The Friday Five: Let’s play ball! Again.

 

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Johnny Cueto and Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants / Getty Images

The second half of the baseball season gets underway tonight for the San Francisco Giants. The break is over and it’s time for nothing but baseball over the next three and a half months. This could be another year of putting football on hold until November. That may be a good thing, if  you’re a Niners fan.

I’m sorry, where were we? Oh yeah, the Giants get the advantage of having the best in record in baseball at 57-33, and hold a 6.5 game lead in the NL West over the Dodgers. At Baseball Prospectus their odds to make the playoffs is 95.3% and to win the division it’s 70.6%. The Giants are projected to win about 94 games.

So, how did they get here? Will the Giants keep the run going in an even year? No matter what happens I am sure we’re in for some great baseball and memories this summer. Let’s take an in-depth look at how they achieved the best record in baseball and also explore what the Giants need to do in the second half to win the division and get a shot at another even year crown. The Friday Five is back for every week the rest of the way, let’s enjoy this wild ride that is Giants baseball. Continue reading

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Episode #109: Giants are the Best

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Johnny Cueto is now 13-1 with a 2.47 ERA with 4 CGs. The Giants are 16-2 in his starts, and he just may start the All Star Game.

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

For at least 24 hours, the San Francisco Giants have the best record in all of baseball at 54-33, yes, even better than the Chicago Cubs that are starting their entire infield in the All Star game, plus Dexter Fowler (which is a complete joke).

We focus on what the keys have been to their success, and what keys lie forward in the second half to ensure that they win the NL West. The All Star snub of Brandon Crawford, Belt in the final five, and the grease fire that is the Giants’ bullpen round out this fine baseball conversation with Chad, Eric and Ben.

 

 

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The Friday Five: Road Warriors Return Home

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AP Photo

The San Francisco Giants are heading home after a 6-1 road trip. They are 47-27, and 6 games up on the Dodgers. The Giants’ 47 wins are tied for the most in baseball with the Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers. It’s the third best 74 game start for the Giants in the San Francisco era behind 1993 (50-24! grrr) and 1971 (48-26). That 1971 team had 4 Hall of Famers, including an aging, but effective, Willie Mays.

I can’t stop looking at all these winning numbers. On April 21st, the D-Backs beat the Giants to complete a 4-game sweep and send the Giants 4.5 games behind first place LA. The Giants were 7-10, the low water mark of the season. Since then they have gone 39-17 (.629), the best record in MLB, and gained 10.5 games on the Dodgers. That’s a span of 9 weeks, an average of more than one game gained per week.

The Giants have won 11 of 12 heading in to the weekend. After the great road trip, the Giants are now 25-14 (.641) away from home, the 2nd best win percentage and most wins in baseball. They’re not too shabby at AT&T Park either, sporting a 22-13 (.628) record, which is second in the NL behind the Cubs.

Between today, and the All-Star Break, the Giants only travel once, to Arizona for 3 games next weekend. They don’t play a club that currently has a winning record until July 19th in Boston. There’s a chance for the Giants to keep streaking and try to distance themselves from the rest of the NL West. So let’s look ahead to the weekend and enjoy that 6-1 road trip one more time in this week’s Friday Five. Continue reading

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Episode 107: Keep Those Winning Streaks Coming!

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MadBum has allowed 2 ER or fewer in his last one million starts (photo courtesey of fxtribune.com)

Download the episode here!

Or, play it on Podomatic here! Or stream it below!

Chad and Eric talk about the Giants’ second 8 game winning streak of the season, the incredible pitching they have been benefiting from, All-Star voting, Duffy’s injury, who’s hot, and Timmy’s great performance in his first start with the Angels. And, if you’re not a Warriors fan, don’t listen to the first part of the podcast as Chad laments on what could have been the completion to a historic season.

Damn Warriors.

Chad

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The Friday Five: Giants keep winning games

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Photo/Eric Nathanson

We’re half way through the month of June and the San Francisco Giants have a 6.5 game lead over the rival Dodgers. So far this month the Giants are 8-5 and have won their last 5 games. Friday night’s game in St Pete against the Rays starts a stretch of 20 straight days of baseball for the Giants.

I want to mention the horrible tragedy that took place in Orlando last weekend. As some of you may know I live in Kissimmee, which is right next to Orlando. Our communtiy has been rocked but has responded with nothing but love and kindness. My heart goes out to the victim’s families, and to all of the survivors. Continue reading

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Episode 106: LA Beaten

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Buster Posey has magical powers

Click here to visit episode 106 on Podomatic

Click here to download the episode, or stream it below.

Chad and Eric discuss the weekend series against the Dodgers, which saw the Giants take 2 out of 3 very close, fun and competitive games. Other topics include splash hit #69, Belt’s offensive surge, Posey’s recent struggles, Timmy’s AAA starts for the Angels, MadBum wanting to participate in the homerun derby, and the Giants’ interest in a trade for Ryan Braun now that Pence is on the shelf until August.

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The Friday Five: Life after Hunter

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Getty Images

It’s been a rough week despite the San Francisco Giants going 4-3 over their first 7 games of this 10-game road trip. During Wednesday night’s game in Atlanta, Hunter Pence left the game with what is being called a “severly strained” hamstring. In typical Pence fashion, he smelled an infied hit as he sent a slow roller towards 3rd base and burst out of the box, but it didn’t end with a hit. Hunter pulled up, grabbed his right hamstring, and stopped.

He’s on the 15-day DL, and will probably be out for a while. Update: Pence is having surgery and will miss 2 months. Jarrett Parker got the start yesterday  and will probably split time with Mac Williamson, who was recalled from Sacramento. With Angel Pagan still on the shelf that makes the Giants play with a regular outfield of Gregor Blanco, Denard Span, and the Parker/Williamson combo. Just like we all were dreaming of back in March.

Anyway, losing Pence sucks, but gaining ground on the Dodgers doesn’t. The Giants are now 5.5 games ahead of their rival in LA. Yesterday was the first time in 12 days the Giants were able to expand their lead. During the previous 11 days the Giants and Dodgers had the exact same result, every day. So let’s poke around with this week’s, Friday Five.  Continue reading

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The Friday Five: Let’s go streaking!

Matt Cain poses for the Jr Giants handbook on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.

Matt Cain poses for the Jr Giants handbook on Tuesday, February 19, 2013.

The San Francisco Giants just keep winning. Since losing to Jake Arrieta and the Cubs last Friday night, they’ve gone on another winning streak. After the 8-game streak was snapped the Giants have put together 5 more in a row. That’s a win in 13 of their last 14 games.

On May 15 the Giants woke up tied for 1st place in the NL West with the rival Dodgers. This morning they are 4.5 games ahead of LA, and 6.5 ahead of the Rockies. That’s 11 days worth of baseball. This has been an amazing stretch by the Giants, so let’s take a look to see if it continues if it continues in this week’s Friday Five.

1) Believe it or not, the Giants have three separate road trips this season that bring them to 3 different cities. Amazingly, unlike years past, this time the team gets a day off right before the trip starts, and right after it ends. Tonight starts a 3-game series in the house of horrors known as Coors Field. After that it’s 4 in Atlanta, where the Braves are 2-17 this season, seriously. The trip wraps up with 3 in St Louis next weekend. But we’ll get to that next week.  Continue reading

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The Friday Five: Here Come The Cubs

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Johnny Cueto/Instagram

The San Francisco Giants are currently 25-18 and on an 8-game win streak. They lead the NL West by 3.5 games over both Colorado and LA. Will it last? Is this the team we were expecting? Well, kind of, but the pitching has been far better than imagined. So let’s take a look ahead to the weekend and back on the week that was in this edition of “The Friday Five”. Remember, I always look ahead before I look back. This is in case the Giants are struggling and I don’t want to focus on negative baseball things. Obviously, that’s not the case now.  Continue reading

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Episode 105: Timmy the Angel

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Hey, look at that. Brandon Belt getting hit on by a giraffe.

 

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

Chad and Eric are giddy about the Giants’ 6-game winning streak that is buoyed by the team’s pitching, with an ERA of 1.86 over that stretch. Cain has two consecutive great starts, and even Peavy wasn’t bad. The top three continue to dominate, all with sub-3 ERAs, and the 3 run homeruns by Peavy and Crawford were huge game-deciders.

Of course, there’s Timmy, who decided to sign with the Angels. Bochy said that he might look good in red, but we’re not so sure (*cough* 2002 *cough*).

Let’s keep this “first place” thing a thing.

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