Author Archives: TortureCast

About TortureCast

The podcast by and for fans of the San Francisco Giants, hosted weekly by our team of Willie Dills, Chad King, Ben Lee and Eric Nathanson.

SF Giants Torture Report: Road Trip Recap

cueto

Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

The San Francisco Giants will finally be returning home after a 3-city, 10-game road trip. The Giants finished the trip south with a 4-6 mark, and now have a 9-12 record overall. They’re in 4th place in the NL West, 6 games behind the first place Diamondbacks.

If it feels like the Giants have been on the road more than home so far this season, it’s because it’s true. The Giants have played 14 road games as opposed to only 7 at home. On the road, the Giants have posted a 6-8 record while winning only 3 of 7 at home. Still, it will be nice to have the boys back on the shores of McCovey Cove this week.

Is a 4-6 road trip considered a failure? Continue reading

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Episode #139: RIP RISP

Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Francisco Giants

Brandon Belt uses his newfound telekinetic powers to summon his bat to his hands….or he maybe just struck out for the umpteenth time this season. It was a bad week for Belt and the Giants.

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

This is a week that you just wanna punch right in the face and forget about. It was a rough weekend bender, at best. Giants go 2-5, but the worst of it coming on the backend, losing three straight to the lowly Padres. Eric noted that after the Giants went 9-0 against San Diego in the first half of 2016, they are 10-23 since, and haven’t won a series against them during that time.

The Giants continue to have the worst batting average with runners in scoring position, a lowly .158, despite their overall team average at .244, which is 8th in MLB.

Struggling players include Beede (sent down, Cueto up), Pence, Belt, Dyson and Osich, versus the relatively few hot players (Posey, Crawford, Stratton).

We also talk about two SJ Giant teammates who hit for the cycle it the SAME game, then later that week, hit walk off homers each in back to back games! We review the injury report and bitch about Melancon. Overall, not a chipper episode, but a meaty one.

This, and so much more in episode #139 of the TortureCast!
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Episode #139: RIP RISP

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-buyhn-8f6926

This is a week that you just wanna punch right in the face and forget about. It was a rough weekend bender, at best. Giants go 2-5, but the worst of it coming on the backend, losing three straight to the lowly Padres. Eric noted that after the Giants went 9-0 against San Diego in the first half of 2016, they are 10-23 since, and haven’t won a series against them during that time. 

The Giants continue to have the worst batting average with runners in scoring position, a lowly .158, despite their overall team average at .244, which is 8th in MLB. 

Struggling players include Beede (sent down, Cueto up), Pence, Belt, Dyson and Osich, versus the relatively few hot players (Posey, Crawford, Stratton).

We also talk about two SJ Giant teammates who hit for the cycle it the SAME game, then later that week, hit walk off homers each in back to back games! We review the injury report and bitch about Melancon. Overall, not a chipper episode, but a meaty one.

This, and so much more in episode #139 of the TortureCast!

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SF Giants Torture Report: Week 2

Strat

Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

The San Francisco Giants currently hold a 6-6 record, good for 3rd place in the NL West. Arizona leads the division with a 9-3 record, followed by Colorado in second place with virtually the same record as our Giants at 7-7.

There’s been 6 games since last week’s Torture Report, and continuing the theme on the season, the Giants went 3-3 in those games. The Giants have not been above or below .500 by more than 2 games either way so far this season. So, while they aren’t running away with anything, this team is not getting buried early on.

Last Friday, the Giants and Dodgers were rained out. It was the first rain out at AT&T Park since 2006. It gave the Giants 2 unexpected off days in a row before the quick 2-game set against LA. Continue reading

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Episode #138: Cutch Saves the Day!

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Andrew McCutchen launches a walk-off 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 14th inning vs. the LA Dodgers to win the game, 7-5. (Photo: AP)

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

Although it’s been a week since we last recorded, the Giants only played 4 games, thanks to off days and a rainout. They went 2-2 last week, splitting 2 game series each with the Mariners and Dodgers, but the Dodgers series was dramatic! The Giants blew a lead late to force extra innings, and actually went down 5-4 in the 14th before Andrew McCutchen launched the most memorable hit of this young season, a 3 run homer to win the game. He also went 6-7, the first time a SF Giant had 6 hits at home…ever! They also exploded for 10 runs in game 2 vs. the Mariners.

Chad and Eric discuss these four games, significant at bats, who’s hot and who’s not, and preview the upcoming week.

This, and so much more in episode #138 of the TortureCast!
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SF Giants Torture Report: Week 1

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Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

The 2018 baseball season is a week old. The San Francisco Giants are a respectable 3-3, good enough for 3rd place in the NL West. Not that standings really matter right now. It takes a month for things to really start shaking out.

Splitting 4 games in LA against the Dodgers to start the season was a great way to get things going. Yes, the offense didn’t really show up, except for Joe Panik, but getting a split against the defending NL champs in their park is a major win for a team who lost 98 games last season.

Just think about the way the Giants won the first 2 games. Identical 1-0 scores. Continue reading

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Episode #137: Giants Split in LA…somehow

panikHR

San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik has made history with two solo home runs in the first two games of the season, and pretty much saved the series as a split. Photo by Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

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

If you told us that the Giants were going to start the season without MadBum, Shark, and Melancon, yet split the first four games of the year in LA, we’d take that in an instant. We’d be even more flabbergasted if you told us that the Giants would be outscored 14-2 but STILL WIN 2 GAMES. Thank you, Joe Panik! His two solo shots in two consecutive games off of Kershaw and Jansen may have single-handedly prevented the Giants from being swept.

That said, winning the first two games of the series put the Giants in the driver’s seat to take the series, but they couldn’t do that, losing 5-0 and 9-0 in the last two games.

Chad and Eric dive into the stats of the series (mainly that the Giants were 1-20 with RISP, and Longo, Cutch and Jackson combined for 2-43!), the pros, the cons, the strengths and the weaknesses. But, hey…it’s only four games.
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SF Giants Season Preview: Starting Rotation

Ty Blach of the San Francsico Giants

Ty Blach/Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

The San Francisco Giants have wrapped up spring training and have their roster for the 2018 season. I guess. It hasn’t been officially announced as of Tuesday afternoon. Cactus League action is finally over. It feels like it took forever. I’m ready for some baseball that matters. I bet you are too.

The next few days, I’m going to take a look at the roster to get prepared for the start of the season. First up, the starting rotation. After that I’ll cover the bullpen and the position players. All projections are from the 2018 Baseball Prospectus. Let’s get this season started. Continue reading

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Episode #136: 2018 Season Preview

openingday2018

Opening Day is Thursday, March 29. Ty Blach vs. Clayton Kershaw.

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

It’s our annual season preview! In this 7th preview in total, the gang has all been pretty close in guessing the Giants’ win totals…until last year. With all of us ranging between 84 and 92 wins, we were more than 20 games off.

That said, no one predicted that the Giants would lose 98. Taking that into consideration with this year’s injuries, we have the biggest range in our hosting history, with Chad going low with 76 wins, Willie just behind at 79, and Eric piling on the unicorn droppings with a whopping 96 wins, proclaiming that the Giants will win the West, the World Series, Duggar will win Rookie of the Year, and Posey and Panik will battle it out for a batting title.

Perhaps Eric is getting high off his new puppies?

We also read listener’s win total predictions, talk final potential roster moves, and our keys for getting off to a good start, considering that the Giants play the Dodgers 10 times over their first 29 games…and that’s without Bum or Shark.

 

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Even Years may be Odd

bumgarner-hurt

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner is helped off the field after getting hit by a batted ball during the third inning of the team’s spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, March 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The second half of 2016 was horrid, but the Giants limped into the playoffs, and were one bullpen collapse in the 9th inning short of forcing a game 5 in the NLDS.

2017 was an odd year, so nothing was expected, except the unexpected happened. The Giants lost 98 games after losing Madison Bumgarner to a freak, yet, completely preventable motorbike accident on an off day in Colorado. Match that with under-performing players, other injuries, and a bullpen that couldn’t plug any dyke in the world, and you come up with the second worst season in SF history. But, I think I speak for all of us when MadBum went down…there was a collective “oh shit,” and I’m sure the team felt it, too. I’m sure there was an emotional tsunami that cost the team a few games.

But…this offseason the Giants addressed many issues, including third base (Evan Longoria), outfield (Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson), bullpen (Tony Watson, Will Smith coming back from TJ), and with promising performances from young bullpen guys and Chris Stratton this spring, and with the prospect of MadBum having a full healthy season, things were positive, dare I say…confident. Yes, this team exuded confidence, in defiance to last year’s supposed outlier.

Then, two days ago, Jeff Samardzija was shut down. Yesterday we learned that he has a right pectoral muscle strain, and will be out 4-6 weeks. Although bad news, at least it wasn’t a shoulder injury, and maybe this injury could explain his drop in velocity this spring, along with the neck-jerking frequency of homeruns he was giving up.

Then…today.

It’s not an off day in Colorado, but it WAS the LAST start of the spring for Madison Bumgarner.

THE LAST START OF THE SPRING.

HIS NEXT START WOULD BE IN LA ON OPENING DAY.

Ah…the cruel baseball gods dipped Whit Merrifield into the cauldron of odd-year-bullshit, and firmly placed him in the 2018 batter’s box to deliver a line drive up the middle that impacted the FUCKING PITCHING HAND of the Giants’ best player.

Fracture.

Surgery.

with pins.

MadBum won’t even get the pins out for 4-6 weeks before he can start rehab and throwing. Most sources indicate that he may not even pitch before the ALL STAR BREAK. He’s out at least 6-8 weeks.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

After all of the re-tooling, pressing up against the luxury tax, and thankfully, having a relatively injury-free spring, this happens?!

Oh yeah, the Giants and Dodgers play 10 times in the first 33 days (29 games) of the season. None of those games will feature the Shark or MadBum. Any, and I mean ANY hopes of the Giants beating the Dodgers this year are gone. I mean, Chris Stratton as their #2?!

Las Vegas had the over/under for wins at 81.5. I think Giants fans were hoping for 86+ for a wild card. I think that number just dropped by 10 wins.

So, unless even magic will rear a unicorn ass and pull something out of it that we just cannot imagine, I think the even-year magic is over. Perhaps Sabean sold their collective soul to the devil to win three championships (which, btw, I’m cool with). Maybe this is their penance for coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits in the NLDC and NLCS. Maybe this is karmic payback for Pence’s triple-hit, or Blanco’s bunt that didn’t go foul, or maybe even MadBum’s god-like performance in game 7 in 2014.

These aren’t even age-related issues for Bumgarner. Or over-use. Motorbike accident. Freak line-drive. Both will cost him about a full season of pitching combined.

And two seasons of frustration for Giants fans.

-Chad

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