Press box Game Notes: May 28th 2015 v Atlanta Braves

When Chad covers the games he tends to give a full recap and a story of the game and what happened. I’m a bit different. Tonight I’m going to cover the things I notice as the game goes on in more of a “stream of consciousness” style. Of course, the experience from the press box is not the same as the one you will get from normal seats so hopefully I can give you a new perspective.

  • Arriving at the park is such a different feeling when the Giants are rolling and this team is rolling with a capital G. 11 of 13 and and 25-10 since April 21st. The best in the bigs over that time.
  • There was a good feeling at BP. Most guys were raking the ball and for such a small guy the loudest contact was coming off of Duffy’s bat. He has been very impressive since taking over every day at 3rd. His .343 avg is the 8th best in the majors in May.
  • Forgive the vertical shooting but I was Perscoping BP and caught the Brandons and Panik doing…well….whatever the hell this is: Some awesome new drill
  • There is no hole in tonight’s lineup for the G-men. Every hitter top to bottom is seeing the ball well which is great since the weather is cooling off quick and it will likely take a string of hits to score runs tonight. When Pagan is your 7th hitter you know things are going well. The only guy struggling is Belt but against a Righty he should be in the lineup.
  • The anthem was sung by a 1st grade class. No notes were hit but the “aww” factor was strong.
  • A.J. Pierzynski still receives boos from the fans here at AT&T park. Michael Morse may be the most beloved one-year Giant and A.J. is definitely the most hated.
  • It’s uncomfortable how long the camera stayed on the kid who yelled “play ball”. Although he didn’t seem to mind. Atta be, babe!
  • When Hunter comes out he always takes a moment to acknowledge the fans in the three areas around right. This man can do no wrong and will go down as an all-time fan favorite in this town.
  • Aoki has been great so far. I think from now on we should absorb someone from every team we beat in the World Series. Just as a rule.
  • I was just here the other weekend and I could have sworn Juan Uribe was, too. Oh well. I guess I’m just hallucinating. Wait. He’s a Brave now?!
  • A nice video package for the Warriors during the break. This may be the Bay Area’s golden age of sports. Make sure you appreciate it everyone.
  • Heston is making the Braves look like little leaguers tonight. Kid is dealing through three! Line: 4K 1H 3IP
  • Went to meet a friend who was here in the upper deck and she says she now hates Buster Posey because a friend of hers works in hositality and says he never tips. Cannot corraborate and only one source so I’m still a fan pending a full investigation.
  • Heston with a 2B in the 6th for his first career etra bagger. One of the reasons I hate the DH is it takes away the fun moments when a pitcher does something awesome at the plate. We’ll save this topic for the podcast itself.
  • Kiss Cam is always a joy. Tonight’s fun moment? Camera finds a guy actually in the act of applying chapstick. He goes in for the kiss but clearly he is in the friend zone and gets denied. Hilarious.
  • Belt leaves earth in the 7th and the goys take a 1-0 lead. He hit it much harder than it looked as not only is the weather tough but he went opposite fild as well. He was the coldest Giant coming in so this bodes well.
  • Even though he isn’t the closer anymore Romo still comes in to El Mechon and I love it. It still riles up the locals. Highlight, guy drunkenly doing finger guns to the latin jam.
  • This is a Thursday night in a 1-0 game and the crowd is seriously rocking. I love that we have embraced this style of baseball here in SF. I get the feeling most AL crowds would be bored to tears and missing all the good stuff a game like this provides. The atmosphere is almost like a playoff game.
  • Giants explode for 6 in the 8th on the strength of the magic wandu follwed by some gappers and line drives. The boys look impressive.
  • Final score 7-0. Heston gets the win with 7.1 IP 6K and only 5 baserunners allowed, HR by Belt and 2 RBI for Panik and Pence and the team hitting a blistering 6-11 with RISP. With the Dodgers off for the night that moves the Giants a half game out of first after a terrible start to the year. They are also now 14-3 over their last 17 games at home. This looks like the team that was the best in baseball for a good portion of 2014.. The key now will be health and the moves that they make, if any, at the All-Star break.

No bonusode tonight as I covered the action alone but we’ll be back Monday and hopefully the Giants will keep it rolling through the weekend.

-Willie Dills


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Eight is Enough

Please tell me you’re old enough to understand this reference!

Clearly we wanted nine or more, but the Giants had their longest winning streak in four years, winning eight in row. They hadn’t lost in more than a week, for God’s sake! That just can’t be sustained.

Through the last three wins in Cincinnati, the shutout sweep of the Dodgers and the first two torturous wins in Colorado, the Giants finally succumbed to normalization.

The streak brought some amazing stats, like almost 40 consecutive scoreless innings pitched, the longest homerun at Coors Field since 2004, and, well, no, Dinger didn’t impress us with anything, so nevermind.

The Giants have one more in Colorado tomorrow, but at least it’ll be a split before they leave for Milwaukee.

Oh, and by the way, the Giants have an absurd streak of 2 out RBI hits. But, it’s not even close to the record.

For those of you who were worried when they were 4-10, drink a few beers, sheesh.

Chad

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Episode 86: The Reverend is Back!

No matter what he looks like doing the things he does, we like the things he does, because it helps others do thing better, and stuff.

You can download the episode here, or stream it below!

Hunter Pence is back. And not just on Twitch, but like hitting homeruns and throwing awkwardly from right field. Yes, all is right with the world.

Back when the Giants were 4-10, we didn’t panic. We said let’s wait until they have played 40 games, and if they’re at .500 and Hunter is back, they’ll be fine. Welp, they’re 20-18 now, so guaranteed to be at .500 after 40, and Hunter IS back, and had a huge hand in the last two wins, going 4-8 with a homerun and scoring five runs. The Giants have the best record in the NL since their bad start at 16-8, and have a great stretch of games coming to balloon that record.

Join Chad and Eric as they discuss the Giants’ recent success as they delve deep into numbers, including Casilla’s immaculate inning, only the 79th in recorded history. Belt is hitting .321 and shutting up his haters, Pagan’s back is acting up, and Bochy names coaches for the All Star Game. Plus, Jeff Loria named his cat as manager of the Marlins.

Enjoy episode 86 of the TortureCast!

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Hunter Pence is back

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

 

The long nightmare is over. Hunter Pence is returning to right field fo the San Francisco Giants. This Andrew Baggarly tweet rolled across the ol’ Twitter timeline Friday afternoon.

That is great news for all of us. The world is just a better place with Hunter Pence in the starting lineup. His hustle helps the Giants get through soe rough times. It will be great to see him charging hard through first base and sliding around the outfield.

Hunter Pence is back.

The Giants did a great job of fighting to have a .500ish record while he was injured. Having him back for 2 in Cincinnatti and then a home series with the Dodgers could be a launching point for this team. Or it could not. But he’s such a positive force on that field and in the clubhouse that it has to be a boost for the team. Hunter Pence is back. So who gets sent down to make room for Pence on the roster? John Shea says it’s going to be a catcher.

If I had a vote. It be fun to have a vote, wouldn’t it? I’d send down Hector Sanchez. The addition of Andrew Susac catching to give Buster Posey some days at first is working out just fine. There’s no need to carry 3 catchers anymore. The bullpen is set right now so shuffling around isn’t needed. The real shuffle happens when “It’s Travis Ishikawa” comes back to the team. But that’s another day.

With Pence returning to the lineup Saturday night here’s the batting order I’d love to see on a regular basis. Brandon Belt has been in a funk with a lot of the swing and miss lately. Maybe moving to 6th and lenghtening the Giants lineup will get him going again. Make it happen Boch.

Aoki LF
Panik 2B
Pagan CF
Posey C
Pence RF
Belt 1B
Duffy 3B
Crawford SS
Pitcher

On Posey first base days you can just slot Susac in for Belt. You’ll also note that I have Matt Duffy in the lineup. He should be playing everyday. But that’s a whole other post I don’t have in me right now. Today’s news is all sunshine and roses.

Hunter Pence is back.

-Eric
@2outhits

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Episode 85: Gotta Say It Was a Good Week

Justin Maxwell delivers a game winning RBI against the Dodgers to complete the sweep. Cuz, that’s cool.

Download the episode here, or stream the podcast below:

We got to talk about a winning week in episode 85. The Giants swept the Dodgers at home, and they went 4-1 for the week. We’ll ignore the fact that the Giants lost to the Dodgers tonight. That doesn’t count.

Chad thinks Sanchez will be DFA’d when Pence comes back, we love Maxwell and Aoki, hate Ventura, Twitter and Arte Mareno.

Come join this “less than 1 hour” episode of the TortureCast!

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Episode 84: “4-10 Good Buddy”

We get up close and personal with Bochy’s ring, hall of famers, and we even get to third base!

Download the podcast here, or stream it below!

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the Tigers’ record (11-2) right now? Although the Giants have gotten off to one of the worst starts ever for a World Series champion, it’s not quite yet time to panic.

Chad and Eric discuss the highlight of the week, which, yes, was the only win in the last 10 games, but it was also the World Series Ring ceremony. Chad was in attendance, and he strolls down memory lane and recounts his experience in the clubhouse, seeing all five living Hall of Famers, and actually handled the ring of Bochy himself. All pictures of the night are on our Facebook page.

We cover McGehee, Peavy on the DL, “Tweet at me, Bruh,” our new favorite and least favorite guys, and of course, “Why We Will Win it All.”

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Ring Ceremony and D’backs vs. Giants

Treat of the day: we all got to hold the precioussss, Bochy's shiny new World Series ring.

Treat of the day: we all got to hold the precioussss, Bochy’s shiny new World Series ring.

Tiffany-blue boxes, orange carpet, gold jerseys and caps. Yes, it was the Giants bi-annual ring ceremony, but it was my first. To be honest, after one, then two, you don’t think you’ll have a third chance to cover one, but I guess it’s a charm, and hopefully not the last.

Only covering about a dozen games a year, this one was special. I asked the grounds crew if I could photograph the special bases, asked Amy G if I could look at the special gold ball being used tonight, and when I went in the office to hang out for 20 minutes outside of Bochy’s office with the rest of the press, to my right in Mike Murphy’s office sat orange royalty: Mays, Marichal, Cepeda, and Perry, and I had just seen McCovey exit. This was Giants nirvana.

The ring ceremony was not quite as long and ostentatious as 2013, but it had it’s moments, including skydivers. The collective worry about the post-ceremony performance letdown was palpable after the last of the streamers drifted into the stands, but Chris Heston, who didn’t let the home opener rattle him, established command early, going 7 2/3 innings and 112 pitches. Bochy had to take him out when he allowed a two-out single in the top of the 8th (and he almost caught it). He left to thunderous applause from the AT&T crowd, and Romo followed with a punchout to the delight of all.

On the other side of the ball, the offense came out of it’s torpor. No, four runs on 12 hits ain’t blazing, but that’s about the equivalent of 10 runs for normal teams. Posey had two broken-bat singles, Belt trolled the internet by avoiding #Belt069 with a single that beat the shift, and Crawford, who was 1 for his last 29, launched a mammoth homerun over triples alley, which is usually where would-be homeruns go to die. It was just the Giants’ night…finally.

Post-game, Bochy was impressed with Heston, especially considering that he’s pitched twice against the D’backs, and the Giants’ home opener and ring ceremony. Heston himself was very humble in the clubhouse, and just executed what Posey put down. His only regret was not snagging that line drive with two outs in the eighth, which forced his departure.

The eight-game losing streak is over, and as Bochy put it, “It’s nice to see teeth in the clubhouse again.”

Chad

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Episode 83: Fat Cats

One of these two hit their first MLB homerun tonight (Photo: Tom Duffy)

Yes. That is Matt Duffy (on the left, of course) chilling with his 40 pound cat Skeeter while playing Call of Duty. We thought you’d need a smile before diving into this autopsy of the Giants’ first 10 games of the season.

You can download episode 83 here, or stream it below!

Welcome to our first regular season podcast of the 2015. Hopefully it won’t be the last. We’ve been a fortunate group of guys able to podcast about 3 World Series championships, watch from the press box and interview players, but the first week of the season feels like the Houston Astros. Despite winning three of their first four, the Giants are in a tailspin with a current 6-game losing streak. Their bats have not just gone cold, they are stored in liquid nitrogen. They are a whopping 5 for 47 with runners in scoring position. They can get runners on buy the truckload, they just can’t deliver them home.

Eric and Chad talk about the frustrating start to the season, throw around ideas on how to fix it, discuss Heston’s place in the rotation, get peaved at Peavy, and at one point, bask in the glow of the home opener and Bum on a horse.

It can’t get any worse, can it?

– Chad will be in the press box at AT&T on Saturday night to cover the ring ceremony and game versus Arizona. Be sure to follow @TortureCast on Twitter for copious updates and pictures of endless coffee.

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The Good, The Bad, & What’s Next?

Nori Aoki of the San Francisco Giants. TortureCast.com

Ezra Shaw/ Getty Images

Week one of the 2015 season is in the books and the San Francisco Giants are coming home after 7 games on the road to start it all up. They are limping back to AT&T Park after dropping their 3rd straight game to the San Diego Padres under the bright sunshine at Petco Park. They sit at 3-4 and are last in the division, but remember it’s early and they only sit 1.5 games back. This is no repeat of the torrid start from last season.

Each week I’m going to take a look back at the good and the not so good of the previous week. Don’t worry though, I won’t leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. I’ll always look ahead to the upcoming week ahead for the Giants. So let’s roll this baby out and bring you my new weekly look at the Giants. Continue reading

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Rivalry Renewed

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

This isn’t a post about gum. Well, I guess it kind of is but I’ll get to that in a minute. Last night the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres renewed acquaintances for the first of nineteen meetings between the two clubs this season. During the offseason, and right up until the day before the season opened, the Padres overhauled their roster. There’s new faces everywhere. Matt Kemp came from LA, they added Wil Myers and Justin Upton. The new catcher is Derek Norris, you may remember him from his days across the bay.

It seems the Padres have gotten tired of Giants fans invading Petco Park and turing it in to “AT&T South”. I didn’t mind, neither did you I’m guessing. They’ve decided to try and win some games for the first time since 2010. That’s what last night felt like, 2010. This first game between the clubs was a nail-biter. The Giants finally won 1-0 in the 12th inning on a Justin Maxwell pinch-hit that drove home Brandon Crawford with the winning run. Continue reading

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