for me. Hideki Irabu and Todd Van Poppel actually have been effective in the pen for Texas.

A ray of hope for the Rangers?…Nah.

The Giants play the Reds to conclude their road trip. If you don’t have the Reds on the ropes by the seventh inning, watch out. I’ve said this for two weeks now, they have ingredient number one for success in today’s game…. a very solid six man pen. Juan Encarnacion is also playing great ball in the oufield.

The Cards got more bad news when they placed lefty Bud Smith on the DL. It’s always better to have injuries early in the year, but the St.Louis injury problems are hitting this team hard right now.

After Paul Abbott got smoked by Anaheim this week, you have to wonder how much longer he’ll stay in Lou Piniella’s rotation. Joel Piniero is so valuable in relief, that I don’t think Lou will move him into the rotation, even though he is the next best starter Lou has available.

Odalis Perez gets a chance today to show he is the real deal, matching up against Kerry Wood in Wrigley. Just as you get a good read on batters after about 100 at bats, I like to see a what a starter is doing afer six or seven starts in a row. Let’s see what Perez does today and in his next start for LA.

It may take a few weeks for Jermaine Dye to get up to speed, but the wait will be worth it, since the A’s must have his bat in the line up this summer.

Be Patient.


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