Episode #162: At Least the Hitting was Better this Week?

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Buster Posey hits his first homerun since June of 2018 (237 ABs), which was also his first career HR against the Pirates. It was a 3 run HR that gave the Giants a 3-2 win. Photo by Gene S. Puskar

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

The Giants raised their team batting average over the last 6 games from .199 to .209. The bad news is that the Giants’ pitching staff ERA went from 2.75 to 3.22. Christian Yelich hit 8 homeruns…this week. The Giants have 13 homeruns…as a team….all season. Eric and Chad talk about a 2-4 week during this road trip, dropping 2 of 3 each to the Nats and Pirates. But, in almost every game, a single play was the difference. The Giants are, well…competitive. They truly are. A few hits here and there and the Giants could be .500 or better. They are not getting crushed. They just can’t win most of the close games, which is, well most of their games. At least Buster Posey won a game single-handedly with a 3 run jack to defeat the Pirates 3-2. He also applied the tag to Kang to record the final out at home that game. So, there’s that. But, that’s exactly what the Giants need. And more times than once every 23 games. Also, why can’t the Giants score in the first inning? They are dangerously close to setting the MLB record for not scoring the first to open the season. They are at 23, while the record is 28. Hell, why not? Who cares? BTW, they are hitting .096 in the first inning. All 7 hits are singles. I want to see them score that first first inning run via the little league homerun with like 7 errors on an infield hit.

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: California Love

Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants

Willie Mays and Duke Snider before the first MLB game in California between the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers

The San Francisco Giants were born during an owner’s vote on May 28, 1957. Well, they weren’t born, that distinction goes to expansion teams, more like they were allowed to exist on that May day in 1957. That day, NL owners approved the move of both the Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers out west to California.

That was the deal, though. Both teams had to move there, or neither did. Baseball wanted to keep travel problems to a minimum and having 2 teams out west made it easier for NL teams to schedule road trips. Airplane travel was just becoming normal, and before the 1958 season, there was no NL team west of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Yes, the Giants had won the World Series as recently as 1954, but attendance was lagging. In 1954, the Giants drew 1.155 million fans to the Polo Grounds. By 1956, that number had already dropped to 629,179. It was thought that fans were moving out to the suburbs and less likely to drive to the city for a ballgame. So the Giants looked to move out of the only city they ever called home. Continue reading

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Episode #161: Pillar Power

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Kevin Pillar hits a grand slam against the San Diego Padres. The Giants’ centerfielder hit 4 homeruns this week, propelling them to a 4-3 record. (Photo: SF Examiner)

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

Where would the Giants be without Kevin Pillar? He dominated the week, hitting 4 homeruns with 12 RBI. In fact, no other Giant had more than 1 RBI for the week! The Giants sit at 7-10, 4 games back of the Padres, but it would be much worse without Pillar’s contribution. That said, he’s only hitting .155 on the season, so he’s getting timely hits. How long will this last?

We talk about Pillar and the week in review on episode #161, including the insane 18 inning win against the Rockies, surprising pitching from the Shark, and how the bullpen leads all of baseball with a 1.77 ERA. However, they also are at the bottom of the NL with a .199 batting average, and have mustered only 10 homeruns, which is the same as Kris Davis! Eric also introduced a new segment called “Guess that Giant,” which Chad performed poorly in. Let us know in the comments if you guessed this Giant faster than Chad did (we’re sure you did). This was a fun podcast to talk about a winning week. The Giants go on a long east coast trip, so their hitting has to come around at some point.

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: Zito’s Coors Field Shutout

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The 2012 baseball season had not gotten off to a good start for the San Francisco Giants. Despite racking up 23 hits and 14 runs over their first 3 games in Arizona, the Giants were looking at an 0-3 record after the first series of the young season. The Giants were good, but not good enough as all 3 games against the D-Backs were decided by just 1 run.

Heading to Colorado with fourth starter Barry Zito taking the ball did not give Giants fans hope for ending the skid. After all, this was the same Zito who Giants fans were frustrated with after he signed a 7-year $126 million dollar contract. In 5 years with the Giants, Zito amassed a 4.55 ERA and a 43-61 record in 140 starts. Things had gotten so bad that after he returned from the DL with a foot injury in late 2011, Zito pitched out of the bullpen.

He was not yet the Barry Zito of mythical status from the 2012 playoffs and birth of #RallyZito. Continue reading

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Episode #160: Cody Bellinger has More Homeruns than the Giants

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Brandon Belt has been one of the only offensive bright spots in the early 2019 campaign. Here he hits his third homerun of the year while playing the Tampa Bay Rays at Oracle Park over the weekend. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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

In episode #160, Chad and Eric have a lot to discuss. The Giants are 10 games into the 2019 season, and although they haven’t been swept, they also haven’t won a series, going 3-7 in that span and dwelling in the cellar in the NL West. The pitching has been excellent, in fact, 2nd best in the NL, but their offense is non-existent. They have averaged only 2.5 runs per game and are hitting .207 overall. Cody Bellinger has more homeruns (7) than all of the Giants (6). We also talk about the two trades Zaidi pulled off this week and the short cups of coffee for Michael Reed and Connor Joe. Eric brings in a new minor league report, and he’s planning another new segment for the episodes to come this season.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, and of course, visit http://www.torturecast.com for podcast episodes and written articles.

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This Week In San Francisco Giants History: Opening Day 2010

SF Giants Tim Lincecum delivers a pitch

Tim Lincecum

This season I will be rolling out a “This Week In San Francisco Giants History” every Wednesday. It will be fun to look back on some memorable moments in Giants history so I hope you enjoy these glimpses into the past.

April 5, 2010 – The Beginning Of A Golden Era In San Francisco

Coming off an 88 win campaign in 2009, the 2010 Giants were expected to be a competitive bunch. After all, they were returning the 2-time, back-to-back Cy Young Award winner in Tim Lincecum. Don’t forget about Pablo Sandoval either, in 2009 he finished 2nd in the NL in batting with a .330 average.

Things were looking up for the ball club heading into 2010 and Opening Day did not disappoint. The Giants began the season in Houston against the Astros. This was back when the Astros were still an NL team. 2010 was the start of a current streak of 10-straight seasons the Giants have started on the road.

Reigning Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum got the ball for the Giants and Roy Oswalt took the hill for the Astros. Continue reading

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Episode #159: 2019 (late) Season Preview

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Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants scores ahead of the tag of Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park March 31, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

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

Chad and Eric host our annual season preview episode a little bit late…well, after 4 games into the season, but there is a good reason for that. Chad had the flu one week, then was traveling for work, then last week was having the experience of a lifetime, diving 2 miles under the ocean in the historic Alvin submarine, exploring a recently discovered “octopus garden” near an extinct underwater volcano while the BBC broadcast all this live back to the UK for their “Blue Planet Live” show. So, yeah, good reasons.

The Giants started off the season with a whimper, losing 3 of 4 in San Diego, while mustering only 5 runs in the process. They are hitting an NL-worst .177, but at least their pitching is 2nd! By the way, who expected Michael Reed and Connor Joe to be on the roster? We review this series, and preview the season, reading off all of YOUR predictions for total wins this year. Spoiler alert…most of you don’t think they’re going to win that many game. We also give our playoff, statistics, trade, and milestone predictions.

Spring has sprung, and baseball is back, baby! Can’t be sad about that.

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SF Giants Opening Day 2019

San Francisco Giants Opening Day

Opening Day

 

It’s here! The 2019 San Francisco Giants season begins today in San Diego. After what seemed like an eternal offseason full of tragedy and embarrassment, we finally get to focus on the diamond and watch the Giants play baseball for the next 6 months.

Usually I try to put together some previews before the season and we generally have an idea who is on the team. This year has not been the same. I have absolutely no feel for what kind of team the Giants will be in 2019.

 

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The only certainty at this point, is Bruce Bochy is retiring after this season and I’m damn sure going to miss him. I’ll get to him before the home opener.

Farhan Zaidi has put his stamp on this team and so far that seems to mean he’s willing to tinker with everything. Last year from January through March under Bobby Evans, the Giants made 2 trades and signed 14 free agents to major or minor league contracts. This year, during that same stretch with Zaidi in charge, the Giants made 10 trades and 25 FA signings. This doesn’t even account for the handful of guys claimed off waivers and two Rule 5 picks.

This roster is fluid and will be changing all season long. The usual names are there in Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, and a few others. But this year’s Opening Day squad definitely has a few “who are these guys?” on the roster.

Is Connor Joe any good? Who knows? How about Michael Reed? Who’s Nick Vincent? Erik Kratz is the backup catcher, what happened to Aramis Garcia?

The short answer to all those questions is a shrug. I have no idea. What I have learned is that Zaidi likes to acquire depth. He’s not afraid to take a risk on player and see if he can stash them in the minors to either trade, or bring to the big club.

The Giants are a team in transition. They aren’t expected to contend for a title or even the NL West. I haven’t perused all of the “expert predictions” but I assume no one has picked the Giants to do anything of consequence.

For this fan, that’s all fine. Not every season has to be World Series or bust. It’s ok to let the team take a new direction and see where it goes. Of course without 2010, I would be screaming for a contender, but I’m still good from that.

So instead of fretting over every play, at bat, and move the Giants make this season. I’m just going to enjoy the ride. Many memories still lay ahead, even if it doesn’t end up with a trophy at the end.

Progress. Just show me progress over the course of the season. That’s all I ask of the 2019 San Francisco Giants.

We’ll be recording our season preview podcast on Monday April 1. If you missed it last year, Chad was part of a discovery of an octopus nursery off the coast of California. So he’s been busy being a superstar of the aquatic world lately. I’ll finally get him back on land to talk Giants baseball after the weekend.

Also, comment below with your 2019 Giants win predictions to have them read on our Season Preview show.

Subscribe to the podcast in all the usual places. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and like the YouTube channel for more content.

Let the games begin!

Eric

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Episode #158: Struck out on Harper

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Sorry, Giants fans. Harper will not be wearing a Giants uniform, but then again, if he had signed, it would have been for 12 YEARS. I think some of us are glad this didn’t happen. (Graphic: NBC Sports Bay Area).

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

Chad and Eric reconvene after the #Harperwatch ended last week. The Giants were once again the bridesmaid after Harper said no and took the rose from the Phillies. But, we talk about the reasons why he stayed in the NL East, and why it could have been a prohibitive contract for the Giants, especially if they aren’t going to be competitive for a few years.

We also talk about the start of spring, the crowded outfield and pen, starting rotation possibilities, Bochy’s retirement announcement and the unfortunate Larry Baer incident.

The season is a mere 24 days away, and we can’t wait!

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Let’s Get This Party Started!

San Francisco Giants Pablo Sandoval Opening Day Torturecast

Opening Day is only 48 days away!

San Francisco Giants Opening Day is 48 short days away. That’s less than 7 weeks. Seven! Pitchers and catchers are reporting to Scottsdale next Wednesday the 13th, and full squad workouts start on Tuesday, February 19th. Cactus League play gets underway Saturday, February 23 in Tempe against the Angels.

There’s all your important dates for markers leading up to the season. The one I didn’t mention is Fan Fest, which kicks off this weekend at Oracle Park. Whoa. Typing “Oracle” instead of “AT&T” was a little weird there. Will get used to that.

Anyway, Fan Fest. That’s this weekend at Oracle Park. It’s usually the kick off point for any Giants baseball season. Continue reading

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