Monthly Archives: September 2013

Zito Shoved Off Into the Sunset

Not much to say here. Giants win 6-4, Zito pitches 5 solid innings, giving up just 1 earned run, and then mysteriously gets yanked for a pinch hitter in the 5th, robbing him of the moment we all assumed was coming: Bochy waddling to the mound to make a change in the 6th, so that he may get a proper send off. Zito was visibly upset in the dugout. Sure, he got his handshakes and butt-pats from his teammates after the game, and even a brief cheer from the remaining crowd when Renell announced him as the winning pitcher.

In the post-game press conference, Bochy said that the line drive Zito tried to catch with his leg had no bearing on his decision to take him out, rather, he was managing to “win the game” and not for an ovation from the crowd. Bochy also noted that Zito hasn’t started in a while, so he was concerned about his stamina. Zito almost “talked him out of it.”

Personally, I don’t buy it. Bochy is a smart man. Zito was frustrated, so were the fans.

Regardless, the boys here at TortureCast tip our collective Bochy-sized cap to Zito. We hope he lands somewhere to continue his career.

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The Last #RallyZito

Zito has way more than 75 million reasons to smile

Originally, we thought we’d witness Lincecum’s possible final start in the orange and black, but Bumgarner has been shut down for the year, and Timmy’s start was pushed back. Instead, we’ll be witnessing Zito’s final curveballs tossed in a Giants uni.

His contract was highly criticized, even back in 2007, but more so in the latter years. Sure, he didn’t live up to the Scrooge McDuck-sized pile of money, but he had key starts down the stretch in 2010 that helped them secure the West on the final day of the season, and of course, his proverbial highlight as a Giant is NLCS game 5 in St. Louis. As Giants fans, I think we can all agree that it’s certainly probable that the Giants wouldn’t have two titles, and possible they wouldn’t even have one if it weren’t for Zito. That is worth $126 million to any Giants’ fan.

Ben, Willie, and myself will be up in the press box tonight and Ben and Willie will return to the box again this Saturday against the Padres. Tweet us a line @TortureCast.

See ya at the yard!

Chad

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Kale Power

Pence should try and squeeze every dime he can out of the Giants, wouldn’t you?

We all know Hunter Pence is ridiculously hot. Well, the ladies may also think he’s “hot,” but of course I’m referring to his unbelievable production at the plate in the second half, specifically over the last two weeks. He absolutely crushed the Dodgers, hitting 5 home runs in the 4 game series. He’s also hit 6 in his last 6 games and 7 in his last 10, in which he’s also hitting .450 with 20 RBI…and that includes two games where he went 0-4! About the only thing he hasn’t done is somehow gain the ability of flight to catch that Chavez sinking liner that would have preserved Petit’s perfect game.

He’s hitting .421/9/25 for September, and .352/11/44 after the All-Star break, lifting his average to in impressive .295/25/92. Just a few weeks ago it seemed impossible that Pence could reach .300/25/100, but it’s absolutely within his grasp now (heck even 30 HRs), and although it’s been great for the Giants on the field, I wonder how it will affect their pocketbook.

It’s widely reported that Pence loves SF and wants to re-sign, but an extension wasn’t in the works before the trading deadline, and there was speculation that he might be traded. After his elation as the deadline passed, Giants fans took to Twitter to push for such a deal.

A few days ago, Pence himself confirmed that he’s talking with the Giants, telling Hank Schulman that there have been “conversations.” While this is encouraging, what does his recent hot streak do to his market value? No doubt it’s gone up, and if he hits those magical numbers in his slash line, Pence may cost quite a bit more than his assumed $13-14 million per year. He’d be an idiot, though, to NOT test the market, no matter how much I personally want him to resign. Why wouldn’t you? You don’t know what you’re worth until you have offers, and I assume that’s what his agent is pressing him to do. Other than the rare outlier who takes a hometown discount (Jared Weaver), most players want validation, if not the money. Even if his ultimate goal is to stay in SF, he can use other offers as leverage to force Sabean and co. to throw a few more simoleons, if not years into the deal.

Sabean and Baer have repeatedly acknowledged that they need a left fielder with a stick, but they would suddenly need two such outfielders should they let the market consume Pence. If these conversations progress, the Giants will have until five days after the conclusion of the World Series to lock him up, otherwise, he’ll find out what he’s truly worth.

Chad

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Rockies v Giants, 9/9/13: Game Wrap

The weather in San Francisco was gorgeous today. A Giant win would have just capped this day off kindly. Not that it actually matters at this point, but losing to the Rockies always feels like losing HORSE to that younger, smaller, less-talented kid down the street. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Lincecum didn’t pitch poorly, nor did he pitch superbly. Somewhere in the middle. Two earned runs in 8 innings ain’t bad, but when you forget to cover home plate on a 2-3 putout with a runner on second, well, that’ll cost you a run. And tonight, it cost the Giants the game. Yet, it doesn’t go as an error, but rather, an earned run. I really do think MLB should introduce a new stat category for brain farts…except they should be more politically correct in that classification; perhaps ME for mental errors? Maybe a middle ground between earned and unearned runs, like SER (sort-of-earned runs)?

Regardless, the Giants offense continued to be perplexed by Chacin. Granted, he’s putting up the Rockies’ second-best ERA in the club’s 20 year history, but he feasts particularly on the Giants. Then again, the league feasts particularly on the Giants, who are we kidding.  The Giants only had two real threats. The first was in the 6th with runners and first and second and Panda at the plate. Unfortunately, he flied out routinely to center field after making Pagan and Posey run twice on a 3-2 count with 2 outs. With Belisle in relief of Chacin with one out in the eighth, Pagan dribbled one to third, and Arenado barehanded it nicely but threw wide of first, allowing Pagan to advance to second. After Scutaro grounded out to second, most of the 30,000+ (it was a sellout, but the stadium was certainly not at capacity), Belt came through with a double down the right field line to tie the game at 2. Posey worked a full count, but uncharacteristically waved at a slider outside to end the inning.

Romo relieved Lincecum in the 9th (to a much more subdued “El Mechon” crowd) and promptly retired the side in order. Lopez was the beneficiary of a blown call at first; after a single, pinch hitter Herrera attempted a sacrifice bunt that went about 2 feet, where Posey pounced on it and threw to Crawford at second, and then relayed it to Scutaro at first, where Herrera beat it out by a step. Alas, a double play was called.

The bottom of the 10th began with a Pagan single that just made it through the right side after an Arias strikeout. Scutaro finally got of the shnide with a single to left center, sending Pagan to third. That brought up Belt, already with heroics in the game with his game-tying single. After going down 0-2, he went with an outside pitch and drove it into the left center field gap past a drawn-in outfield to secure the walk-off win for the Giants on the same night they were eliminated from the NL West just moments earlier with the Dodgers win.

Not much else to break down. But, the baby giraffe hat manufacturer might want to increase their production.

See you at Zeke’s.

Chad

 

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Boys Back in the Box

Our interview with Tim Lincecum last February

Warning, your Twitter account will once again produce a bit of smoke this evening as Willie, Ben and Chad will be in the press box for Rockies vs. Giants tonight. It’s strange, but this will be the third game this year, out of 5, that we’ve seen Lincecum pitch. Not trying to line it up that way…just happens.

This could be Lincecum’s second-to-last start in a Giants uniform at AT&T. Strange to ponder that possibility, but looking at the schedule, he’ll have 4 more starts; tonight, in LA, in NY, then back at home for a final start against the hated Dodgers. Wait…holy weed, Batman…I just realized that if the rotation keeps that way, our next game in the box will be that Lincecum start, and potentially his final for the Giants.

Let’s hope it isn’t.

Tweet you tonight.

Chad

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Chad’s Guest Spot on “Inside China Basin”

Chad was a guest on “Inside China Basin” with Joe Castellano

Today I was a special guest on “Inside China Basin,” hosted by former MLB on XM Radio host Joe Castellano. I also found out that I can’t pronounce “admirably.”

Check it out here!

http://thesportsvirus.com/blog/2013/09/02/podcast-chad-king-torturecast/

 

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