Tag Archives: Lincecum

Episode 70: George Kontos

 

Meet Mr. Kontos. He wears number 70, never shaves, and enjoys everything Chicago.

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Ben and Chad round up the last week that saw Buster Posey win the NL player of the week (.565!!) and Madison Bumgarner earned NL pitcher of the month for August, yet his monthly ERA (1.97) was actually higher than Kershaw’s ERA for the year. Yeah, we know who’s winning the Cy Young, and maybe even MVP. The Giants had a rough few days in Colorado, but bounced back nicely in Detroit, but because the Dodgers aren’t cooling off, they find themselves 3.5 games back after pulling to within 1.5 earlier in the week.

The good news is that the Giants have a 3.5 game lead in the wild card, they still have 6 games yet to play against the Dodgers, and Buster Posey found his spinach. We also talk Belt’s possible return, Morse’s injury, and how Panik and Susac are exceeding all expectations so far.

Join us for the recorded stream, a stream while we recorded on the internetz. Don’t forget, we now stream all of our podcasts LIVE on YouTube around 9:30 pm PDT every Monday. We will also have clubhouse access this Wednesday and Saturday, so we’ll be sure to take our anti-anxiety medication before we ask Hunter Pence how fluffy his shower towel is.

Episode 70 on YouTube:

 

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Bonusode 68.1: Giants Destroy Brew-crew

The Giants took care of the Brewers in a convincing 13-2 drubbing on Friday night.

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Willie and Chad break down the 13-2 crushing of the Brewers after the game at Zeke’s. Chad also talks about his interview with Will Clark before the game, and the boys break down the Giants chances to make the playoffs down the stretch.

Don’t forget to follow us @TortureCast and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/torturecast. We also stream our podcast live every Monday here at TortureCast.com.

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Episode 68: We’re Doing it Live!

It wasn't smooth, but we did it...our first live streaming call in show.

It wasn’t smooth, but we did it…our first live streaming call in show.

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This is our first live call-in streaming show, ever! We apologize that Chad’s voice is a little soft for half the podcast, and we actually dropped the stream about 10 minutes in, causing mass hysteria as people couldn’t listen to us live, but we trudged through and took a couple of calls about the misfortune the Giants have faced over the last 3 games, including the Nats comeback and tonight’s inexplicable loss to the woeful Rockies. We’ll be doing it live from here on out! Don’t forget to call in at 415.799.SFG1 to let us know how sexy you think Crawford’s mane is.

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Episode 67: Doug Mirabelli +1 or Xavier Nady -1

No SF Giant has ever dared to wear this number for reasons we cannot reveal

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We knew this day would come. We finally hit a uniform number that has never graced the back of a single SF Giant.

We’ll think of it as Xavier Nady minus 1, or Doug Mirabelli plus 1. Not sure what we’ll do about 100+, if we ever get there.

Willie and Chad talk Giants baseball on this off-day that finds the Giants starting a six game road trip to Chicago and Washington, only 3.5 games back of the bums and with a hold on the second wild card spot. Hey, they were further back of the Padres at this point in 2010.  Of course, the Dougie was also a popular dance then, so….

We cover the recent series, Morse’s hot bat, Panik’s hustling pinkie, Matt Cain’s season-ending surgery, Belt’s troubling concussion (and Sanchez’s), Susac, Posey, Pablo, perplexing Timmy, the second base curse, Jimmy Rollins, and what kind of player would manifest with Yaseil Puig’s raw talent with Hunter Pence’s love and respect for the game.

Also, next week around 9 pm PDT, Monday, August 25, we’ll be having our first LIVE CALL IN SHOW and will be streaming it LIVE on YouTube.

Mark it on your calendar, and be sure to call us from your phone and we’ll be sure to patch you in, even if you think Michael Morse is a bust this year.

That number is 415-799-SFG1

Again, that number: 415-799-SFG1. 

Wait, I only need to repeat it on the podcast, not on this post…

Chad

 

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Episode 66: Doug Mirabelli

That jean shirt is sweet

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We’re running out of jersey numbers, so “Doug Mirabelli” it is!

In episode #66, Chad and Ben are joined by Eric Nathanson of 2outhits to discuss the flurry of activity surround the San Francisco Giants including Belt and Cain to the DL, Scutaro’s return, Hicks DFA, signing Dan Uggla to a minor league deal, and Ben’s trip to Minnesota for the All Star Game.

 

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Timmy 2.0

Timmy 2.0 dominated for his fourth-straight start. (Eric Risberg/AP)

We’ve all been hoping for his emergence, or better yet, his re-emergence as the dominant starter he once was. Even if he retired today, he would be one of the most popular Giants of all time with 2 rings, 2 Cy Youngs, 2 no-hitters, and a splash of playoff heroics. Yet, he just turned 30 last month, and that turn of the decade seemed to ring in a new Timmy, version 2.0. I just turned 40, but the only resurgence I’ve seen is the fat in my man-boobs.

We’ve seen flashes of brilliance in his last two dismal seasons, but nothing that was sustained, until now. Over his last four starts, he’s allowed only one run over a span of 30 1/3 innings. He had a scoreless streak of 23 innings that was snapped by a solo homerun, and he hadn’t had a streak like that since 2009, which was in between his two Cy Young seasons.

So why the change? We know his fastball velocity is the lowest it’s ever been, and will continue to drop with age. Perhaps he’s finally matured to the point where he trusts location more than “stuff.” He’s said as much in interviews, but the proof didn’t exist. Is that mentality finally translating to the field? To my un-professional eye (but I did just ‘retire’ after playing 20 years of amateur baseball, so at least I’ve seen a loooot of pitching), he is certainly more consistent, and he’s been pitching backwards as of late, with the curveball or change-up first, setting up fastballs low and on the corners, followed by either a change or another curve to keep hitters off-balance.

And to think that if Timmy was up to his old antics, the Giants would have even had a WORSE month of June? Is that possible? Let’s look at the starting rotation for the last 30 days:

Name W L ERA IP HR BB AVG WHIP BABIP
Tim Lincecum 4 1 1.49 42.1 1 12 0.140 0.76 0.171
Tim Hudson 1 4 4.91 36.2 3 8 0.297 1.42 0.336
Ryan Vogelsong 1 3 4.13 28.1 0 7 0.259 1.24 0.333
Matt Cain 1 3 4.83 31.2 4 9 0.282 1.39 0.323
Madison Bumgarner 1 3 5.18 33 2 13 0.260 1.39 0.320

 

Each starter only has one win in the last month, yet Timmy has four. But look at that sexy WHIP and BABIP. I know numbers turn our readers on, but you should probably go ahead and lather those up with oil, because they’re not getting any better than that. What’s remarkable is that Timmy’s walk percentage, although down slightly, is comparable with the other starters, and his strikeout percentage is actually second-lowest in the last month. It’s the quality of the pitches he’s making. His BABIP is a measly .171, which means players are making very weak contact, also translating into the .140 average against.

Now, let’s eliminate that one loss and look at his last four starts as a whole: his ERA, BA against and BABIP are 0.30, 0.101, and 0.120, respectively. Are you kidding me?!

The analysts all talk about his pitch selection. Let’s see how that stacks up in his last four starts vs his career:

Year FA% FT% SL% CU% CH%
Last 4 starts 24.8% 18.3% 27.2% 7.4% 22.3%
2014 30.5% 15.6% 27.6% 10.4% 15.8%
2013 37.2% 12.4% 21.2% 10.7% 17.6%
2012 39.3% 12.3% 21.3% 10.7% 16.0%
2011 42.1% 12.6% 24.1% 6.4% 14.4%
2010 37.9% 15.2% 7.2% 16.4% 21.3%
2009 55.1% 0.7% 7.1% 18.2% 18.8%
2008 65.5% 9.4% 9.8% 15.3%

 

I’ve heard a lot about his curveball lately, and it does LOOK GOOD, but he’s only thrown it 7.4% of the time in his last four starts, which is much lower than his career average. What’s notable to me is how his changeup (CH%) has replaced many fastballs (FA%), having thrown almost as many changeups as heaters. I think this is one key to his recent success, aside from location being number one. Delving further into his fastball selection, although that percentage is way down, he’s relying on the two-seamer (FT%) more than he ever has, comprising roughly 2 out of 3 fastballs over his last four starts. Historically, he’s used that pitch for less than half of his fastballs, going with the four-seamer the majority of the time, which is a higher-velocity pitch. The two-seamer has more movement than the four-seamer, indicating that he’s sacrificing a bit of velocity for movement, which is only adding to the reduction in BABIP. The variance of his pitch selection is also the lowest its ever been, by far, and this may keep the batters guessing a little bit more with a more even distribution of pitches.

One caveat that must be pointed out. Three of these four starts were against the Padres and D’backs, both woefully underperforming offensively this year. He did have a commanding start against St. Louis, but this is a small, yet promising sample size.

Maybe Timmy finally has reinvented himself, or version 2.0 will need to be returned before the warranty expires.

Chad

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Episode 65: Steve Edlefsen

Name that recent Giant. Oh, we put his name in the title…nevermind.

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Remember Steve Edlefsen? We barely do, and we also barely remember the Giants being in first place, which they are not, officially, anymore. They’ve lost 10 games to the Dodgers in 22 days, and Ben and Chad replay what the hell has gone wrong with our boys in Black and Orange. Romo is no longer the closer, the team can’t hit, and half the lineup is Fresno Grizzlies. Take a sip, it’s that bad.

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Episode 64: Joe Martinez

No one would have remembered this guy if it weren’t for the line drive off his head. But, we’re running out of jersey numbers…

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Joe Martinez. He pitched in a total of 21 games over 4 season, some of which were with the Giants. Yes, lament as we run out of jersey numbers but celebrate as we talk about the team with the BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL. That’s right, the Giants haven’t started off this good since 1962, before all of us were born.

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Don’t. Press. It.

…don’t press it…don’t press it…don’t press it….

 

Still above .500. Only 1 1/2 games back. No need to worry, right?

Big picture, who knows?

But, if recent history becomes a long summer of a trend, we’re in for a repeat of the 2013 season of mediocrity.

It’s only been a week since the precipitous fall from grace the Giants’ bats have taken, in fact, I think I saw several players actually chucking their bats off the Rocky Mountains after these last two miserable games.

SF has lost 5 of 6, and aside from Vogelsong’s start in Colorado, the pitching has been excellent and not to blame. You can put that squarely on the shoulders of the lineup, and aside from Belt and Pagan (but even Pagan has been quiet lately), everyone has shut down. Once the Giants were second in the NL in batting average and runs scored. Oh, so as the memories of when you got to second base with that blonde you were after in high school, so are the days of the Giants EVEN GETTING TO THE REAL ACTUAL SECOND BASE!

Let’s take a look at the big picture, stat-wise. The Giants have now fallen to second to last in the NL in batting average to almost my weight: .228. Only the Mets are worse at .224. We thought the Giants had scoring problems last year, but they still hit a relatively robust .260! Usually the runs are plentiful on both sides in Colorado, a veritable buffet where only the mightiest of the champion food eaters will come out on top, while the other, although defeated, still gets his full of extra base hits. True to the park, the giants have had 19 at bats with runners in scoring position in the first 2 games. That’s a crap-metric-ton of at bats! They’ve put runners on base! How many hits in those 19 ABs? Exactly 1: by Hunter Pence: AND IT DIDN’T EVEN SCORE A RUN! I might be able to get more than 1 hit in 19 at bats by just poking out the bat every pitch.

The runs have dried up, the hitting has dried up, my drink has dried up while I write this. Alas, the pitching is still in tact, despite some bumps in the road, and those bumps tend to be Giants fans running over Vogelsong with their metaphorical buses filled with toxic angst, rage, and maybe an occasional enchilada. There have been many questions about Vogey coming in. Some have predicted that he may not make it to June as a starter. I’m pulling for the guy, he’s a great story, and an inspirational one at that. A blue-collar type you want to see succeed, but his location has been off so far this year, the same affliction he suffered last year. With Petit shaking off the rust and pitching well, we may see a change in a month if Ryan continues to go south. Cain and Hudson have been great, and Bumgarner won an entire game himself with 5 RBI, but he has been hit HARD. Today he pitched a complete game (8 IP) and only allowed 2 solo jacks for runs, but still got tagged with the loss. The league is now hitting .314 off Madison, who happens to be tied with Lincecum for the 5th worst batting average against in the NL. This, this is not a good sign, despite his 3.14 ERA. He’s playing with fire by allowing all of those baserunners (Bum owns a 1.64 WHIP, 55th out of 58 qualifying pitchers).

Seriously, 3 runs for the Giants in 2 games in Denver. They’re passing runs out in the stands. Last night was “free runs” night. I think I even saw an elderly man score with that young blonde I was after in high school. What kind of offense is this team going to bring back to the thick air by the Bay on Friday versus Cleveland?!

By the way, Willie and Chad will be in the press box on Friday versus Cleveland to keep both an eye out for that blonde, Kuiper bobbleheads, and for any runs that may or may not score in the home half.

Chad

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Episode 59: Guillermo Mota

Yep, this ex-Dodger held this trophy. We’re running out of numbers.

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Wille, Ben and Chad record the first 2014 regular season episode of TortureCast, reviewing the Giants’ fantastic 5-2 start, Belt’s 4 HRs, the Giants lead MLB in HR, taking 2 of 3 from the Dodgers, MadBum, Cain, Hudson’s first start, and who we hate this week (insert Puig).

And, did anyone notice that this new Buster Posey commercial shows an infielder, who receives the throw from Posey, THAT IS WEARING BILL TERRY’S RETIRED NUMBER 3?! C’mon man! Under Armour, do your research! Oh, and Buster is totally throwing out a Barry Larkin look-alike.

All three of us will be at AT&T on Thursday when the Giants host the D’backs. Tweet us, come by, and say hi! We’ll also be recording our traditional “Bonusode” after the game at Zeke’s if you want to hang out.

 

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