Tag Archives: Brandon Belt

Episode #180: Yaz’s Mad Dash to Home

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Mike Yastremski slides safely into home plate to score the deciding run in the Giants’ 2-1 victory over the Marlins at Oracle Park on Sunday. (AP Photo/John Heft)

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Yaz’s dash to home in Sunday’s game was an analogy for this year’s Giants’ team. Heart and hustle, but not the highest level of talent. But, heart and hustle will win games, as it is obvious in their 33-15 record in 1-run games, best in MLB. The Giants went 3-4 this week against the Pirates and Marlins at home, securing a losing record at Oracle Park. That said, their road record is above .500, and they can finish that way. A weird juxtaposition that the Giants will contend with next year. If they had a winning home record this year, they would be in contention.

Bruce Bochy only needs 2 more wins to reach 2,000 in his career, with 12 games to go. The Giants find themselves in Boston and Atlanta this week. Eric and Chad talk about the week that was in Giants’ baseball.

From a record-setting number of players on the roster, who’s hot and not, Cueto’s fabulous return, and the bullpen having the best ERA in the NL in September, despite the trades and injuries. All this and more in episode 180 of the TortureCast!

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Episode #174: Dress Like Panda, Hit Like Panda

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The Giants playfully dressed as Pablo Sandoval before their flight to Philadelphia. If this doesn’t speak to team chemistry, nothing else will.

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

The Giants keep surprising everyone. 4-2 this week with all 4 wins by one run, and 2 were extra inning. Two games were single-handedly won by Pablo Sandoval, as he hit two game winning homeruns this week. As a part-time player, he leads the team with 13 bombs. They are 26-10 in one run games and 11-2 in extra inning games. They keep pushing the narrative that this team can win, and will win close games. It’s torture. It’s classic Giants baseball, and Bruce Bochy thrives managing this team.

Eric and Chad talk about the last week in Giants’ baseball and the impending trade deadline that is less than 24 hours away as this is typed. Most likely, they Giants will NOT be trading away Bum and Smith, and in fact, may be adding small pieces. Although this could hurt their long-term prospects, we agree that Zaidi has proven that he can adapt to a changing team and will be able to cope with a lack of trade return. And the reality is…the players don’t care about what this team will look like in 2-3 years. Most of them won’t be on the team then. They care about now. This is Bochy’s last season. Although their playoff chances are predicted between 7-12%, that is irrelevant to the clubhouse. They believe, and that’s all that matters. It’ll be an interesting concluding two months of the season.

On a somber note, I (Chad) live in Gilroy, and we opened this show discussing the tragic events that transpired at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday. Although my family didn’t attend that fateful day, plenty of my friends and their kids did, serving in the volunteer capacity at various food booths and such. Literally dozens of my friends and the friends of my 13 year old daughter had to run from goddam bullets, saw people shot, one was grazed by a bullet. It’s left an indelible mark on my town of Gilroy, but we will persevere

. Please consider donating to various funds, including the GoFundMe page for the 6 year old boy that was senselessly gunned down. Donate blood at the Red Cross. Do what you can to help our little town recover. It’s been a rough 36 hours, but it was important to me to record a show today.

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Episode #165: Opener Closed

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After the Giants have been outscored 42-5 in the first inning through 40 games, the Giants decided to use Nick Vincent as an “opener.” Unfortunately, things didn’t work out, as he gave up 3 runs in the first. Photo by USA Today.

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

We review the last week in Giants’ baseball, including a 2-4 record, using Nick Vincent as an opener after being outscored 42-5 in the first inning through 40 games, Derek Holland’s comments about a “fake” injury and Zaidi’s response, injuries, the revolving door that is the roster (36 on the 25 man and counting), who’s hot and not, Hunter Pence’s renaissance, and much more. Although the Giants sit in the NL West cellar, there’s always interesting topics to discuss…just gotta look for it! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Episode #160: Cody Bellinger has More Homeruns than the Giants

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Brandon Belt has been one of the only offensive bright spots in the early 2019 campaign. Here he hits his third homerun of the year while playing the Tampa Bay Rays at Oracle Park over the weekend. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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

In episode #160, Chad and Eric have a lot to discuss. The Giants are 10 games into the 2019 season, and although they haven’t been swept, they also haven’t won a series, going 3-7 in that span and dwelling in the cellar in the NL West. The pitching has been excellent, in fact, 2nd best in the NL, but their offense is non-existent. They have averaged only 2.5 runs per game and are hitting .207 overall. Cody Bellinger has more homeruns (7) than all of the Giants (6). We also talk about the two trades Zaidi pulled off this week and the short cups of coffee for Michael Reed and Connor Joe. Eric brings in a new minor league report, and he’s planning another new segment for the episodes to come this season.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, and of course, visit http://www.torturecast.com for podcast episodes and written articles.

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Episode #151: Buster’s Hip Surgery and more

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Buster Posey had season-ending hip surgery today. He will be out 6-8 months and may miss the start of the 2019 season. Photo: John Hefti / Associated Press

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

With special guest, Ryan Leong (@ryanleong), Chad and Eric discuss the last two weeks of the Giants’ season and realize, like even the Giants’ brass, that this season will not end in the playoffs. At 65-67 and 8 games back with 30 games to play, the Giants probably just need to play the youngsters. Also, Buster Posey had hip surgery today and will miss the rest of the season and be out 6-8 months, hopefully ready in time for the 2019 season with more power to contribute from his legs.

We also talk about the possibility of the ballpark being adjusted to lure future power hitter free agents, Derek Holland’s racially insensitive appearance on national TV, a setback for Jeff Samardzija, the fight between the Dodgers and Giants, the excessive proclivity for the Giants’ bullpen to fail and much, much more on episode 151 of the TortureCast!

Ryan Leong been covering the Bay Area teams since 1998. Freelancing for major sports radio networks including ESPN and CBS Sports Radio, AP Radio and NBC News Radio. He has coverd all of the major events, including Super Bowls.

Ryan Leong also sent 6 interviews recorded after yesterday’s game against the Rangers. You’ll find these at the end of the podcast:

  • Giants manager Bruce Bochy says he roots for Derek Holland because he’s has been doing his best to bounce back from a bad 2017 season with the White Sox
  • Giants starting and winning pitcher Derek Holland says while he has shown improvement on the mound he wants to make it through the seventh inning
  • Giants center fielder Steven Duggar says he’s doing anything he can in each game to help the team win
  • Rangers manager Jeff Banister says Yovani Gallardo made one bad pitch which was the two run triple hit by Steven Duggar
  • Rangers starting and losing pitcher Yovani Gallardo says he knew the pitcher was on deck but with the count 2-2 he wanted to get Steven Duggar out and it didn’t happen
  • Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus says the offense struggled while in Oakland and it had a carryover effect into their series vs. Giants

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Episode #149: Playoff Chances are on Life Support

San Francisco Giants vs Houston Astros AT&T Park MLB Baseball

Bumgarner twirled 7 inning shutout ball against the Astros, only to get the no decision, much like Dereck Rodriguez the previous game.

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

Two weeks ago we talked about the Giants’ dwindling playoff chances and how they needed to reel off a streak of near-historic proportions to get back in the race. It hasn’t happened in the last two weeks. Going 5-7 in those two weeks with some late heart-breakers against the Astros has all but put a nail in the coffin for the Giants playoff hopes. MLB rates them at a 2.2% chance of getting into the dance.

When you look at their current deficit at 6.5 games behind Arizona, you can point to just one game a month that they shouldn’t have blown. If they just had one game a month back, they’d be sitting just 1.5 games out. This is the difference between a good team and a mediocre team.

Chad and Eric review the last two weeks, talking about the devastating blow of Cueto getting Tommy John surgery, Pablo is out for the rest of the year with a hamstring tear that required surgery, and Brandon Belt is still out. Although rocked by injuries, the Giants have had bright spots in Dereck Rodriguez, Duggar, Moronta and others. We also talk about why the Giants didn’t buy or sell, and if they’re rebuilding. And…should they trade Bumgarner?

Enjoy Episode #149 of the TortureCast!

Chad

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Episode #147: Walk-offs! Walk-offs! Walk-offs!

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Buster Posey knocks in the game-winning run in the 13th inning against the Cubs on July 11, 2018. It’s the 8th walk-off for the Giants this year, which leads all of baseball. © Stan Szeto

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The Giants took the rubber game of a three game set with the Cubs with a 13th inning walk-off hit by Buster Posey. This was the second walk-off in the series and the eighth walk-off of the year, which leads all of baseball.

Chad and Eric chat about the current homestand, Crawford and Posey’s selections to the All-Star game, the timely pitching of Dereck Rodriguez and Suarez, the return of Johnny Cueto, the trade of Gearrin and Jackson, more trade rumors and more!

Friend of the show Ryan Leong passed along this youtube video, it’s a good watch. “The Giants Story, A Tale Of Two Cities” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDNdb2xHxCI

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Episode #146: Giants are Surging

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Derek Holland is wondering where all this winning is coming from (Photo: USA Today)

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

The surging Giants just completed a 3 game sweep of the division-leading Diamondbacks in Arizona behind timely hitting and phenomenal pitching from their staff. All told, the Giants have won 10 of their last 12 and find themselves only 2 1/2 back of Arizona in a virtual tie with the Dodgers. After the final 3 games on this road trip in Colorado, the Giants return home once again for 10 games before the All-Star break. The Giants currently have the best home record in the NL, so home cooking should be good to close out the first half.

Eric and Chad discuss the latest successful homestand, walk-offs by Pence and Crawford, incredible pitching from their rookies and Bumgarner, and how the Giants will handle both Samardzija and Cueto coming back to the rotation, given the great performances from Suarez and Rodriguez. In fact, the Giants are 8-2 in their last 10 combined starts (2.62 ERA).

We also talk about who’s hot and not, this date in Giants history, and the All-Star game vote here in Episode #146 of the TortureCast, the podcast by and for fans of the San Francisco Giants.

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Episode #145: Giants Refuse to Quit

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Madison Bumgarner earns his first win of the year with a 3-0 victory over the Padres. He pitched 8 innings, allowed 3 hits and 2 walks and struck out 8. Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

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We’ve had a string of real-life incidents get in the way of recording the last 3+ weeks, including Memorial Day, the death of Chad’s dog, Eric’s car breaking down, and a hair appointment (long story). Alas, Eric and Chad get back together to talk about what we’ve missed and where the Giants are. They are .500, 4 games back, and quite frankly, in a position to win the west, now that they have MadBum, Panik, Williamson, Hanson, Melancon and others back on the roster. That said, they’re missing Strickland to a self-inflicted hand injury, and Longoria also breaking the same 5th metacarpal that both Strickland and Bum broke. It’s like whack-a-mole with injuries this year. Get one back, another one goes down.

They’ve won 3 in a row, 4 of their last 5, and Bum had a classic dominant performance last night against the Padres. This is the point. The Giants can’t keep giving away games. Just one or two games a month equates to 6-12 for the year, which can make the difference in a season. The Astros won like 13 in a row, including many close games that they didn’t give up. That’s the mark of a championship team, like the Giants were for their 3 World Series rings.

Eric and Chad talk about who their pick for team MVP is so far this season, drafting Joey Bart, who’s hot and who’s not, injuries and more in this packed episode #145 of the TortureCast!

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Episode #144: Have a Week, Brandons!

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Brandon Belt was just named NL Player of the Week, and deservedly so. He hit .444 with 5 HR, and has raised his season average to .313 and is now in the top 5 in the NL in most offensive categories. Photo: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

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

Brandon Belt was just named NL player of the week. Belt hit .444 with 5 HRs for the week, and is now in the top 5 of most offensive categories in the NL and is an MVP candidate at this point. So, suck it, Belt haters. Brandon Crawford has raised his average from .189 on May 1 to .302 by hitting well over .500 in the month of May.

He credits his turnaround to Panda and Blanco, who noted that he used to have his hands set a little higher, just mere inches. Low and behold he checked the video and fixed it. MadBum has three rehab starts coming up, Mac Williamson will be back soon, and the Giants might be running into a buzzsaw of a road trip, facing Houston, Chicago Cubs, and Colorado. This might be a tough road trip to survive.

The offensive explosion this month has compensated for the horrendous starting pitching, which has plummeted the Giants to 12th in the NL in ERA at 4.33. That said, the entire NL West is struggling, and the Diamondbacks have opened the door for almost any team to take command. The Giants are in 3rd, just 2 games back at 24-24, but the Dodgers have won 4 in a row and are just 3 games back of the Giants.

This is anyone’s race!

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