The Giants went 4-2 for the week, which is something amazing considering they were under.500 at home. Despite a 12-13 June (ok, they can still be .500 with a win tonight), the Giants are only 1/2 game back of the Dodgers. Chad and Ben discuss the month of June, the All Star game voting, Duffy and more!
Since we last recorded, the Giants beat the Pirates in the Wild Card game and took a 2-0 lead in the NLDS against Washington. However, as the Giants looked to sweep the Nats with MadBum on the bump today, it didn’t work out, and the Giants move onto Game 4 with a 2-1 lead and Vogey on the mound. Chad drives this podcast solo to talk about how the Giants are playing with house money, and how they might clinch this series before the dreaded game 5 possibility in Washington. Because, no one wants that.
Willie, Ben and Chad once again head to Zeke’s after a Giants game to talk about many exciting events. First and foremost, the Giants blanked the Diamondbacks 5-0 to maintain their 2.5 game deficit behind the Dodgers and their 4 game lead on the wild card. We also talk about “video gamer’s” night with Todd McFarlane before the game (Ben got the sweet Assassin’s Creed figurine).
Even more exciting was the fact that we had clubhouse access for the first time. Chad snagged interviews with Panda, Pence and Affeldt before the game, and those interviews can be found here. We also spoke with Matt Duffy after the game (interview is at the end of this bonusode) about his critical 7th inning double to put the game away. Pour a shot and a beer, sit down, and enjoy another bonusode with the boys from TortureCast!
We’ll be in the clubhouse again for Saturday’s game against LA. Should be an anxiety-ridden ride for all.
We knew this day would come. We finally hit a uniform number that has never graced the back of a single SF Giant.
We’ll think of it as Xavier Nady minus 1, or Doug Mirabelli plus 1. Not sure what we’ll do about 100+, if we ever get there.
Willie and Chad talk Giants baseball on this off-day that finds the Giants starting a six game road trip to Chicago and Washington, only 3.5 games back of the bums and with a hold on the second wild card spot. Hey, they were further back of the Padres at this point in 2010. Of course, the Dougie was also a popular dance then, so….
We cover the recent series, Morse’s hot bat, Panik’s hustling pinkie, Matt Cain’s season-ending surgery, Belt’s troubling concussion (and Sanchez’s), Susac, Posey, Pablo, perplexing Timmy, the second base curse, Jimmy Rollins, and what kind of player would manifest with Yaseil Puig’s raw talent with Hunter Pence’s love and respect for the game.
Also, next week around 9 pm PDT, Monday, August 25, we’ll be having our first LIVE CALL IN SHOW and will be streaming it LIVE on YouTube.
Mark it on your calendar, and be sure to call us from your phone and we’ll be sure to patch you in, even if you think Michael Morse is a bust this year.
That number is 415-799-SFG1
Again, that number: 415-799-SFG1.
Wait, I only need to repeat it on the podcast, not on this post…
We’re running out of jersey numbers, so “Doug Mirabelli” it is!
In episode #66, Chad and Ben are joined by Eric Nathanson of 2outhits to discuss the flurry of activity surround the San Francisco Giants including Belt and Cain to the DL, Scutaro’s return, Hicks DFA, signing Dan Uggla to a minor league deal, and Ben’s trip to Minnesota for the All Star Game.
Willie and Chad talk about the great first quarter of the 2014 season, which finds the Giants in first place and somehow FOX sports ranks them as the best team in the MLB. We also discuss the Belt injury, entities we hate, and our new favorite guys.
Tonight was a special night. Not only was it Fedora night, but the National Anthem was fantastic. Oh, and we welcomed Eric Nathanson (@2outhits) of Around the Foghorn to his very first game at AT&T Park. You may remember that he covered his first Giants game earlier this month when they visited the Tropicana Dome. The Giants were kind enough to further extend the press privilege to him here in San Francisco.
He apparently met up with “tweeps” at the @SFGiantsCafe. Do we have tweeps?
After Timmy warmed up on the mound to “Blurred Lines” (he’s been using that for weeks now), he used his inner-Thicke to face the minimum through three innings before a little speed bump in the fourth when he walked the first two batters. However, a little conference on the mound, perhaps something about trying to acquire naked ladies to dance around him later tonight, and he induced McCutchen to fly out to right before striking out Alvarez and Jones.
Oh, and of course, he was doing this all with the courtesy of a 4-run lead, established in the very first inning. That’s not only a big inning for the Giants, that’s a big GAME for the black and orange. They sent 9 men to the plate and racked up 5 hits and a couple of cheap RBIs.
The left field ball dude got a work out tonight. One of these days, one of these elderly gentlemen will die on the field, I assure you. Blanco almost died tonight as well with two near HBP and a seed off of Pill’s bat that made Blanco leap into the arms of the batboy.
The fifth greeted Lincecum with a ball deposited deep into the LF bleachers as Tony Sanchez hit his first career homerun. So, a nice moment for the young man. Heck, Giants fans were even nice enough to throw the ball back on the field in a clear gesture of kindness so that he would have that nice fireplace momento. No matter, the Giants matched that run with one of their own in the home half to take a 5-1 lead when a wild pitch by Hughes, who had just come into the game for Liriano, plated a hobbling Hector, who had earlier been hit by a pitch. A nice sac bunt by Timmy pushed him to third to even be in position to score. Small ball at its best.
Lincecum started to run out of gas in the top of the 6th, however. With one out, he walked McCutchen and allowed a 2-strike double down the right field line to Pedro Alvarez, necessitating his replacement with Mijares. The hit parade continued with an RBI single by Sanchez (the Gabby variety), then Machi came in to give up another line drive over the second base bag by Sanchez (the Tony variety) to put the Pirates within two runs. After a controversial strikeout, Panda made a nice back-handed play down the line and fired to Posey at first. However, there was much discussion in the press box, including Andrew Baggarly, on why he didn’t simply run to the bag for the force play.
The Giants got one back in the sixth via the free pass to Pence. He moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a ground out. Panda came through with a big two-out, two-strike single to right.
It looked like the wheels were starting to loosen up in the seventh; with one out and a runner on first, Scutaro received a perfect double-play grounder, but muffed it in the exchange and couldn’t even muster one out, setting up McCutchen as the tying run at the plate, but he flied out to right. Javier Lopez came in to close out the inning without harm.
Casilla pitched a perfect eighth, Posey ended his bid for a 4-hit night, and Romo’s entry music made the fans dance in funny ways before he closed things down (uneventfully) in the ninth for the 6-3 victory.
In the post-game presser, Bochy acknowledged these keys to the game: the 4 run first, the ability to score after Pittsburgh scored, Timmy settling down in the fourth, Lopez’s confrontation with Alvarez, Panda’s 2 out, 2 strike RBI single, and the incredible fan support that they still receive, despite the rough year.
We’ll be heading over to Zeke’s now to record another bonusode. Who knows who will show up.
While Posey hits in the cage, Panda, Scutaro, and Pence talk about their next Vegas road trip
AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Phoenix, the old ball-player returning to glory, my 10 year old dog learning new tricks. However you want to label it, Timmy’s first start since his no-hitter in San Diego certainly elevated him, if even ever so slightly, back to a level of semi-excellence that Giants fans hungered for, rooted for. We relived his glory days as he threw all 148 pitches at Petco Park. Maybe he was back? Or, maybe it was dumb luck, or the Padres, or a little of the old Timmy, or a little bit of everything. Ok, so no-hitters always involve one or two great plays or close calls, but obviously luck is only a small part of it. He induced 28 swing-throughs by Padres batters. That was an indication that his stuff was electric and mystifying.
So, here we were today. Willie and I watching Posey, Pence and Panda absolutely murder balls in batting practice. It really is something to witness from 20 feet away. It reminds me of the one time I followed Tiger Woods at Pebble Beach and was in absolute awe of his club speed. It’s something that doesn’t translate over TV.
Oh right, Lincecum. Anyway, the park was electric tonight, the press box was full as my belly was from the press dining room grub. Everyone was ready to tweet, “Lincecum now has 11 consecutive no-hit innings..” or something to that account. Well, the tension was released when Shin-Shoo Choo sliced a double down the left field line that we were all sure Blanco was going to catch (it was in his glove, afterall). Robinson, a last second replacement in left field, followed with a bunt single, and it looked like the inning was going to explode. However, Timmy settled down and struck out Joey Votto and when Tony Phillips nubbed a comebacker to Lincecum, he alertly ran Choo back to third and tagged him out. After an 0-2 count on Jay Bruce, Lincecum lost him on 4 straight balls, some of them tantalizingly close to strikes. Then Todd Frazier loudly opened the floodgates with a rocket over the head of Torres in dead center, clearing the bases for a 3-0 Reds lead.
Timmy never regained his composure after that. He might as well have been wearing a Reds batting practice jersey, because he started giving up gopher balls. One to Devin Mesoraco (who?), another one to Choo, then the third of the night to Jay Bruce. All of them hit hard, loud, and long.
Although many fans were calling for his early exit, Bochy still had him lead off the bottom of the third. Perhaps facing a 6-0 deficit, Bochy wanted to preserve the bullpen by having Lincecum absorb an extra inning or two with the game almost out of hand. Timmy did retire the first two hitters in the fourth before yielding to George Kontos after back-to-back hits given up to Robinson and Votto. Of course, Kontos didn’t do Timmy any favors, allowing a double to Phillips that scored 2 to close the books on Timmy: 3 2/3 innings pitched, 8 earned runs, 9 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, and 3 homeruns given up….all after a no-hitter. Many will point to the 148 pitch effort as taxing his arm, but I can point to numerous occasions when he yielded comparable hits after shorter preceding starts. Maybe it did tax his arm, but he did have extra rest with the All-Star break. A sample size of one won’t convince me. In fact, Bronson Arroyo, tonight’s Reds starter, gave up 10 hits in his start following his no-hitter. So, there’s that…
At this point, I generally leave my WordPress browser window open and type the story as the game develops. Except this time, aside from a monumental comeback or an incredible or notable personal achievement, I fear I’ll have nothing else to report after the bottom of the fourth.
Fifth inning: 1 run for the Reds
Sixth inning: 1 run for the Reds
Seventh inning: 1 run for the Reds
For the love of all baseball gods, can they not stop the Reds from scoring in one freaking inning?!
Eighth inning: Tanaka just entered the game on a double-switch and suddenly all of the Japanese press came to life, flipping open books, sheets, and typing wildly in unrecognizable characters on their laptops. Oh, and the Reds didn’t score.
Ninth inning: With 2 out, Francoeur hit a would-be homerun, but alas, Robinson snatched it from beyond the wall to end the game. Sufficient salt poured in wounds.
The post game presser by Bochy was a brief 3 questions punctuated by awkward silence.
We’re off to Zeke’s or somewhere….(edit): You can listen to our post-game bonus-sode podcast, recorded at Zeke’, by pressing the play button below:
From left to right: Ben, Willie, Chad. This is about 4 hours BV (Before Venable)
Press play above to listen to our brief, zany, and irreplaceable “conversation” between us and @jencosgriff as we dissected the Giants tough loss, bare thighs, boobs, and punching people in the face. Recorded in the wee hours of the morning at Zeke’s in San Francisco. Very limited quantities of alcohol were consumed.