Giants Quit Scoring Runs the Hard Way: Win Pennant

You'll be conjuring the name "Ishikawa" until the Giants move to London in 2134. (San Jose Mercury News)

You’ll be conjuring the name “Ishikawa” until the Giants move to London in 2134. (San Jose Mercury News)

Travis Ishikawa.

The guy who wore jeans to the 2010 World Series ring ceremony (in 2011).

The guy who bounced around on the Brewers, Orioles, Yankees, Pirates, and spent most of this year in AAA.

And he’s our starting left fielder in the NLCS?

When did this exactly happen? I know they say “all hands on deck” in the playoffs, but for the Giants, it’s almost as if Bochy asked Sabean, “Hey, got any stale donuts left in the break room? I’m looking for just a morsel to keep me from eating my large cap.” Yet, these seemingly stale morsels: the Paniks, Duffys, Perezes, Ariass (that looks bad there), and of course, the Ishikawas, may not be your first choice for a fresh pastry, but dammit THEY WILL FEED YOU!

And in a pivotal, uncharacteristic moment (for Bochy and this team), Ishikawa misplayed a ball hit to him in left, and as it sailed over his head for an RBI double, you could literally hear the moans escape from AT&T. The redditors and others just screaming, “SEE, I TOLD YOU ISHI CAN’T PLAY OUTFIELD, CLEARLY JUAN PEREZ IS THE ONE AND ONLY GATEKEEPER TO THE WORLD SERIES….DUMB BOCHY!”

No sense screaming about any and all mistakes made in June and July when they were in the trough of the big leagues. Much like the collective screaming of millions of not-Ishikawa-jersey-wearing Giants fans were abated a bit by the fact that Bumgarner minimized the damage to that one run. They were in the game.

Then Panik, who hadn’t homered since he grew pubic hair, yanked one just fair to put the Giants ahead.

Wait, the Giants hit a homerun? Ok, so Crawford and Belt have done it, I guess it’s been long enough. When do we get the run scored via the “ball-stuck-in-Pierzynski’s-orbital-socket,” a misplayed ball by the Cardinals because the ball literally split in two after a broken bat fragment julienned it, or the wild buffalo sacrifice at second base? Apparently that well dried up tonight, and the baseball gods smiled upon the black and orange masses to give us a game for the annals of Giants lore. Not only did Bumgarner give up a homerun to a lefty for the first time since April, but the third string catcher also launched one off of him in the third. It appeared that the devil magic was bubbling from the Cardinals side.

I myself was pessimistic. No matter how many improbable comebacks this team has made, you figure they can’t win EVERY GAME in dramatic fashion…..right?

Enter Michael Morse. After both starters settled down and cruising, the 8th inning came like a well-lubricated freight train. Morse was actually on deck in the 7th to pinch hit for Bum, but since they went so quickly, and with Bum wanting to pitch one more inning, Morse came back out with his neon orange cleats in the 8th against one of the best setup men in the game. Morse has had two ABs all NLCS and hasn’t played beyond that for more than a month. Of course. Because it’s the Giants. Neshek is nasty, but he hung a slider, and Morse jumped on it, tying the game at 8.

Again, where’s the ball off the seagull for a run?

After a 9th inning that left me guzzling Pepto and wailing on my children, (THANK YOU AFFELDT!), the bottom of the 9th unrolled the carpet to Michael Wacha, last year’s NLCS MVP. However, he hadn’t pitched since September 26, and with Rosenthal in the pen, I thought it to be a curious move in such a high leverage situation, both mentally and physically.

After a Sandoval single and Belt walk with one out, it set the stage for either a) a double play, b) a walk-off 3 error Benny Hill title sequence, c) walk off homer.

HAHAHA go the fuck home, you’re drunk, option c).

Oh, and why don’t you replay this 45 times in honor of Ishikawa’s jersey number

The Giants, who scored 10 runs without a hit over their last 5 games, scored all 6 via the long ball tonight.

The Giants really are trolling the baseball world right now.

Dammit I love this mother f’n game, don’t you?

Chad

Post Article Notes:

Great images from the game by the mercury news

 

 

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Episode 74: NLCS Tied 1-1

Bumgarner has been the only true ace of the playoffs. (USA Today/Getty Images)

Download the podcast here, or stream it below!

A special mid-NLCS episode of the TortureCast finds the Giants and Cardinals knotted at 1 game a piece in this 7 game series. Now, the scene shifts back to our park in China Basin for games 3, 4 and 5. Willie, Ben, Chad and special returning guest, Eric Nathanson, break down games 1 and 2, including what went right (bullpen) and what went wrong (bullpen, BA w/RISP). Although the walk-off HR was soul-crushing for about a minute, we all were inspired by the tenacious Giants coming back throughout the game, including the dramatic 9th inning.

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A Giants Man Cave

The Giants are in the NLCS, so TortureCast.com decided to present a tour of Chad’s San Francisco Giants-themed mancave!

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by | October 12, 2014 · 12:55 PM

Episode 73: NLCS!

I wonder if the Giants will put up a chalk outline on the wall to commemorate this catch?

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or stream it below!

The Giants were considered the 10th seed in the MLB playoffs, yet here they are, demolishing the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals to become one of the “Final Four” in Major League Baseball. Willie, Chad and Eric (@2outhits) discuss the Giants’ chances in the NLCS vs the Cardinals and what makes these teams so special in episode 73 of the TortureCast!

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Episode 72: National League Division Series

Giants tried to sweep the Nats today, but ended their 10-game postseason winning streak with the loss. Alas, SF still leads the series 2-1.

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or,

Stream the podcast below:

Since we last recorded, the Giants beat the Pirates in the Wild Card game and took a 2-0 lead in the NLDS against Washington. However, as the Giants looked to sweep the Nats with MadBum on the bump today, it didn’t work out, and the Giants move onto Game 4 with a 2-1 lead and Vogey on the mound. Chad drives this podcast solo to talk about how the Giants are playing with house money, and how they might clinch this series before the dreaded game 5 possibility in Washington. Because, no one wants that.

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Mr. Bumgarner Goes to Washington

Brandon Crawford watches his grand slam sail over the right field fence in the 4th inning of the Giants’ 8-0 rout of the Pirates in the NL Wild Card game. (via Justin K. Aller of Getty Images)

The thing about parenthood and modern technology, is that we now have an obligation to put our children first before a Giants playoff game. Clearly parents didn’t do so before the age of the DVR. If I transport myself back to 1989 as a parent, I’m sure I could tell my wife that I couldn’t take our daughter to play rehearsal and our son to the park for some quality outside time because the Giants are playing the Cubs in the NLCS. When she responds, “just record it on the VCR,” I’d cooly respond with, “we only have our wedding tape here…no blanks!” Problem solved.

Well, not so much tonight. Despite the pit of despair that was wallowing in my soul at work as first pitch drew near, I did have fatherly duties to attend to, and my sidekick DVR could just suck up all the inning into its digital innards for viewing later. Of course, this meant that I had to cut myself off from the digital world and disable my MLB At Bat notifications as I ventured out into the natural environment and avoid eye contact from any other parent who might tell me the score.

Mission: success!

So, I finally tuned into the game 90 minutes after first pitch, and although I didn’t get to enjoy Crawford’s grand slam live, it was live to me. Plus, I got to skip any annoying Viagra and insurance commercials to boot. Oh, and I also muted the TV because I couldn’t stand the Kruk (Jon, that is) and company. I watched baseball alone and in complete silence. Wait, is that a scene from “The Fan?”

Alas, I was overjoyed with the progress of the game, and eventually caught up to live when it was 7-0. I listened to Posey’s RBI single in the car as I picked up my daughter, and we both enjoyed a live viewing of the final 3 outs at home before putting the kids to bed.

The moral of the story: have your wife’s homemade shredded chicken tacos before you watch a DVR’d Giants game.

Oh, I forgot to mention that. They were epic, and may now become my rally enchiladas. With Cholula and crema, of course.

As far as the baseball game was concerned, Bumgarner was incredible. Willie, Ben and myself all predicted Giants wins, but with different shades of orange. I predicted a tight 4-3 nailbiter, Ben an extra-inning win, and Willie just about Nostradamus’d it: a 3-hit shout out by Bum. Well, it was a 4-hit shutout.

Aside from Bum’s dominant performance, and maybe it wouldn’t have mattered IF the Giants had faced Cole, but I think that was the key to the Pirates’ chances in this game. I can’t (can) blame Hurdle for using Cole on Sunday, with a chance to win the NL Central, but the Cards had Wainright going later against lowly Arizona, a low probability of the Cards losing that game.

Giants benefited from the NL Central race, IMHO. If the Giants had the same chance to with the West, we might have seen Bum go on Sunday instead of tonight.

And perhaps the result would have been different in that alternate universe.

That’s 8 consecutive playoff victories and 7 consecutive elimination game victories for the Giants. At some point those streaks have to end…

…right?

Or, just perhaps, this even-year-thing has some teeth.

Let’s hope they can earn a split in Washington and close it out at AT&T Park on Tuesday, but that’ll be a tall order against the best starting rotation in the bigs.

Oh, is Hunter Pence the man?

YES! YES! YES!

Chad

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Episode 71: PLAYOFFS!

We want to see many more of these images in the playoffs.

Download Episode 71 here, or:

Press play below to stream Episode 71!

What does 2014 have in common with 2010 and 2012? The San Francisco Giants are in the playoffs, of course! Let’s hope the pattern extends itself to a third title. The boys break down the Giants’ wild card chances against the Pittsburgh Pirates for an hour, which is about the same amount of time you’ll be either watching commercials and relieving your bladder during wild card game on Wednesday.

We gloat over our expert prognostication of Giants wins back in March (we picked 89, 89, 88, and the Giants had 88), pick our team MVPs, and give our cliche “3 keys” for a Giants victory against the Buccos. Let’s hope this is the start of a new chapter in Giants’ lore. Who will deliver the next triple-double, stand in the rain, bust out a thong, deliver the clutch HR, or throw a strike that freezes a dominant hitter to clinch a series? We’ll find out if that road indeed lies ahead, Giants fans. Buckle up!

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Who Should Start the Wild Card Game?

Do the Giants start Bumgarner or Peavy in the wild card game? Does it matter if they are at home or in Pittsburgh? (photo: AP)

Now, before you yell at us, “BUMGARNER, YOU DIPSHIT!!” Just take a moment to ponder this:

It may sound crazy, and I’m not actually a proponent of this strategy, but I can see the logic in it…a little bit.

If the point of making the playoffs is to win the World Series, then you need to give your team the best chance to win each series. And, this is where it gets fuzzy. Some argue that Bochy should save Bumgarner for two starts in an NLDS by NOT starting him in the wild card one-game playoff. Insanity?

Well, if you throw Bum for the wild card game, and you win, you will only have Bum for one game on the NLDS. Does the thought of having Peavy throw 2 games in the NLDS sound ok? Maybe. By the same token, if you throw Peavy in the wild card game, and you win, Bum would start games 1 and 5.

Although this sounds like a plausible strategy, and Peavy has been incredibly hot down the stretch, being one of the best trades at the deadline, he has given up 24 earned runs in 23 career playoff innings, including a disastrous 2013 postseason with the Red Sox, despite the fact they won it all.

To further complicate this question, the Giants may be faced with the prospect of playing in Pittsburgh, where the Pirates are a striking 51-30, and under .500 on the road. However, to combat that, Bumgarner is 11-4 with a 2.22 ERA on the road this year (7-6, 4.03 ERA at home). So perhaps if he starts, those forces cancel each other out?

So, Giants fans, do you push in all your chips in the wild card game, or do you gamble by saving him for a potential 2-start NLDS? List your comments below!

Let’s hope the Giants can stave off Kershaw and the Doyers from clinching tonight, but to be honest, it looks bleak. However, it doesn’t mean the Giants can’t back into the playoffs and make it all the way. The beginning of the playoff journey is just getting there, and as we all know, the Giants had their back against the wall for 6 elimination games in 2012 and won every single one of them en route to their second trophy in three years.

Anything is possible, keep the faith.

Chad

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Bonusode 70.1: D’backs vs. Giants 9.10.14

The fog threatening to roll in as the Giants play the D'backs on 9.10.14.

The fog threatening to roll in as the Giants play the D’backs on 9.10.14.

You can download the podcast here, or

Stream the podcast below:

Willie, Ben and Chad once again head to Zeke’s after a Giants game to talk about many exciting events. First and foremost, the Giants blanked the Diamondbacks 5-0 to maintain their 2.5 game deficit behind the Dodgers and their 4 game lead on the wild card. We also talk about “video gamer’s” night with Todd McFarlane before the game (Ben got the sweet Assassin’s Creed figurine).

Even more exciting was the fact that we had clubhouse access for the first time. Chad snagged interviews with Panda, Pence and Affeldt before the game, and those interviews can be found here. We also spoke with Matt Duffy after the game (interview is at the end of this bonusode) about his critical 7th inning double to put the game away. Pour a shot and a beer, sit down, and enjoy another bonusode with the boys from TortureCast!

We’ll be in the clubhouse again for Saturday’s game against LA. Should be an anxiety-ridden ride for all.

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Pre-game interviews: Pence, Panda, Affeldt.

TortureCast had clubhouse access for the first time before tonight’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Chad was able to interview Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence and Jeremy Affeldt.

Enjoy the interviews!

Pablo Sandoval

Download Pablo interview

 

Hunter Pence:

Download Pence interview

 

Jeremy Affeldt:

Download Affeldt interview

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