Tag Archives: San Francisco Giants

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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Interview with Will Clark

Chad sat down with “Will the Thrill” before the Brewers faced the Giants. (image: SF Examiner)

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Before the Brewers opened up a three game series with the Giants, Chad was able to sit down with Will Clark for a brief interview. Parallels between the ’87 and ’89 playoff teams were made with the ’10 and ’12 teams, he talks about his first at bat against Nolan Ryan, and we discuss the new wildcard format.

After the Giants whalloped the Brewers tonight, we recorded our traditional “bonusode” at Zeke’s. The whiskey always tastes better after a win. You can listen to the bonusode here.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @TortureCast or like us on Facebook.  We stream our podcast live every Monday at 9:30 PM Pacific when you can call in at 415-799-SFG1.

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Brewers vs. Giants 8/29/14

Manny Pacquiao taking batting practice before the Brewers faced the Giants. The Brewers ended up hitting much like him.

Manny Pacquiao taking batting practice before the Brewers faced the Giants. The Brewers ended up hitting much like him.

Face it. We’ve had bad luck in the press box this year. We’re 1-4. This includes witnessing the self-destruction of the Colorado and Cincinnati games, and an extra inning loss in April. It’s been a tough one. The 280 was also closed. It felt like it was going to be a bad night.

But, sometimes life can surprise you.

I drove up early to deal with the traffic resulting from the 280 closure, but faced none after taking Third street all the way to AT&T. I arrived at 2:30 for a 7:15 game. This was weird. Fortunes smiled upon me when I was able to watch Manny Pacquiao take batting practice from right behind the screen.

And standing there beside me was none other than Will Clark. My favorite player. Ever.

After Giants players took hundreds of selfies with Pacquiao, Clark walked into the dugout with Marty Lurie to finish their interview, and shortly after, I respectfully asked Clark if I could grab a few minutes for an interview and he obliged. I’ll post that here and here and somewhere else, and on my wall, and bronze it. You’ll see it soon.

Or now, here, right here.

Then, I found out that we’ll have clubhouse access in September.

Then, the Giants played Milwaukee.

I won’t go into great detail, but the Giants scoring in the first five innings looked like this:

3, 2, 1, 2, 5.

13 runs in the first 5 innings set a season-high. In the FIFTH. Brandon Crawford, hitting 8th, had 4 plate appearances through 5. Pagan had 3 hits, and I’m sure I saw one fan consume at least 6 brats in the first 5 innings.

I’m sure the beneficiary, Ryan Vogelsong, bought the lineup a post-game meal, despite the fact that earlier in the year, he had one stretch of five starts without receiving a single run of run support.

It all comes in runs. Pun intended.

Posey tied his career high with five hits, and the rookie Joe Panik went 4-6. Every starter had a hit, except Crawford. You should probably just check the box score because we’re about to go to Zeke’s and record our bonusode, and I can’t wait to taste the victory whiskey.

UPDATE: You can listen to the bonusode here.

DOUBLE UPDATE: Although it’s already posted here, you can listen to my interview with Will Clark again and again here.

Chad

 

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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.

Download the podcast here

Or, stream the podcast below!

You can also listen to the YouTube version below

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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Do You Like to Cuss? Live Call In Show: Monday, August 25, 9:30 pm.

 

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE!

Do you want to call KNBR and give them an Andrew Dice Clay-laced rant about the Giants, but you know you can’t?

Well, you’re in luck.

Bring any foul-mouthed language about the orange and black to the internet airwaves this coming Monday, August 25 around 9:30 pm!

Now, we won’t let you say just anything on our podcast. You can’t make fun of our mothers or perhaps my boiler, but almost anything about the Giants is fair game. Besides, it might give us some choice sound bytes for our sound board.

Tune in on Monday around 9:30 pm PDT on YouTube Live!

If you want to call in, you can do so from any phone. Just dial 415-799-SFG1 and we’re almost certain to get your profanity-laced rants on air.

If you can’t make the show, you can leave a voicemail at 415-799-SFG1, or email an mp3 to mail@torturecast.com.

This is an experiment, who knows what will happen? Heck, we’ll be broadcasting during the last third of the Giants/Rockies game. We might even go into Jon Miller mode.

Pass around this link to all of your Giants fans who may or may not be friends. Certainly don’t tell your Dodger friends. They can go rot in hell with Puig.

Hope to see you Monday!

 

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Bonusode 66.1 – “FU#& IT!”

@Veronica and @WillieDills gazing upon Hunter Pence after an epic gaming conversation with him.

@Veronica and @WillieDills gazing upon Hunter Pence after an epic gaming conversation with him.

Download the Bonusode here, or

Press play below to stream it:

Willie and I were joined by the wonderfully talented internet entrepreneur and Giants fan, Veronica Belmont in the press box for Game 2 against the Dodgers on 7/26/14. Unfortunately for her, she agreed ahead of time to be a guest on our traditional “bonusode” at Zeke’s after the game. Our regular favorite, Jen Cosgriff from Bay Sports Net joined us later in the episode as well.

We talk about the game, where the Giants are, our Hearthstone conversation with Hunter Pence during BP, the back-up, back-up, back-up, back-up, back-up second baseman.

Come travel down the path of despair, elation, drink orders, and “FU*& ITs!”

Also be sure to check out the post-game wrap here.

Chad

 

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Dodgers vs. Giants 7/26/14 Post-game wrap

Hunter tawwwk!

Hunter tawwwk!

We were hoping Veronica Belmont would be our lucky charm tonight to break the TortureCast’s losing streak when covering Giants games. Tonight would be a tough task against the MLB leader in ERA and wonky deliveriness, Clayton Kershaw.

Veronica, Willie and I decided to make a day of it with a pre-game beverage at Mo-Mo’s to discuss the Peavy trade, when you were conceived, and the bad bar service we were facing. After we picked up our passes, we headed straight for the “in-progress” unusual pre-game presser in the interview room, avec Sabean. Of course, the Giants had finalized a trade for Jake Peavy earlier in the day, so the purpose of this unusual format was primarily to discuss this trade. I’ll sum it up with the last question that Alex Pavlovic asked, “Is Cain going to pitch again this year.” Sabean responded, “I’m not a doctor.”

Ugg.

Speaking of egad.

Speaking of Ugg.

The figurative salve on that open wound was in the form of talking to Hunter Pence on the field during BP. Willie is a huge Hearthstone player (it’s a game, Google it), and so is Hunter. In fact, Hunter has been streaming his Hearthstone matches on Twitch.tv, and they are terribly entertaining. Hunter usually eschews conversation during BP, but his ears perked up when Willie started talking to him about it. He even came back TWICE after BP rounds to discuss deck strategy. Veronica, the internet behemoth that she is (1.7 million Twitter followers, folks) has a bit of a crush on Hunter…and plays Hearthstone, so yeah, she was also a kid in a candy store.

After a quick sandwich, we mingled through the center-field garden in all of its kale-glory with beers in hand. Not a bad place to hang out before a game. Now, considering you can’t really WATCH the game from the garden (yes, on TV), not so sure if I’d hang out in a chaise lounge.

Vogelson started out as strong as any Giants fan could hope for, retiring the first 11 Dodgers. However, with two outs in the fourth, Adrian Gonzalez hit a ball right at Hunter Pence, and with the early 6pm start time, Hunter, who had made two fantastic running grabs in the game thus far, completely lost it in the sun just above the stadium rim shadow for a gift double. Vogey pounded Hanley Ramirez hard, but he managed to flare off a two-strike pitch down the left field line for a run-scoring double. From our vantage point, Morse appeared to jog after the play as though he thought it would drop foul.

That seemed to set an ominous tone for the Giants.

The Dodgers opened up the fifth with back-to-back-to-back singles to open up a 2-0 lead, and if it weren’t for Pence’s third great running catch, it would have been 4-0. Of course, he did lose one in the sun.

Guess you can’t catch ‘em all, eh?

Well, about that 4-0 advantage. It apparated in the very next inning through a combination of dinks, blown throws to home by players named Uggla, 2-out hits, and some pixie dust. Vogelsong was done after 6 IP with two earned runs, for a non-quality-start-feeling quality start (Uggla!).

Let’s face it, the Giants have beaten Kershaw before, but it wasn’t to be tonight. Whether the Dodgers scored just one run, or their eventual five, it was all the run support he needed.

Your move, Peavy. (sorry about the run support)

Chad

P.S. – We recorded our traditional “bonusode” after the game at Zeke’s. If you click the link here, you can actually hear the confidence fade from our voices.

 

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Episode 66: Doug Mirabelli

That jean shirt is sweet

Download the episode here, or

Click the play button below to stream Episode 66

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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Another Post-game Autopsy: Reds vs. Giants

Here is Chad’s post-game NSFW rant as he drove home. Be prepared for F-bombs and general surliness.

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I flew solo for TortureCast in the press box tonight, trying to bring some good luck to the men in black and orange as they began the day with a dismal 4-13 in their last 17, watching the Dodgers trim 7 1/2 games off their lead in a mere 2 1/2 weeks. Unfortunately, the Giants threw the first pitch tonight already knowing that the Dodgers crushed the Cardinals, trying to come within one game of the NL West lead.

Matt Cain was on the bump tonight, having a dismal year with only one win and an ERA near 5, the highest of all five starters. It’s hard to say that any game in June is a “must win,” but as a fan, I felt like tonight was just that. I think the psychological effect of their plummet back to the Dodgers has already played with their minds, but actually falling into second place may do more damage than the players and coaches would be willing to admit. They needed a boost, a vote of confidence, something, even if someone found an extra 20 dollar bill in their left pants pocket, that might turn an at bat around.

Cain was on the precipice of disaster early and often, but kept pulling out the Houdini card, with the Reds going 0-6 with runners in scoring position through the first five innings. He scattered 6 hits and a walk through 5 innings before he had his first 1-2-3 inning in the sixth (after an overturned call on a 6-3 put out on Bruce).

With run support for Cain again near the bottom of the league (10th worst entering tonight), we all feared that he’d get “Cained” again. After the first run of the game was driven in by the ever-exciting ground out, Cain seemed to feed off of that sole bread crumb to make it work in his favor. He shut down the Reds fairly well after that, leaving with an emphatic fist pump and yell that was audible from the press box after a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play to end the seventh. Although Cain toed the rubber in the 8th, he was pulled after a pinch hitter was announced. Affeldt and Casilla quickly took care of all three Reds in the 8th.

The sputtering offense cried for help as Panik deposited his first hit into the confines of AT&T Park, but any hope of a rally was doused when Tyler Colvin grounded into a deftly-turned 4-6-3 double play. Blanco followed with a hit, but was caught stealing to end the inning in a play that was challenge and upheld on the field.

Enter Romo…

Last time we attended a game, Romo entered to a jubilant AT&T crowd in the first game of three against the Rockies. We all know how that AND the next game went in the ninth. With Jay Bruce looming third in the order, the press box was buzzing about the impending rematch of their epic 10 pitch at bat in Game 5 of 2012 NLDS. With his recent shaky track record, this time, the crowd was moderately gyrating their hips to “El Mechon” as Romo warmed up.

I tweeted this before Romo threw his first pitch:

After the dreaded leadoff walk to Votto, Romo threw two fantastic frisbee sliders to Phillips before getting the count to 2-2. Then, Romo completely lost control, flipping a slider over the dead heart of the plate where, on “All Brandon Weekend,” the wrong Brandon took Romo deep to suddenly crush the crowd’s spirit as the Reds all of a sudden took a 2-1 lead. It’s the 5th blown save for Romo. He’s on pace for 10, as we’re at the halfway mark. I have always agreed to let Romo work out his kinks, but I think I’ve jumped the fence and just may want Casilla out there. In fact, both Mesoraco and Ludwick took consecutive balls to the wall with missed location. A few extra feet, and the game would have been 4-1 at that point.

Chapman, having just received his flame-throwing super power serum, came in to slam the door on the proverbial fingers of the orange-clad crowd. The Giants showed spunk with a leadoff single by Pence, followed by a truly “earned” walk in an epic 11-pitch at bat. Buster Posey, after donning his cape, came off the bench to deliver a crowd-pleasing double to the left field wall, tying the score at 2 and bringing the crowd to their feet and the Reds infield in for Hector Sanchez, who untimely hit a weak grounder to short for the out. Arias pinch hit for Crawford and duplicated Sanchez grounder to short for the second out. Duvall completed the heart-crushing end to the inning by striking out on Chapman’s 30th pitch of the inning, which registered 100 mph.

Nothing gets my goat more than not being able to score a runner from third with no outs. It’s simply abhorrent. What’s even more puzzling is Bochy’s decision to pinch hit Arias for Crawford. Sure, there’s the traditional righty vs lefty argument, but the stats are firmly against any of this normally sound baseball strategy. Crawford was hitting .338 against lefties this year, slugging over .600, while Arias came in hitting .176 against EVERYONE and hasn’t had an extra-base hit in over 100 at bats.

Nonetheless, we moved onto free baseball, where Gutierrez got through a slightly shaky tenth. Jonathan Broxton come in to pitch the home-half, and Panik squeaked a hit off of Phillip’s glove up the middle and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Hicks. Blanco flied out to third on the first pitch, leaving it up to Pence to revive the Giants’ early-season amazing ability to drive in runners in scoring position with two outs, but Pence couldn’t muster up Posey’s heroics, striking out weakly.

Javier Lopez entered the 11th and quickly gave up an opposite-field double to Joey Votto, setting up the intentional walk to Phillips to set up the force. Bruce attempted a sacrifice bunt, and when Lopez fielded it, he had a clear shot at third, yet whipped around and threw to first after a quick glance. Panda’s body language said it all as he bent over at the waist for at least 10 seconds, showing a bit of frustration with another missed opportunity. Mesoraco was issued another intentional pass, and Machi came in to face Ramon Santiago, pinch hitting for Ludwick with one out and the bases juiced. The Giants tried to turn the Reds trick of getting out of a tough jam, and it looked promising after Machi struck out Santiago. Unfortunately, the magical bullpen faltered and allowed the .230 hitting Cozart to drive in two runs with a single to center and double up on the Giants 4-2. Not like it mattered, but the nail in the coffin was delivered in the form of a 2-run triple by Chris Heisey and an RBI double by Hamilton, pushing the lead to the eventual final score of 7-2.

And to think it was a 1-0 game in the bottom of the ninth.

With the Dodgers destroying the Cardinals earlier in the day, the Giants once lofty 9 1/2 game lead is down to a single game. All of this in less than three weeks. The brief euphoria of Lincecum’s no-hitter is not just gone, it’s left the.

The wheels have fallen off of not just a car, but a black and orange 18-wheeler.

Chad

 

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