Marty Lurie Talks San Francisco Giants Baseball

Memorial Day First Marker of the Season

Batter Up May 27th, 2007
With the 2007 baseball season approaching the one-third mark on Memorial Day things are beginning to take shape.
The Yankees are still very much in the playoff picture. The Bombers will be hard pressed to catch the Red Sox this summer in the East, but the wild card is within their reach.
The Tigers are the class team in the AL Central. Magglio Ordonez could be this year’s AL MVP. The Indians offense is explosive, but the consistency of their pitching raises serious questions.

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Chicago has some starting pitching, but their hitters are still in a deep freeze.

The Twins are finally starting to hit the ball. Justin Morneau is making a good case for MVP again. Minnesota’s usually strong ‘pen has been weakened by injuries. Minnesota should give one of their precocious AAA starters a chance.
The Angels have opened a modest lead in the AL West. Los Angeles plays like a different team on the road giving hope to the A’s as Oakland’s wounded return from the DL. The strength in Anaheim is the starting pitching. This season the Angels defense is first class making them even tougher to beat when the pitching is clicking.
The A’s are staying close to the lead simply because of their pitching. At some point a true power hitter must step forward. The most significant injury to the team is losing closer Huston Street. You can mix and match at the end of the game in the short run, but if you are a playoff contender you have to have one pitcher who can get the last three outs without question.
This year the wild card winner in the AL should have 93 wins or so. Certainly within reach of the Yankees and the second place finisher in the Central. Things would really have to go well in the West for a team to be close in the Wild Card.
Two great matchups at the Coliseum: If the Twins and Red Sox pitching rotations stay on course the A’s Chad Gaudin will face Minnesota’s Cy Young winner Johan Santana next Sunday. The next day Dan Haren squares off against Boston’s seven game winner Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Roger Clemens has looked his age during his two minor league rehab starts. Don’t expect to see The Rocket making his 2007 debut against the powerful Red Sox in Fenway Park next weekend. If I’m the Yanks I’m giving the 45-year old Clemens his first start against the less threatening White Sox on June 4th.
Barry Zito got the shakes facing the A’s in his first interleague start. How do you think the Giants ace will fare if he dances around the strike zone when the Giants face Toronto, New York (AL), and Boston next month?
Don’t miss the A’s tribute honoring the African-American 20 game winners, the “Black Aces” before this Wednesday’s game. A truly unique group of pitchers led by Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Dave Stewart, Mike Norris and Vida Blue.
I’ve seen enough of the Astros, Cardinals, Reds, and Pirates to say the NL Central will be a two-team race between the Cubs and the Brewers. Milwaukee shortstop JJ Hardy and teammate Prince Fielder are legit MVP candidates if the Brewers hang onto the lead.
Can’t the Cubs find one solid set up man? The nightly expression of disbelief on Lou Piniella’s face is painful to watch.
The Mets and the Braves are the only playoff contenders in the NL East.
No reason to think Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo will last much longer. Malcontent Melvin Mora is undermining the manager in the clubhouse. The Orioles should put former A’s skipper Ken Macha at the top of their short list.


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