Tag Archives: mlb

Episode #52: The Ramon Ramirez Episode

We had no one else to name this episode for

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Willie is out but Chad and Ben discuss the All Star Game, Timmy’s No-No and the second half of the season.

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Episode 48: The Pablo Sandoval Episode

Panda Pinkomonium

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Hey, the Giants are in first, the Dodgers in last. What else is there to be happy about?!

Talking Points

  • Giants have second best record in NL, in first place, Dodgers in last, took 3/4 from 1st place Braves
  • Giants rotation getting better, but still 12th in NL for starters (4.25 ERA)
  • Zito (3-1, 2.75 ERA) and Bumgarner (4-1, 2.18 ERA) have remained mostly issue-free, but Lincecum (3-2, 4.07 ERA) hasn’t achieved true consistency and Vogelsong (1-3, 7.78 ERA) has one quality start in seven appearances.
  • Cain won his first two May starts, yielding three runs over 15 1/3 innings. That’s a 1.76 ERA.

The Week in Review

  • Lost 2/3 vs Philly, won 3/4 from ATL
  • Giants now have the BEST BA in the NL at .266, 3rd in runs, 3rd in RBI

The Big Question

  • Can Lincecum perform like this again? 7 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits. Vintage.
  • Giants ASG dark horse, go!

Armchair Manager

  • Should Gaudin move up in depth? 21 IP, 1.27 ERA, 21K, 15H, .195 BAA

Tweet At Me, Bruh

  • Willie: kyleconaway: Hey @Williedills, I love you and all, but your #Giants can go straight to hell. #GoBraves #TomahawkChop4Life
  • Chad: “Thomas Todd ‏@HammerheadT @chadk21 @williedills @friedduck @TortureCast Damn, why didn’t we think of that?” That’s right, we’re on YOUTUBE!

Our New Favorite Guy

  • Panda and his pink fingernails and homeruns
  • Scutaro finding his groove again

We Should Hate This Guy

Why We Will Win It All

  • Chad: Giants will make a deadline deal to solidify their rotation if Vogey doesn’t come around
  • We have bullets in the chamber besides who we have right now. If we need a move to solidify, wherever that may be, it will happen

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Episode 47: The Rod Beck Episode

RIP Shooter. You were a good one. We tip our glass.

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WTF GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS!!!!!

Willie and Chad kept this podcast much shorter than usual, mostly because Willie wanted to throw himself out of his apartment window after that crushing, epic, utterly pathetic choke-job the Warriors pulled in San Antonio. They blow a 16 point lead with less than 4 minutes left!! Then leave Ginobli THAT WIDE OPEN for a 3 pointer with 3 seconds left in double OT!!!!??

But, we digress and get back to talking Giants baseball and their tonic that was a 6 game winning streak.

Talking Points

  • Giants have now swept every other team in the NL west, mental edge from here on out?
  • 0.5 ahead of COL, 3rd best record in NL after tonight’s loss
  • After 32 games last year, they were 15-17 and 6 GB of LA

The Week in Review

  • Cain won his first start!
  • Panda caught fire, Scutero hitting again, Posey getting back to normal Posey

The Big Question

  • Vogelsong: 7.20 ERA after 6 starts. Can he work through this?
  • You can review Chad’s article about Vogelsong’s struggles.

Armchair Manager

  • Do they do anything about Vogelsong right now? No, we agree to wait until the All Star Break, then they may need outside help.

Tweet At Me, Bruh

  • Chad: Wendy Thurm @hangingsliders: Well, at least the #Dodgers will be in last place in a few minutes. So there’s that.
  • Willie: KingEyeballKing: @TortureCast Walk off HR in the bottom of the 10th, or as the Giants call it: just another day at the yard.

Our New Favorite Guy

  • Willie: Guillermo Quiroz
  • Chad: Hunter Pence…on fiare

We Should Hate This Guy

  • Chad: Spurs and refs and who was assigned to cover Ginobli
  • Willie: God, if he wins us games like Mark Jackson says, then this one is on him

Why We Will Win It All

  • Chad: When the starting pitching turns it around
  • Willie: Offense never goes quietly and we’re in every game no matter what.

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Episode 46: The Kirk Rueter Episode

Woody being Woody

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We welcome Eric Nathanson to the show. The man behind 2outhits.com and a Giants fan out of…ahem, Chicago?! We start out the show trying to understand how such a die-hard Giants fan developed this way WITHOUT EVER HAVING BEEN TO SAN FRANCISCO! Willie also tests both Eric and Chad’s knowledge with a little Giants trivia.

Talking Points

  • What the hell is going on?! The sky is falling!! 5 losses in a row!

The Week in Review

  • Lost 2/3 to AZ, swept by SD. 4 out of those 5 could’ve easily been wins, have only been outscored by 7 runs over the 5 game losing streak (3 went extra innings)

The Big Question

  • Vogelsong and Cain? Can they right the ship quickly?
  • You can review Chad’s article about Vogelsong’s struggles.

Armchair Manager

  • Is it time to send Hector down? Could we use some bullpen depth?
  • Should Marco be moved down in the lineup?

Tweet At Me, Bruh

  • Chad: Jason Collins ‏@jasoncollins344hAll the support I have received today is truly inspirational. I knew that I was choosing the road less traveled but I’m not walking it alone
  • Willie: MLB: “Everybody knows somebody who’s gay. If you can’t deal with it in 2013, you need to go somewhere and hide in a cave.” – @LaTroyHawkins32
  • Eric: @pourmecoffee: Gay people play sports. You can deal with this America. I believe in you.

Our New Favorite Guy

  • Willie: Timmy: getting back into his stride perhaps? Lotsa Ks, less wild and finally accepting of Posey perhaps?
  • Chad: Bumgarner: 1.87 ERA, 3-0 sub 1 WHIP, country bumpkin can PITCH!
  • Ben: Brandon Crawford: Seriously, Matt Kemp WISHES he was as gifted a hitter as Brandon Crawford.
  • Eric: Hunter Pence: That guy plays every play like it’s his last. And how can you not love the stilted motions?
  • Honorary Mention: Jason Collins and Robbie Rogers: Look, we’re all San Franciscans here (well, some honorary). This should be pretty obvious.

We Should Hate This Guy

  • Chad: I’m abstaining for positive energy and kharma for the team
  • Willie: Chris Broussard – slamming Jason Collins on the air as not a christian because he’s gay. Nice job being a bigot, homey. Good luck with that.
  • Ben: Almost anybody who writes in the comments section.
  • Eric: I have the same hate for Broussard, but love for Giants

Why We Will Win It All

  • Chad: If we stop playing like shit
  • Willie: We are getting the slump out of the way early. After 5 straight losses we’re only 2 GB and still above the Dodgers. Suck on that.
  • Ben: Depth depth depth.  Also, Nick Noonan.
  • Eric: Bruce Bochy is the best in the biz in a short series.

We want to thank Eric Nathanson for joining us on this extra-long, but thought-provoking episode of Torturecast! Don’t forget to follow him @2outhits on Twitter!

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

We also have a new TortureCast Mug for sale on Zazzle!

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Spoiled Melk

This news doesn’t taste good (from gotbrainy.com)

The Melk has spoiled.

In a magical season for Melky Cabrera, a career year, All Star game MVP, the adoration of Melkmen and Melkmaids, and one that has helped propel the Giants to the top of the division, the team and the public were notified today that he tested positive for testosterone, a banned substance.

Not that it matters much, but Melky immediately admitted he took a substance “he knew he shouldn’t have,” and apologized to the team and the fans. It’s certainly better than other players that have denied use of PEDs, attributing their positive test to a supplement, or even worse, a delayed FedEx delivery (looking at you, Braun). Personally, it’s not much of a reprieve of the blow the Giants will take, and their chances of pushing towards the playoffs. Fifty games is fifty games, no matter if you deny it or accept responsibility. There is no additional punishment for denial.

The Commissioner’s office has also confirmed that he will be eligible after 4 games into the postseason, should the Giants make it. So, if they do make the divisional round, he could see action in games 6 & 7 and afterwards, or potentially 5-7 if they have a one game wild card playoff.

Although this news cracked the wires less than an hour ago, there’s already twitter chatter about how this will affect his contract next year. Many stating that obviously he made a mistake not negotiating a contract with the Giants earlier in the year, which is predicated upon the fact that his monster year will garner up to or over $15 million per year on the open market. Sorry to say, Melky, that number was at least cut in half, in my opinion. It’s not only because of your new record of testing positive, but now there will obviously be questions about how the testosterone improved your performance. Assuming he’s off of it next year, how will his numbers change? Will he be a .350 hitter with 15 bombs? Since this is a career year for him, and it happens to be during a time he was taking PEDs, I would say, probably not.

That doubt will now linger in the minds of the Giants front office, the other 29 clubs, and especially Giants fans, much like when you gamble with a carton of milk that’s a few days past its expiration date with the “sniff” test.

Chad King

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MLB Expanded Playoffs: A “Historical” Perspective

I don’t consider myself a purist, I can handle change in this timeless game of baseball. At least they still wood bats (*cough* DH *cough*). I am a proponent of the current wild card system, even if it did come a year too late for the Giants.

For those of you that may have missed the news, MLB is on the precipice of approving the expansion of the playoffs this year. Each league would add one wild card team, meaning 10 out of the 30 teams would make the playoffs. Okay, that’s still the smallest percentage making the playoffs of any of the 4 major sports, doesn’t sound ground breaking yet. Here’s the catch: each pair of wild card teams in each league would have a one game playoff. One game? Seriously? After 162? If they are tied, fine, go at it. We’ve seen one game playoffs to determine division champs and wildcards before.

To look at the potential variability and inequity of a one game playoff, I looked at the past 17 seasons in which we have had the wild card playoff system (implemented in 1994, but that season was canceled). I added the hypothetical team that would have qualified for the second wild card in each league. I then determined the number of games back the second wild card team would have been that year:

============================================

How the Playoffs Might Have Been – Hypothetical Wild Card Matchup History

2011 Rays v Red Sox(1 GB), Cards* v Braves (1GB)
2010 Yankees v Boston (6 GB), Braves v Padres (1GB)
2009 Red Sox v Rangers (8 GB), Rockies v Giants (4 GB)
2008 Red Sox v Yankees (6 GB), Brewers v Mets (1 GB)
2007 Yankees v Tigers/Mariners (6 GB), Rockies v Padres (tied)
2006 Tigers v Angels (6 GB), Dodgers v Phillies (3 GB)
2005 Red Sox v Indians (2 GB), Astros v Phillies (1 GB)
2004 Red Sox* v A’s (7 GB), Astros v Giants (1 GB)
2003 Red Sox v Mariners (2 GB), Marlins* v Astros (4 GB)
2002 Angels* v Red Sox/Mariners (6 GB), Giants v Dodgers (3 GB)
2001 A’s v Twins (17 GB!!), Cards v Giants (3 GB)
2000 Mariners v Indians (1 GB), Mets v Dodgers (8 GB)
1999 Red Sox v A’s (7 GB), Mets v Reds (1 GB)
1998 Red Sox v Angels (7 GB), Cubs v Giants (tied – actual one game playoff)
1997 Yankees v Angels (12 GB), Marlins* v Mets/Dodgers (2 GB)
1996 Orioles v Red Sox/White Sox/Mariners (3 GB), Dodgers v Expos (2 GB)
1995 Yankees v Angels (1 GB), Rockies v Astros (1 GB) shortened season!

“higher” wild card seed listed first

* denotes WS Champ

============================================

Some very interesting things come out in the wash, but frankly, that’s some dirty water coming out, tinged with the joyous tears of Bud Selig at the thought of raking in a few extra bucks for additional playoff stretch drives and the 2 additional do-or-die games. Although the majority of the additional wild card teams were within 3 games of the “first” wild card team (3.9 games back average over both leagues), there are extreme examples of a vast chasm between the two. Let’s start with 2001. The Seattle Mariners tore up the league that year with an MLB -best 116 wins, the most since the 162 game schedule expansion and the best winning percentage by any team since 1954. The A’s fell 14 games short of that mark with a still impressive 102 wins and filled in as the wild card. If this new system was in place then, the A’s would have hosted the Twins in a one game playoff. The Twins had 85 wins…17 GAMES behind the A’s! Do you think the average baseball fan would have bought a Twins victory in that hypothetical situation as dogma that the Twins deserved to go over the A’s after 162? Of course not. This system enables this possibility, and it will happen at some point. This example is the fodder against those who claim they like this system, and if you want to avoid a one game playoff, just “win your division” and stop whining. Clearly division series can match up teams with large gaps in their regular season records, but at least they have 5 games to settle it, not one.

There are more examples of historically large record differences since 1995. The Yanks would have played the Angels in 1997 (12 game difference), 8 games would have separated the Mets and Dodgers in 2000 and the Red Sox and Rangers in 2009. A 7 game differential would have occurred 3 times, 6 games 5 times.

The funny thing is, as a Giants fan, the team would have historically benefited from this new system. Yes, their 2002 NL Championship may have never have happened after facing the Dodgers in a one game playoff, but the Giants would have gained a one game playoff 3 additional times since 2001 (‘01 v Cards, ‘04 v Astros, ‘09 v Rockies; They did play an actual one game playoff for the wildcard vs the Cubs in 1998 after finishing in a tie…I needed quite a few beers after Gaetti’s HR). On paper I would have taken that deal.

Five World Champs have been wild cards, including the 2004 Red Sox. Could you imagine if the Curse was never nixed if they had lost to the A’s in a one game playoff that year (even though they were 7 games better)? The Cardinals may have never won last year, perhaps the Angels in 2002 (actually, that’s fine by me), the Marlins in ‘03 (thanks Pudge) and ‘97.

I’m also not sure why Selig and Co. are pushing to get this in this year, when the end of the regular season and playoff schedules are set, and the leagues are still unbalanced. Why not just wait until 2013 when the Astros move to the AL West and the schedule can accommodate the extra playoff game? I am unequivocally against this new system. Rather, I’m for the extension of the division series to 7 games instead, much like the NBA converted to a while back.

Then again, maybe the Giants will be that lucky second wild card this year?

- Chad

 

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