Episode 99: World Series Review and a Very Hot Stove

He’s like a creepy cousin. But, we want him. Does that make this weird? Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Download episode #99 here, or stream it below!

So, the Giants are no longer reigning champs. Big deal. They’ll do it next year, of course. Eric and Chad get together on Skype to discuss how the scrappy Royals made it all the way back to the World Series and how they won it after 8 of their 11 wins secured in comeback fashion, and the parallels drawn to the Giants’ 2012 six elimination game wins against the Reds and Cardinals.

The Giants are also banking cash in large piles after declining the options on Nori Aoki and Marlon Byrd. Greinke, Price and Cueto may all be #1 targets of Bobby Evans and his staff, but we also ask if they may spread the money around a bit to a greater quantity of second-tier pitchers and a couple of outfielders. All we know is that this will be an exciting offseason as the Giants attempt to reload with more available cash than they’ve ever had, and during an offseason flush with quality starting pitchers.

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Episode 98: That’s All She Wrote

That’ll do season, that’ll do.

Download the episode here, or stream it below:

Since 2011 we’ve brought (almost) weekly podcasts to chronicle the San Francisco Giants’ season with cheer, torture, profanity and hope. We’ve been fortunate enough to cover two World Series championships, but this year was not meant to be. The Giants finished 84-78; in second place in the NL West. To be honest, given the injuries, this was not a horrible record, but surely far short of where the Giants and their fans wanted to be.

Willie, Chad and Ben get together to wrap up the season in Episode 98 of the TortureCast. We offer up what went wrong and right for the Giants, and what their offseason priorities should be. Chad also has correctly predicted the last two season win totals at 88 in 2014 and 84 this year. Vegas had them at 84.5 wins for the over/under. No money changed hands.

We offer our postseason winner predictions and who we want to win. All three of us settled on Cubs (want) and Cards (should). Besides, the Giants and Cards have alternated the NL pennant the last 5 years. Why should that change? It would only give credence to the even year magic that they will surely experience next year as they pass around their fourth commissioner’s trophy.


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Turn out the lights, the party’s over


The long, strange trip known as the 2015 baseball season is coming to a close for the San Francisco Giants. After a brutal 8-0 loss to the rival Dodgers yesterday the Giants are officially eliminated from making the playoffs this season. But hey, it’s an odd year, what did we expect?

Personally, I thought the odd year BS would end with this team but alas, it was not meant to be. I’m not ready to look ahead to 2016 and what will surely be another title, so today let’s look back at 2015 and wonder what if.

So where did it go wrong? It seems easy to say injuries. I don’t want to pin it all on that but let’s just get it out of the way now. By my count 16 different Giants spent time on the DL this season. I have no idea how many games they all missed, I’m sure someone did the math. There’s fewer pitchers than you’d think. Here’s the list of players that missed games due to injury in 2015.


Tim Lincecum

Matt Cain

Jake Peavy

Mike Leake

Jeremy Affeldt

Position Players

Hunter Pence

Joe Panik

Brandon Belt

Andrew Susac

Nori Aoki

Gregor Blanco

Angel Pagan

Hector Sanchez

Ehire Adrianza

Juan Perez

Casey McGehee (remember him?)

That’s a long list with a lot of key guys on it. There are FOUR players finishing the season on the DL with concussion related symptoms and there have been a lot of tweaked sides and backs. It’s been ugly, it took away the guts of the team, it just plain sucked. If I missed someone, comment below. With this season it’s entirely possible for that to happen.

The Giants have 82 wins right now and will finish with a winning record. They were a good but not great team when it’s all said and done over a long season. Even with the high turnover the Giants offense leads the NL in hits, batting average, and is tied for the lead in OBP. They’ve scored the 4th most runs in the National League. So offense wasn’t really the hang up this season. Sure, there could be more long balls. We all like dingers. But the Giants offense held its own this season.

There were three things that really hurt 2015. The Giants didn’t play well in 1-run games, the starting pitching was inconsistent, and a lack of depth was exposed. I’m not trying to call this season a failure. Sure I’m glad the team is over .500 but the goal always was, and forever will be, winning championships.


Chad said it all the other night with that tweet. Had the Giants won just a few more 1-run games they’d be playing the Dodgers for first place right now.

Part of the reason for those close losses all season? The starting pitching. Do you know who has the 3rd most starts for the Giants this season? Ryan Vogelsong. Didn’t see that one coming did you? Chris Heston had the no-hitter early and was a lot of fun but then he lost control of where pitches went and had to take a break. What if the Jake Peavy that has been on fire since returning from the DL had been there all season? Who knows. What the Giants had was a dominant Madison Bumgarner and a revolving door of starters. He can carry a team through a month, not a whole season.

I’ll admit it. I like watching Kelby Tomlinson fly and Jarrett Parker trot around the bases. Marlon Byrd has been average and Alejandro De Aza arrived just a month too late. In fact, all the good depth arrived just a little too late. Nobody on the bench turned in to “that guy” for late game situations. The best bench player was Matt Duffy who took the third base job and never let go. Between the starting pitching and depth it’s no wonder the Giants lost so many 1-run games down the stretch.

That’s ok. It’s time to breathe, take an October off and watch some other teams battle it out. Let the odd year BS be your chance to catch up with loved ones plus your blood pressure and liver will thank you. It’s kinda nice to have that luxury.

We recorded Episode 97 the other night if you missed it. The TortureCast crew is at the game tonight. Follow along on Twitter. Also make sure to like us on Facebook, check out our podcasts on iTunes or Stitcher and subscribe to our Youtube channel.



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Episode 97: Still a Pulse…

Yes, technically, yes we are.

Download the episode here, or stream it below:

In a tumultuous episode after a break from scheduling difficulties, Chad, Willie and Eric break down the chances for the Giants winning the NL West.

As I type this at 11:15 pm, the Giants just won on a sac fly to left field in the bottom of the 12th inning to keep their chances on a morphine drip.

The Giants are certainly not looking like they’ll last long, but as we say, take it one game at a time.

The boys use their humor and defensive mechanisms to get through episode 97.

The Giants are still alive…mathematically anyway…


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Episode 96: Giant Collapse

Can you name this Giant? He just might be the face of the 2015 season. If you DO recognize him, you realize he’s played far too many games for the defending World Champs. Yes, Ehire Adrianza and others have had to fill in for a decimated Giants’ roster, which well, has suddenly turned 2015 into a tire fire.

Download episode 96 here, or stream it below!

What the hell?! We take one measly week off and the Giants fall off a cliff?! We promise that we didn’t take a mercenary contract out on any of the players, or spike the Gatorade in LA. From 1 ½ games back of the Dodgers when we recorded episode 95 exactly 2 weeks ago, to an 8 ½ game chasm, the Giants’ season is all but mathematically over. So, sit back and commiserate with Chad, Ben and Eric in this eulogizing podcast. Damn, this odd year curse might actually be real.

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Giants Walk it Off

Tomlinsons’ line drive in the bottom of the 9th was almost snagged by Siegrest, but made it through 5 infielders to secure the walk off win.

Mike Leake deserved better, but then again, so did the starter for the Cards. In a game full of errors, walks, hit batsmen, and botched double plays, both sides gave away multiple runs. It did appear that the Giants’ first strike would be the fatal blow, when Marlon Byrd launched a grand slam just out of the reach of Pham over the center field wall. Afterall, the Giants have won all of their games in which they have hit a grand slam since 2007, and this was their club-record eight of this year. It wasn’t meant to be the difference, as the Cards chipped away, and the last three runs were scored courtesy of a dropped double play ball by Adrianza (no error, though), and a wild pitch with two outs and a runner on third that tied it.

Enter the bottom of the ninth. Since Trevor Rosenthal is on paternity leave for a few days, Mike Matheny had to rely on Maness, Broxton and Siegrest. Siegrest was tagged for his first loss of the year (5-1) when the rookie Kelby Tomlinson ripped a single up the middle after the bases were loaded with one out.

Celebration ensued, and in the clubhouse, I showed Tomlinson his bat flip on my phone. He was embarrassed, but I think he was a little proud of that flip as well.


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The Giants could win the rest of their games to tie their 1993 win total when THEY DIDN’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!

To match their record from 1993 (and they didn’t make the playoffs then), the Giants would have to win the rest of their games. I remember sitting at Candlestick watching the 49ers demolish the Vikings while the Braves beat the inaugural Rockies (Braves went 13-0 vs. Col) to secure the NL West with 104 wins. Giants had 103.

To refresh your memory, 1993 included these images:

And finally…

Ok, I’m officially feeling dementia coming on….


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Episode 95: Somehow the Giants are Still in it

Putting orange things in your ears apparently is a good thing. The Giants’ ain’t having not going to the playoffs, maybe, in 2015.

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

Despite a 2-5 road trip, the Giants actually GAINED a half a game on the Dodgers, who have lost 5 in a row, and now the Giants only sit 1 1/2 games back. Let’s just not think of the wild card at this point.

Chad and Eric are joined by Ryan Leong from Associated Press Radio, who covered all 4 games in Pittsburgh, plus the Steelers exhibition game. We talk about the series, pinch-hitting MadBum, the Giants’ league-leading batting average, and their chances on catching the Dodgers. Really, it doesn’t look to bad…at least now.

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Bonusode 93.1: Giants 8, Nationals 5 (8.14.15)

Crawford and Harper sharing hairdo “best practices.” (Photo: Chad King)

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

After Willie and Chad covered game 2 of the Nationals-Giants series, they were joined by regular guest Jen Cosgriff and new guest JuanPedro Huerta at Zeke’s for a boisterous bonusode. We discuss the game, Jen’s complete destruction of California teams during her midwest trip, the “Full Clubhouse” parody and more while we pound back a few adult beverages.

Be sure to check out Chad’s interview with Hunter Strickland before the game!

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Interview with Hunter Strickland

His locker mate is Jeremy Affeldt, and HE HAD NOT YET SEEN THE “FULL CLUBHOUSE” PARODY! (photo: mlb.com)

Download the interview here, or stream it below!

Chad visited the Giants clubhouse and interviewed reliever Hunter Strickland before the Giants beat the Nationals 8-5. Hunter discusses his lack of love for an automated strike zone, the confidence it takes to pitch in the majors, touts the camaraderie of the clubhouse, and being a southern boy, his favorite food is fried chicken, because of course you should know that. Be sure to check out Bonusode 93.1 that was recorded after the game at Zeke’s!

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