Monthly Archives: August 2015

Giants Walk it Off

Tomlinsons’ line drive in the bottom of the 9th was almost snagged by Siegrest, but made it through 5 infielders to secure the walk off win.

Mike Leake deserved better, but then again, so did the starter for the Cards. In a game full of errors, walks, hit batsmen, and botched double plays, both sides gave away multiple runs. It did appear that the Giants’ first strike would be the fatal blow, when Marlon Byrd launched a grand slam just out of the reach of Pham over the center field wall. Afterall, the Giants have won all of their games in which they have hit a grand slam since 2007, and this was their club-record eight of this year. It wasn’t meant to be the difference, as the Cards chipped away, and the last three runs were scored courtesy of a dropped double play ball by Adrianza (no error, though), and a wild pitch with two outs and a runner on third that tied it.

Enter the bottom of the ninth. Since Trevor Rosenthal is on paternity leave for a few days, Mike Matheny had to rely on Maness, Broxton and Siegrest. Siegrest was tagged for his first loss of the year (5-1) when the rookie Kelby Tomlinson ripped a single up the middle after the bases were loaded with one out.

Celebration ensued, and in the clubhouse, I showed Tomlinson his bat flip on my phone. He was embarrassed, but I think he was a little proud of that flip as well.

Chad

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The Giants could win the rest of their games to tie their 1993 win total when THEY DIDN’T MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!

To match their record from 1993 (and they didn’t make the playoffs then), the Giants would have to win the rest of their games. I remember sitting at Candlestick watching the 49ers demolish the Vikings while the Braves beat the inaugural Rockies (Braves went 13-0 vs. Col) to secure the NL West with 104 wins. Giants had 103.

To refresh your memory, 1993 included these images:

And finally…

Ok, I’m officially feeling dementia coming on….

Chad

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Episode 95: Somehow the Giants are Still in it

Putting orange things in your ears apparently is a good thing. The Giants’ ain’t having not going to the playoffs, maybe, in 2015.

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

Despite a 2-5 road trip, the Giants actually GAINED a half a game on the Dodgers, who have lost 5 in a row, and now the Giants only sit 1 1/2 games back. Let’s just not think of the wild card at this point.

Chad and Eric are joined by Ryan Leong from Associated Press Radio, who covered all 4 games in Pittsburgh, plus the Steelers exhibition game. We talk about the series, pinch-hitting MadBum, the Giants’ league-leading batting average, and their chances on catching the Dodgers. Really, it doesn’t look to bad…at least now.

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Bonusode 93.1: Giants 8, Nationals 5 (8.14.15)

Crawford and Harper sharing hairdo “best practices.” (Photo: Chad King)

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

After Willie and Chad covered game 2 of the Nationals-Giants series, they were joined by regular guest Jen Cosgriff and new guest JuanPedro Huerta at Zeke’s for a boisterous bonusode. We discuss the game, Jen’s complete destruction of California teams during her midwest trip, the “Full Clubhouse” parody and more while we pound back a few adult beverages.

Be sure to check out Chad’s interview with Hunter Strickland before the game!

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Interview with Hunter Strickland

His locker mate is Jeremy Affeldt, and HE HAD NOT YET SEEN THE “FULL CLUBHOUSE” PARODY! (photo: mlb.com)

Download the interview here, or stream it below!

Chad visited the Giants clubhouse and interviewed reliever Hunter Strickland before the Giants beat the Nationals 8-5. Hunter discusses his lack of love for an automated strike zone, the confidence it takes to pitch in the majors, touts the camaraderie of the clubhouse, and being a southern boy, his favorite food is fried chicken, because of course you should know that. Be sure to check out Bonusode 93.1 that was recorded after the game at Zeke’s!

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Episode 93: Shrug off that Hangover

Didn’t we all feel like we took one off the noggin’ this weekend?

Right click here to download the podcast, or stream it below!

[audio http://torturecast.podomatic.com/enclosure/2015-08-10T22_44_01-07_00.mp3]

The boys are back after a vacation break to bring you some heartache, but silver linings. The Giants were swept by the Cubs, but thanks to the Pirates and Nats, sit only 2.5 games back of the Dodgers. We talk starting rotation, injuries, who we love and hate, and basically sing a huge kumbaya.

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

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The weekend that wasn’t

I really wanted to put a positive spin on this past weekend. I wanted to say that when Joe Panik and Andrew Susac return the team will be better. The Mike Leake Injury is a fluke. He may very well come back and pick the rotation up. It’s all going to get better. That’s what I want to think deep down. It may all be true.

I can’t do it. This weekend hurt. The Giants have dealt with being a streaky team all year so this just may be how it is. I don’t know.

There’s eight weeks left of baseball to be played and the Giants face the Dodgers 7 more times. I’ve thought all along the best shot is the NL West. The Cubs are a good team and have the ability to win more games than the Giants. The Dodgers are vulnerable and the Giants can catch them. It’s suddenly “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain” with LA.

I guess those are some things that could happen. But I don’t know that now. You don’t know that now. It’s just swell the Giants have a day off to regroup. There’s hope for this season yet and the Giants have been winning lately at home. In their last three homestands the Giants have gone 4-2, 4-2, and 5-1. Positive vibes, I’m hoping to keep them.

Last night I wasn’t feeling them. Below is what I wrote after the game. This is after I took a walk in the rain while the sun was shining. If you want to read about an agonizing weekend, keep going. If you don’t, good for you for being so positive, because I’m not feeling it right now.

Come back Susac. Be ok Aoki. Please continue to hit baseballs Joe. I miss the team.


So, that weekend sucked. The Giants went in to Chicago and didn’t win a game. From the beginning the Cubs jumped ahead and they never looked back. There were only three times in the whole 4-game series that the Giants really put pressure on the Cubs. One of those was with no one on base.

The Buster Posey at bat in the 9th inning on Thursday was the first. It was a one run game but you could see Cubs fans worried about the at bat. Posey is a credible threat. He’s an MVP and 3-time trophy winner. Along the way Posey has won a batting title and hit some clutch home runs. So Cubs fans had a reason to be worried. Buster flew out, the inning was over after Hector Sanchez did something.

Matt Duffy in the 9th inning on Saturday with Nori Aoki on base was the second time the Giants threatened the Cubs. Even then, Duffy hasn’t homered in a while. He was more likely going to shoot a single through the right side or drive one to a gap, but not homer. This one’s kinda iffy.

The most agonizing sequence of the entire series was the 9th inning on Sunday afternoon. The Giants couldn’t get anything going against Jake Arrieta all day but managed to hang around thanks to Jake Peavy and the bullpen. It was only 2-0. The Giants were within striking distance. Brandon Belt led off with a floating hit. Brandon Crawford followed that with a screaming double down the right field line. It was an impressive piece of hitting considering Rizzo was playing close to the bag with Belt on first base.

Things were looking good. The Giants are one of the best offenses in baseball. They should put a crooked number up. Hector Rondon wasn’t as sharp as he had been on Thursday night. Ehire Adrianza got hit in the foot on a 1-2 pitch. Rondon was all over the place. Finally, things were going the Giants way. Maybe they can pull this out and have a happy flight back from Chicago feeling like they got one back.

Then Hector Sanchez swung at three straight pitches that never looked like strikes. All 3 bounced in the dirt and he swung right over the ball. Next was Angel Pagan. Today was supposed to be his day off but because Aoki got plunked in the head earlier he found himself in a situation to redeem some of the talk about how he shouldn’t be out there anymore. Pagan gave it try. He did his best. He really did. I can’t get on him for this at bat. He fouled off 3 pitches with a 2-2 count before missing one.

Gregor Blanco was the final hope. That’s ok. He’s the guy that’s getting buzz on social media lately. Everyone believes in him. With Pagan’s knees and not so good hitting Blanco has become the backup quarterback of the Giants. Everyone is clamoring for him to play so of course he’ll come through. And he fought and fought until he just stood there. He struck out looking on a pitch he should have fouled off to the left side. Instead of keeping up the fight or coming through the Giants struck out three straight times.

It was a kick you in the soft spot series for Giants fans. I can’t wait until they get home.

-Eric

@2outhits

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And so it begins…

flickr - Jerry Reuss

flickr – Jerry Reuss

Here it comes. The meat and potatoes of the season. Starting tonight in Chicago the San Francisco Giants play 26 straight games against teams with records above .500. Every one of the teams is in contention for either the wild card game or a division championship. It’s such a rough stretch of games that LOLKNBR has dubbed it #ScheduHell.

Here’s the way this gauntlet lays out with records as of the beginning of play on Thursday the 6th.

4 @ Cubs 58-48

2 v Houston 60-49

4 v Washington 55-51

3 @ St. Louis 68-39

4 @ Pittsburgh 62-44

3 v Cubs 58-48

3 V St. Louis 68-39

3 @ Dodgers

There are 2 days off sandwiched in there. This coming Monday after the Cubs series and one after the road trip to Pittsburgh and St. Louis. I feel like they catch a break here as the final game in Pittsburgh is an ESPN Sunday night game and the Giants have to fly back west after an east coast night game. Unlike earlier this season when the team twice came home and played the next day, this time they get a day off to freshen their bodies.

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel. After the Dodgers series the Giants have what can be called an easier September/October. The farthest east they have to travel is Denver. The only time the Giants play an opponent that is over .500 is 4 games at home against LA during the final week of the season.

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The beginning is in Chicago. I’ve paid a lot of attention to the Cubs this season. As some of you may remember I’m from Chicago originally and going to Wrigley Field is how I grew up watching baseball. You can read about that over at 2outhits.com if you’d like. It’s the genesis of me joining TortureCast in the first place.

I’ve always been a Giants fan but I rooted for the Cubs as well. I wasn’t some jerk that wanted to see the team all my friends root for be a failure every year. That’s just how it worked out. While a lot of people remember 1989 because of the Loma Prieta earthquake, which is a good reason by the way, I remember that year because the Giants beat the Cubs in the NLCS. It gave me bragging rights over all my friends from the age of 10 on. No matter what my Cubs fan friends tell you, the tie-breaker in 1998 did not make up for 1989.

It’s not often that both the Cubs and Giants are good at the same time. At least not recently. So I’m a little extra pumped about this weekend. Here’s some notes I dug up about these two teams.

  • The Giants start this series a half-game ahead of the Cubs for the 2nd wild card spot and 2 games behind the Dodgers for the division.
  • The Cubs recently won 6 straight games before falling to Pittsburgh last night.
  • Four of the six wins came in a sweep at Milwaukee. We know how bad they are, the Giants swept them this year as well.
  • The Giants haven’t lost a series at Wrigley Field since 2008.
  • Kyle Schwarber is the hot phenom tearing it up for the Cubs right now. In 24 games he’s batting .342 with 5 HR and an OPS at 1.031. Nine of his twenty six hits have gone for extra bases.
  • Sunday starter Jake Arrieta has been the stud of the Cubs rotation. He’s 12-6 with a 2.50 ERA and averages just over 1 strikeout per inning. Arrieta’s WHIP is 1.002 and he’s only given up 9 home runs in 147.2 innings.
  • This is a homecoming for Angel Pagan, he broke in with the Cubs back in 2006. Don’t expect him to go crashing into the ivy to celebrate.
  • Buster Posey likes Wrigley Field. He’s hit .354 with 3 HR’s and 3 2B’s there in 14 career games.
  • The Giants are 29-12 in games Hunter Pence has appeared and 30-36 without him this season. It sure is nice to have him back and healthy.
  • If you haven’t read it yet, go check out this USA Today article on Matt Duffy. Great to see him getting some national love.

I’m sure I’ll have more through the weekend. Like I said I’m a little excited to watch these 2 teams go at it. It’s either that or I have become afflicted with KelbyMania.

-Eric Nathanson

@2outhits

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