Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Mariners, Twins, Braves Can Wrap up Series Today, It won't be Easy

In what is turning out to be an exciting week of baseball, the front runners are in a position today to take the series today from the pursuers.

Minnesota and Chicago are developing a real dislike for each other in the blah AL Central.

The A’s Aaron Harang matched Jamie Moyer pitch for pitch in a game which demonstarted the baseball adage that good pitching will always stop mediocre hitting.

The Mets bull pen blinked first when the Braves Gary Sheffield hit a late inning grand slam to win the game, setting up today’s match up between Pedro Astacio and lefty rookie Damian Moss.

How about Mo Vaughn’s shot off the scoreboard in right?

What will today bring, click “read more” and I’ll tell you.The A’s Mariners game turned on a poorly executed throw by Ramon Hernandez on a steal attempt in the eighth inning by Charles Gipson (who can’t hit but his speed kills you).

Miguel Tejada couldn’t handle the one hop throw, Gipson was safe and scored on a hit up the middle just beyond the reach of Chad Bradford by Desi Relaford.

No big names in that rally for Seattle.

Somethings are becoming evident as these two teams played each other for the 12th time last night.

If these teams could ever play a seven game series in the playoffs, it would be fabulous.

Zito vs Garcia, Hudson versus Moyer, Mulder versus Baldwin, Harang versus Pineiro and Lidle versus Soriano.

Not bad.

The A’s are falling into the same funk they did when they couldn’t put NY away in the playoffs last year. The Mariners are not at full strength offensively or defensively.

The A’s are not finishing off Seattle and need a win today to salvage the series.

The A’s are not a goods hitting team, they are opportunistic. Without getting their walks, they have trouble getting anything going against good pitchers.

Moyer and Baldwin pitched excellent games. The A’s didn’t touch them.

Ultimately, Oakland’s lack of a true clean up hitter must be addressed.

Now, they can beat the second line pitchers of the world by waiting them out and driving them from the game by the fifth ininng, but without a real stick in the number four spot, they are always groping for runs in a big game.

Daivid Justice is not that guy.

Seattle’s superior team speed is always a threat to win the game. At some point the A’s need to find a player who can take over a game with his speed.

Remember the saying “Speed doesn’t go in a slump.” It applies to the Athletics inability to manufacture a run in a tight close game against a good team which happens all too often.

On the bright side.

Harang pitched so well last night in a hostile environment that I think he may be a legitimate big time addition to this staff. His game last night was superior to any game Cory Lidle has pitched this season.

Harang has thrown better than Erik Hiljus ever did in his brief stay with the A’s.

Harang pitches without expression, almost a vacant look in his eyes. Either he is so locked in that he doesn’t show any emotion on the mound or he can’t believe what is going on and doesn’t want to wake up.

Whatever his secret is, he has moved into the fourth spot without a doubt and gives the manager a real weapon if he needs a fourth starter in a postseason game against Seattle or anyone else.

I know it’s way down the road to think about the playoffs, but this kid has been fabulous.

Today, future all star Barry Zito has to step up and shut the Mariners down with one or two runs, and the A’s have to do their thing against Rafael Soriano, drive his pitch count up as only the A’s can do.

It would be helpful to see the A’s score some runs against Soriano early, to remove the element of small ball from the Mariners game.

The A’s have trouble with small ball and don’t need a late inning nail biter today.

Fireworks expected in the Metrodome today.

Bobby Howry hit Torii Hunter with a pitch last night, but LaTroy Hwakins couldn’t retaliate because the game was still hanging in the balance.

Jose Valentin has been mouthing off all week long for the Sox and he’ll be the one to get hit today by Rick Reed.

The Sox are sick of the Twins “We don’t get any respect attitude” and send Gary Glover, a five inning pitcher to the hill to try to get a split in the series.

Twins closer Eddie Guardado almost blew the game last night walking the bases full in the ninth before Magglio Ordonez popped out to end the game.

Guardado has little chance of being effective for a full season with the way he is being overworked so far.

We’ll see him in Oakland next week.

Twins catcher AJ Piezrnyski was trash talking as Ordonez made the last out further adding fuel to this fire.

The Mets are putting up a good fight against the Braves. Shawn Estes left with the score 2-2. Trachsel and Leiter pitched admirably during the first two games of the series. Now the Mets must try to beat another lefty in the rookie Moss. Moss walks batters at an alarming rate which may keep the Mets offense in the game.

Even if the Mets fall today, they are the only competition for the Braves in this division and will chase Atlanta all summer.

The Yankees and the Red Sox continue to struggle even though Boston pulled out last night’s game with Cleveland.

CC Sabathia, a lefty in Fenway will have his hands full. John Burkett hasn’t won since he said he will boycott the all star game. Guess what John, you aren’t getting picked anyway, so enjoy the three days off.

David Wells versus Scott Erickson. Why not, the Orioles are hot and already won games started by the Rocket and Andy Pettitte.

Can anyone tell me why John Rocker is still pitching in the major leagues?

Let’s see who the first White Sox player hit today is.

I’m betting on Jose Valentin.

Hey, it’s still only June. A lot of ball ahead. It’s getting interesting.


1 Anonymous { 06.27.02 at 11:56 am }

When you look at the A’s series after they won on Monday night 13-2, you would think now is the time to beat up on the injured Seattle team, but to their credit they made a statement right back at the A’s.

The statement is so true, “Momentum is the next days starting pitcher.”

2 Anonymous { 06.27.02 at 12:11 pm }

I agree with you 100% about Justice. He isn’t the person for the job in the clean up spot. I actually think the guy should be playing in the field also. A healthy Dye is a bona fide number 4 hitter. But, we all know he isn’t going to reach 100 percent this year. The A’s need to pick up Brian Giles. He will address their extra defense, speed (he has pretty good speed) and hitting needs.

3 Anonymous { 06.27.02 at 12:12 pm }

Re: 2nd post above. I meant to say that Justice shouldn’t be playing in left field.

4 marty { 06.27.02 at 12:23 pm }

I absolutely agree. Justice hasn’t pulled a ball with authority since the first week of the season.


5 Dale { 06.27.02 at 12:56 pm }

Of course the scouting report on Justice to pitch him low and away, so I don’t know of any balls he could pull because he is not a threat really when you pitch him low and away. He just slaps at the ball with no authority.

I think, he’s trying to hit what the pitchers are giving him.

6 Anonymous { 06.27.02 at 1:29 pm }

The fact of the matter is, Dale, that Justice doesn’t hit the ball with authority with enough consistency, whether it’s to the left or right field. He, actually, gets plenty of good fastballs to hit that get a middle to inside part of the plate. He doesn’t do enough with any of them. When is that last time he hit a homerun? Sure, his injury contributes to this. But Beane should have figured that in when he got him. He shouldn’t be hitting 4th.

7 Anonymous { 06.27.02 at 1:36 pm }

Hey, I agree. I think he’s injured or something. He had a great first week of the season. And, the fact is that he has no power right now. Lets hope he’ll turn it around.

He’s just a really smart hitter and knows the strike zone well. But it’s easy to start blaming hitters when the fact is nobody has hit since Monday night. Who would have figured?

8 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:14 pm }

9 Anonymous { 09.22.07 at 1:50 pm }

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