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SF Giants Torture Report: Home Sweet Home

The San Francisco Giants just finished a 7-3 home stand and now head on the road for a 3-city, 10-game trip through the east. The Giants currently have a 16-15 record, and are 5 games back of first place Arizona and just a half game back from second place Colorado.

It was a weird and wild home stand that saw the Giants give up 15 runs twice, complete a 3-run come from behind rally in the bottom of the 9th, and there was also a Panda sighting on the mound at AT&T Park.. That’s 4 series wins in a row for the Giants for the first time since June 2016.

Every single player on the roster seemed to have a hand in helping the Giants to that 7-3 record. Continue reading

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Episode #134: Spring has Sprung!

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Andrew McCutchen had some great stories at Media Day, including how he met his wife and how he got his number, 22. Photo: SFGate

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

We last left you before Media Day, before pitchers and catchers reported, before Tony Watson and Derek Holland were signed. And man, does everything seem positive right now!

There was a profound sense of positivity at Media Day, where I got interviews with Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford, along with group interviews with Andrew McCutchen and Bruce Bochy. But…I buy into it. This isn’t your typical response from a team that lost 98 games last year. They truly think that was an anomaly, and with the improvements to the club, these guys think the postseason is certainly possible. I think I’m buying into it.

Eric and I talk about this and the first six games of spring training, which included three bombs from Kyle Jensen?! Ok, so although he’s not making the team, we still talk about him and other solid performances over the first week down in Arizona.

Timmy signs with Texas?! At least he’s not a Dodger.

Derek Holland is a damn good Harry Caray and Schwarzenegger impressionist!

Also, check out Eric’s great writing on our site, he’s gonna manage a team website at some point, or get caught in a sex scandal when he’s made it. Either way, that’s more than I can say.

-@chadk21

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You’ll See Some New Faces at Giants Camp This Year

 

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Photo: Chris Carlson, AP

 

This is the week! The San Francisco Giants are back. Baseball things are happening. Pitchers and Catchers report on Tuesday February 13, with workouts starting the next day. The rest of the players don’t need to be in camp until February 19th, but I bet we see a few faces earlier than that.

As you would expect, there’s been some changes with the Giants. The team lost 98 games last year and nobody wants that to happen again. Bobby Evans is not allowed to just wave a neuralyzer and wipe away the memories of awful baseball in 2017.

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Interviews with Longoria, Belt, Crawford, McCutchen and Bochy

I went up to AT&T Park today for Media Day. It’s an annual pilgrimage for me, as it’s a casual, relaxed atmosphere on the suite level. The big names get whole suites to themselves, while most of the other players and coaches are crammed into couches and small cocktail tables with the name placard in front….it’s an odd kind of “speed dating” type environment.

I nabbed one-on-one interviews with Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt, and Brandon Crawford, and sat in on group interviews with Bruce Bochy and Andrew McCutchen.

All of the interviews are listed below in audio form, and additionally, in video form for Longoria and McCutchen.

@chadk21 

Evan Longoria

Audio Download

Stream 

Andrew McCutchen

Audio Download

Stream 

Brandon Crawford

Audio Download

Stream 

Brandon Belt

Audio Download

Stream 

Bruce Bochy

Audio Download

Stream 

 

 

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The Horse Rides off into the Sunset

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Matt Cain throws the last pitch of his career in the fifth inning at AT&T Park on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

Under sun-drenched AT&T Park, Matt Cain made his final Major League start, all of them while wearing a Giants’ uniform. Undoubtedly, nerves were running full tension in his 6 foot-three frame, but he retired the first six Padres in order before giving up a lead-off single in the third.

After a four-pitch lead-off walk in the fifth, Bruce Bochy walked to the mound under a chorus of boos, but Cain had only given up two hits and one walk at that point, and although he was at the pitch count that Bochy had stated he’d exit on, he let Cain have the chance to finish the inning. He promptly retired the next three Padres in order and exited to a tremendous chorus of cheers from the fans. After receiving hugs and congratulations from Bochy and a few others, Cain came out onto the warning track and doffed his cap to the fans, reaching in every direction as he was bathed in a chorus of cheers and tears. After what seemed like an eternity, the ever-humble Cain went into the dugout to receive hugs from all of his teammates. Probably the most-memorable and tear-inducing moment was the bear hug that he received from Madison Bumgarner. Cain then took one last curtain call in front of the dugout before Hunter Pence lead off the bottom of the sixth.

And just like that, he was done.

Matt Cain served an incredibly faithful 13 years to the San Francisco Giants before announcing his retirement earlier this week. Bochy and management knew that he deserved this one last start, more than deserved. Although his last three years were plagued with injuries and a lack of performance, he didn’t disappoint in his last start, allowing no runs and only two hits and one walk in five innings.

The term getting “Cained” was coined early in his career. In our last post, we noted how he is at the bottom of pitchers with over 100 wins in terms of run support. He routinely lost games 1-0, 2-1, 3-2 despite his dominant pitching, which is why his losing career record is not indicative of the pitcher that he was. Although he’s not a Hall of Famer, he epitomized what it is to be a Giant. Sure enough, after his departure, Reyes Moronta allowed a two-out homerun to Wil Meyers to tie the score at one, and denying Cain of a win.

The Giants reclaimed the lead with a single by Pence, but the Padres opened up the bottom of the ninth with a squibber to Crawford, who threw it past Pablo at first base for a two-base error. A bloop put runners on the corners with one out, but Sam Dyson struck out Renfroe, and got Austin Hedges to an 0-2 count before grooving a pitch that Hedges split the outfielders with, putting the Padres up 3-2, their first lead of the entire game. With two outs. And down to their last strike. The Giants couldn’t muster a baserunner in the home half of the inning and limped out of the park with another crushing defeat, and Dyson’s second consecutive blown save (although an error and bloop really weren’t his fault).

Bochy reflected on Cain’s career in the post-gamer, and even jokingly offered that Cain could manage tomorrow because he’s “not done very well this year.” Instead of being interviewed in the clubhouse, the Giants put Cain out on the podium in the press room. Bochy revealed that the team had a private moment and a toast to Cain just after the game and prior to their pressers.

Cain was candid and honest in reflecting upon his career, even commenting on how he smiled when he realized that Ted Barrett, the home plate umpire from his perfect game, was behind the dish today. He was surprised that he made it a full five innings considering that he hadn’t pitched in a month, but after his four-pitch walk to lead off the fifth, he talked with Bochy realizing that he didn’t want to go out on a four-pitch walk. He summoned what was left, and with two outs and two strikes, he dropped a curve on the opposing pitcher, mostly because he was “out of gas.” That weak grounder to Crawford officially ended his career before doffing his cap.

Cain said that he “fulfilled everything he could think of from a career.” He wants to be with the Giants in some capacity next year, but he needs to take some time with his family and decompress before looking at his options.

Bochy ended his presser talking about Cain’s nickname saying, “his nickname is the ‘Horse’ for a good reason because we were riding him hard.”

After Cain’s presser, it was a pleasure to actually shake his hand thank him in person, a rare occurrence between press and athletes, but he had just thanked the press (sarcastically or not) for the relationship over the years. So, as the “Horse” rides off into the sunset, I think we all would just like to say thanks, Cainer, you’re a true Giant.

Chad

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Episode #125: 1985 is Calling

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The Giants haven’t been this bad since 1985. At least I remember going to games then. I was 11, but I cared more about my Atari then as well, so…

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

How do you record a podcast for a team that is 20 games under .500 and 20 games back before it’s officially summer? You cry, you laugh, you commiserate. But, one thing is for certain, there is no stress in this season now, so put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Chad, Ben, and Eric join in a proverbial IDGAF podcast to try and dissect what has gone wrong for the Giants this year. After tonight’s 9-0 loss to the Braves, the Giants have a .361 winning percentage, and are on pace for 103 losses. To put this in perspective, since 1883, the Giants have only lost 100 games ONCE. As far as winning percentage, the current club is 3rd worst in history, trailing only the 1943 (.359) and 1902 (.353) Giants. Yeah…since 1883, y’all!!

Clearly, the Giants will be sellers at the trade deadline, but they can’t trade everyone you think they can trade. Belt is in a 3-25 slump, Matt Moore is 0-4 with a 9.24 ERA on the road. Matt Cain is waaaay too expensive and is 0-4 with a 7.46 ERA on the road. The Shark has a no-trade clause. Bum, Posey, and Crawford are untouchable. This leaves the likes of Cueto, Nunez, Panik, Melancon and maybe a couple of others as trade bait.

They need to restock in order to compete in the coming years.

We just didn’t think this year would be historically bad.

Maybe the Giants made a deal with the devil for 3 world championships?

Still. Worth. It.

 

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Episode #121: Can We Get a Do-over?

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Bruce Bochy attempting to travel back in time with VR goggles to start this season over.

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

Being a Giants fan is tough right now. We’ve had it good over the last 7 years, but things are a-changing in 2017. The fact is, to get to 87 wins, a reasonable total to get the second wild card position, the Giants would have to play .591 ball the rest of the way, and only one team (Cubs) did that all of last year. Eric and Chad discuss this looming task, along with the poor performance of the team and players, aside from the likes of Posey, Panik and Arroyo.

If the Giants want to turn their season around, it needs to start now.

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Last Place Sucks!

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One-fifth of the way through the season and the San Francisco Giants are in last place.

It’s been five weeks of baseball and the San Francisco Giants are 11-21. They have the worst record in the National League. That’s a great line to grab you, huh? Makes you want to read more about the mess that has been the 2017 season, doesn’t it? Well, I hope so. Even when the team stinks, and they stink right now, there are positives. I’ll try to tackle a couple of those here before getting to the bad news because, as we all know by now, there’s a lot of bad news.

The schedule is now 1/5th of the way complete. The Giants are 9 games out of 1st place. That’s almost 2 games a week! Oh man. They have won back-to-back games just once and have only 2 series wins. We’ll be back with a new podcast episode this week to talk about the Giants getting hammered in Cincinnati, and the week ahead. Please, let’s find some good news.  Continue reading

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Episode #118: It Could Be Worse

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We all held our collective breath when Buster got hit by a 94 MPH fastball in today’s home opener. (photo: Eric Risberg, AP)

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

3-5 is better than 1-5, 6, or 7, right?

That’s the barrel the Giants were looking down two days ago when they were 1-5 before winning the last two to make the internet of Giants fans a little less dreary.

Eric and Chad open up our first regular season podcast of 2017 by discussing what went wrong (LF, bullpen), and what went right (Bum, Cueto, Moore, Panik, Crawford) over the first week of the season. Basically, the Giants have the worst left field offensive numbers by far, and their bullpen and pitching stats with a lead are cringe-worthy. Also, we hope Buster will be ok after getting drilled in the noggin.’ And that little league bases-clearing double by Moore is a sight to behold.

Maybe next week will be better?

@chadk21

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Episode #116: Spring has Sprung

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Where hath thou hair gone?

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

Ben, Eric and Chad get together to talk about the first couple of weeks of spring training, including the record number of players in camp, the competition for scarce infield and outfield positions, the fifth starter, the new closer, and of course, Hunter Pence’s freshly shorn face.

 

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