Episode #204: The Giants are Going Streaking!!

Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski leaps for Ketel Marte’s sixth-inning drive. Yastrzemski caught it for the third out of the inning. Photo: Tony Avelar / Associated Press

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

Just as we counted the Giants out last week after having lost 5 in a row and 7 of 8, including those 3 gut-wrenching 9th inning blown leads, the Giants turn it around and hammer out 6 straight wins (and counting) to get themselves right back in the wild card hunt at 14-16. Chad, Eric, and Willie get together to discuss each game of the week, Joey Bart’s MLB debut (finally! boy can he rake!), Yaz’s MVP consideration (he leads MLB in offensive WAR!) and sadly, the end to the reunion with Hunter Pence as he was designated for assignment after posting a miserable .096 average (5-52). We’re going to miss The Reverend.

This podcast is also available in video form below! Join us on Facebook Live (mostly) every Monday afternoon as we review the week in Giants’ baseball!

Watch our stream of episode 204

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Episode #203: HeartBreak After Heartbreak

Shades of 2002: David Fletcher #22 congratulates Tommy La Stella #9 of the Los Angeles Angels after his game winning two-run homerun during the ninth inning of a game against the San Francisco Giants. Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

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

Somehow the baseball season is still pushing forward, despite the Cardinals are now the “infected” team. In fact, although the Giants have played 16 games, which is more than a quarter of the way through the season, the Cards have only played 5 games….FIVE.

Willie Dills joined Chad this week to talk about what may be the most depressing week in regular season TortureCast history. Not only did the Giants drop 7 of 8, but they blew three consecutive save opportunities. The first was the worst: a 5-run lead in the 9th (first time since 1929 a lead this big was blown in the 9th), the next night it was a 3-run 9th inning lead, and last night it was a walk off 2-run HR by the Angels. All 3 were blown by Trevor Gott, who is officially out as closer. However, the defense helped put Gott in the situations in 2 of the 3 blown saves. Adding salt to the wound in between was a 15-3 blowout loss to the A’s. Sitting dead last in the NL West at 8-16, the Giants’ playoff hopes have dwindled to a microscopic level.

BTW, where’s Joey Bart?

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Episode #202: Sometimes You Don’t See It

Hunter Pence shared this meme on social media after last night’s gaffe ended Johnny Cueto’s no-hit bid.

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

Somehow the baseball season is still pushing forward, despite the Cardinals are now the “infected” team. In fact, although the Giants have played 16 games, which is more than a quarter of the way through the season, the Cards have only played 5 games….FIVE.

The Giants went 3-5 since our last recording, but the main hurdle was Colorado, where they lost three of four, despite having late inning leads in two of those losses. They’ve split so far in LA, but Donnie Barrels (aka Donovan Solano) leads the league in hitting, and Yaz leads the majors in wins above replacement. The veterans of Pence, Pablo, and Crawford have not played well at all, and their pitching staff has a 5th worst ERA at 5.05. Surprisingly, their batting average is fifth. At 7-9, the Giants are barely out of the expanded playoff picture, and if they can survive the last 4 games of this hellacious 10 game roadie, they may not be in horrible shape. Eric and Chad chat about all of this and more in a brief episode 202.

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Episode #201: Is Baseball on Life Support?

Chad’s view of the Padres vs. Giants game at Oracle Park on July 29, 2020. The backsides of the cutouts look like a bunch of ghosts staring at me. (Photo by Chad King)

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

You can also view the live video stream we broadcast on Facebook Live here!

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Although the Giants had an average week, it included a dramatic splash-hit walk off, another great comeback stalled by a bullpen that exploded, Chad got credentials to cover a game, and well, basically most of the Marlins have COVID-19 (and now the Cardinals, too), which is putting the MLB season in dire jeopardy due to the number of postponed games. Eric and Chad chat about all of this and more in a brief episode 201.

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Episode #200:

June 12, 2011 was episode #1. July 28, 2020 is episode #200. We celebrate the fact that we’re this stubborn to continue a podcast about one major league baseball team over nine years.

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

We broadcast this milestone episode live. Check out the full video above!

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Willie Dills Gregory and his two friends started this podcast on June 12, 2011. Nine years later, we’ve finally reached episode 200. However, that’s with the caveat that if you add all of the bonusodes, season previews and interviews, it’s really recording number 258. That said, it’s something to celebrate, especially as we recorded during the Giants’ home opener (which they sadly lost 5-3 to SD).

Chad, Eric and founder Willie Dills wax poetically over 90 minutes about the Marlins’ COVID outbreak, the expanded playoffs, and the first series the Giants split against the Dodgers. This episode, and all going forward, was streamed on Facebook Live.

Check out our ugly mugs as we get through this episode! Hopefully baseball sticks around long enough to make it to the playoffs. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

@chadk21

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Opening Day Thud

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JULY 23: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the game at Dodger Stadium on July 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

On paper, we knew the Giants probably wouldn’t make the playoffs, and the Dodgers may run away with the division. But, shortly before tonight’s season opener in Dodger Stadium, the league announced that the playoffs have been expanded to 16 teams total, adding 3 teams to each league. Eight teams EACH from the AL and NL. This is great news for the Giants. But, they still have to be in the top 8 of 15 teams in the NL, a pinnacle they haven’t reached since 2016. But, it’s 60 games, so a little streak here or there, and they could sneak in.

Tonight, the news even got better as Clayton Kershaw was scratched from the start with back issues and placed on the IL. Dustin May was called up as his replacement. Everything started to look a bit more rosey for the Giants. After they had a minimal 1-0 lead (after squandering opportunities to score much more), the Dodgers finally broke through with a 2-out rally to tie the game off Cueto in the 4th. Overall, Cueto looked good until giving up two consecutive singles, a walk, and another single to tie the game.

With expanded rosters, and a young corp to try and battle these monoliths of baseball, Gabe Kapler has an extreme challenge, but he has some depth in numbers (as do all teams, of course). He quickly brought in Drew Smyly and Rico Garcia in the 5th and 6th to toss zeros. But, everything unraveled in the 7th when Tyler Rogers, who only gave up two earned runs in 17.2 innings last year was tagged for three earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. He was also the victim of questionable defense, including his own. With runners on the corners and one out, there was a comebacker to Rogers. He appeared to have enough time to start the 1-6-3 double play, but opted to go for the runner stranded off third. Unfortunately, instead of just running him back to third (the runner from first was able to make it all the way to third, like you’re supposed to), a long pickle ensued, which also allowed the hitter to get to second. So, yes, they got the second out of the inning, but now TWO runners were in scoring position instead of the end of the inning. Enrique Hernandez quickly doubled the Dodgers’ run total with a two out, two run knock to right to put the Dodgers up 4-1, and that was the end of it. They tacked on four more runs throughout the night, and the Giants didn’t put up much of a fight, offensively. But, the game was still tied going to the bottom of the 7th.

Joe McCarthy and Dany Jimenez made their (forgettable) MLB debuts tonight. Let’s be honest, the Giants roster is full of unknowns, castaways, rookies and retreads. Much like when the GM in “Major League” tried to fill the roster with such players to tank the season, but the team has been boxed in by over-inflated “thank you” contracts, bad trades, and a lack of draft depth. If they don’t make the playoffs in this “easy” year, it may be a few more until they crack the top.

There’s always tomorrow.

Chad

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Episode #199: 2020 Season Preview

SF Giant Austin Slater rips a 3 run double against the A’s on July 20, 2020. Photo by SJ Mercury News.

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

Honestly, we can’t believe it. We are having a season preview episode. In July. Whatever. We’ll take it. Joining Chad and Eric are long standing podcast veterans including a founder of TortureCast, Willie “Dills” Gregory and a woman who has joined us for numerous season previews and drunken “bonusodes,” Jennifer (formerly Cosgriff) Kent.

The four of us discuss the new rule changes, the potential roster, guess on the number of wins for the Giants, the World Series champs and even discuss the importance of Gabe Kapler and several Giants that took a knee during the National Anthem before the exhibition game against the A’s.

We’re almost to #200!

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Episode #197: Baseball is Back!

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Eric and Chad met each other for the first time in 7 years in Las Vegas last week…masks and all! We talked a lot of shop, drank, and caught up.

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

After months of frustrating negotiations…the owners and players failed to come to an agreement. But alas, MLB Commish Rob Manfred instituted a 60 game season, players agreed to the health protocols, and voila! We officially have a 2020 baseball season!

Here are the main points:

  • 60 game season (40 against NL West, 20 against AL West)
  • Universal DH
  • In every extra inning, a runner starts the inning on second base
  • 60 player pool; camp opens today, July 1
  • Season starts July 23 or 24
  • Trade deadline is Aug 31
  • 30 man roster the first 2 weeks of the season, 28 the next 2 weeks, 26 the rest of the way
  • Playoffs remain the same (3 division winners, 2 wild cards in each league)
  • Separate COVID-19 injured list. A player has to test negative twice to resume play
  • Players and personnel not in game must be in stands, 6 feet apart

Eric and I talk about the ramifications these new rules have on the Giants, including who’s going to be DH most of the time, the Giants actually have a shot at a playoff spot with so few games, how do they handle stats of runners scoring in extra innings, and much, much more.

We are so excited to actually discuss real baseball, but we hope that the season not only starts, but can come to a conclusion. There is serious worry about what the virus may do to halt the season. But, in the meantime, we’re moving forward and will be back with an episode in mid-July and our annual season preview around July 22.

As noted in the photo above, Eric and I met up in Las Vegas last week, the first time we’ve seen each other in 7 years! We talked shop, drank, and caught up. We highly recommend “BEER PARK” at the Paris Hotel, a great outdoor venue. Next time, we’ll make a podcast out of it.

@chadk21 & @2outhits

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Episode #195: Greed is not Good

bullpen

Framegrab from the KPIX helicopter flying over Oracle Park, showing the new bullpens nearing completion.

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Things are tough in the nation right now. From the pandemic to civil unrest, there are many more important things happening than a podcast about baseball and the Giants. Yet, Eric and I decided to go ahead with our recording, as we only do so every two weeks at this point. Perhaps our conversation can be a distraction from these troubling times.

There have been a few developments in the negotiations between the owners and players, but both sides seem to have their feet planted firmly. The owners want to pay the players much less than previously agreed to, with fewer games played, and the players want a prorated salary and more games. They are currently very far apart, and the chances of having a season seem to dwindle with every passing day. But, there is some hope that we’ll see baseball some time this year. We also chat about Vegas reopening, bullpen completion and new dimensions at Oracle Park and more!

Chad

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Episode #194: Baseball in San Francisco…in July?

oracleparkdown

Oracle Park may not have fans in July, but could it have baseball? (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

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Do we think this is likely? Not really. But, that is the latest bit of news coming out of the baseball world. Last week, MLB owners sent the players association a proposal that would start an 82 game season in July. Some of the main points of how the season would work include the DH for the NL, an expanded 14-team playoff, games restricted to mainly geographic opponents to reduce travel, and a myriad of COVID-19 related guidelines for on-field play (no spitting, chewing tobacco, fist bumps, etc.). They also proposed a 50/50 revenue split with the players, but that would result in lower salaries than the players already agreed to on March 26, when they agreed to a pro-rated salary based on the number of games played. Additionally, California Governor Newsom indicated that pro sports may be able to return by June, without spectators.

All of these issues are massive hurdles, which makes the prospect of a season starting in July seem unlikely. However, baseball fans around the nation would be ecstatic to see their team playing on their home field (on TV) sometime this year.

We also talk about Blake Snell’s unwillingness to play for less, the Giants are paying their non-baseball staff through September, and the OOTP Baseball dream bracket #2 will send in the 1954 and 2012 Giants as part of the field of 64 historic teams.

@ chadk21, @ 2outhits, @torturecast

Show links:

MLB Owners Proposal Highlights: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-2020-season-plan-owners-approve-proposal-for-july-start-talks-reportedly-begin-without-salary-discussion/

Blog by Craig Calcaterra: https://craigcalcaterra.com/blog/the-pandemic-diary-may-16/ 

Blake Snell: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29174318/rays-ace-blake-snell-says-refuses-play-reduced-salary

OOTP Dream Bracket #2: https://www.mlb.com/dream-bracket

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