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’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.
I flew solo for TortureCast in the press box tonight, trying to bring some good luck to the men in black and orange as they began the day with a dismal 4-13 in their last 17, watching the Dodgers trim 7 1/2 games off their lead in a mere 2 1/2 weeks. Unfortunately, the Giants threw the first pitch tonight already knowing that the Dodgers crushed the Cardinals, trying to come within one game of the NL West lead.
Matt Cain was on the bump tonight, having a dismal year with only one win and an ERA near 5, the highest of all five starters. It’s hard to say that any game in June is a “must win,” but as a fan, I felt like tonight was just that. I think the psychological effect of their plummet back to the Dodgers has already played with their minds, but actually falling into second place may do more damage than the players and coaches would be willing to admit. They needed a boost, a vote of confidence, something, even if someone found an extra 20 dollar bill in their left pants pocket, that might turn an at bat around.
Cain was on the precipice of disaster early and often, but kept pulling out the Houdini card, with the Reds going 0-6 with runners in scoring position through the first five innings. He scattered 6 hits and a walk through 5 innings before he had his first 1-2-3 inning in the sixth (after an overturned call on a 6-3 put out on Bruce).
With run support for Cain again near the bottom of the league (10th worst entering tonight), we all feared that he’d get “Cained” again. After the first run of the game was driven in by the ever-exciting ground out, Cain seemed to feed off of that sole bread crumb to make it work in his favor. He shut down the Reds fairly well after that, leaving with an emphatic fist pump and yell that was audible from the press box after a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play to end the seventh. Although Cain toed the rubber in the 8th, he was pulled after a pinch hitter was announced. Affeldt and Casilla quickly took care of all three Reds in the 8th.
The sputtering offense cried for help as Panik deposited his first hit into the confines of AT&T Park, but any hope of a rally was doused when Tyler Colvin grounded into a deftly-turned 4-6-3 double play. Blanco followed with a hit, but was caught stealing to end the inning in a play that was challenge and upheld on the field.
Last time we attended a game, Romo entered to a jubilant AT&T crowd in the first game of three against the Rockies. We all know how that AND the next game went in the ninth. With Jay Bruce looming third in the order, the press box was buzzing about the impending rematch of their epic 10 pitch at bat in Game 5 of 2012 NLDS. With his recent shaky track record, this time, the crowd was moderately gyrating their hips to “El Mechon” as Romo warmed up.
I tweeted this before Romo threw his first pitch:
My ‘spidey senses’ aren’t feeling it this inning. Please prove me wrong, Romo. Two power lefties up this inning.
After the dreaded leadoff walk to Votto, Romo threw two fantastic frisbee sliders to Phillips before getting the count to 2-2. Then, Romo completely lost control, flipping a slider over the dead heart of the plate where, on “All Brandon Weekend,” the wrong Brandon took Romo deep to suddenly crush the crowd’s spirit as the Reds all of a sudden took a 2-1 lead. It’s the 5th blown save for Romo. He’s on pace for 10, as we’re at the halfway mark. I have always agreed to let Romo work out his kinks, but I think I’ve jumped the fence and just may want Casilla out there. In fact, both Mesoraco and Ludwick took consecutive balls to the wall with missed location. A few extra feet, and the game would have been 4-1 at that point.
Chapman, having just received his flame-throwing super power serum, came in to slam the door on the proverbial fingers of the orange-clad crowd. The Giants showed spunk with a leadoff single by Pence, followed by a truly “earned” walk in an epic 11-pitch at bat. Buster Posey, after donning his cape, came off the bench to deliver a crowd-pleasing double to the left field wall, tying the score at 2 and bringing the crowd to their feet and the Reds infield in for Hector Sanchez, who untimely hit a weak grounder to short for the out. Arias pinch hit for Crawford and duplicated Sanchez grounder to short for the second out. Duvall completed the heart-crushing end to the inning by striking out on Chapman’s 30th pitch of the inning, which registered 100 mph.
Nothing gets my goat more than not being able to score a runner from third with no outs. It’s simply abhorrent. What’s even more puzzling is Bochy’s decision to pinch hit Arias for Crawford. Sure, there’s the traditional righty vs lefty argument, but the stats are firmly against any of this normally sound baseball strategy. Crawford was hitting .338 against lefties this year, slugging over .600, while Arias came in hitting .176 against EVERYONE and hasn’t had an extra-base hit in over 100 at bats.
Nonetheless, we moved onto free baseball, where Gutierrez got through a slightly shaky tenth. Jonathan Broxton come in to pitch the home-half, and Panik squeaked a hit off of Phillip’s glove up the middle and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Brandon Hicks. Blanco flied out to third on the first pitch, leaving it up to Pence to revive the Giants’ early-season amazing ability to drive in runners in scoring position with two outs, but Pence couldn’t muster up Posey’s heroics, striking out weakly.
Javier Lopez entered the 11th and quickly gave up an opposite-field double to Joey Votto, setting up the intentional walk to Phillips to set up the force. Bruce attempted a sacrifice bunt, and when Lopez fielded it, he had a clear shot at third, yet whipped around and threw to first after a quick glance. Panda’s body language said it all as he bent over at the waist for at least 10 seconds, showing a bit of frustration with another missed opportunity. Mesoraco was issued another intentional pass, and Machi came in to face Ramon Santiago, pinch hitting for Ludwick with one out and the bases juiced. The Giants tried to turn the Reds trick of getting out of a tough jam, and it looked promising after Machi struck out Santiago. Unfortunately, the magical bullpen faltered and allowed the .230 hitting Cozart to drive in two runs with a single to center and double up on the Giants 4-2. Not like it mattered, but the nail in the coffin was delivered in the form of a 2-run triple by Chris Heisey and an RBI double by Hamilton, pushing the lead to the eventual final score of 7-2.
And to think it was a 1-0 game in the bottom of the ninth.
With the Dodgers destroying the Cardinals earlier in the day, the Giants once lofty 9 1/2 game lead is down to a single game. All of this in less than three weeks. The brief euphoria of Lincecum’s no-hitter is not just gone, it’s left the.
The wheels have fallen off of not just a car, but a black and orange 18-wheeler.
Joe Martinez. He pitched in a total of 21 games over 4 season, some of which were with the Giants. Yes, lament as we run out of jersey numbers but celebrate as we talk about the team with the BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL. That’s right, the Giants haven’t started off this good since 1962, before all of us were born.
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Wille, Ben and Chad record the first 2014 regular season episode of TortureCast, reviewing the Giants’ fantastic 5-2 start, Belt’s 4 HRs, the Giants lead MLB in HR, taking 2 of 3 from the Dodgers, MadBum, Cain, Hudson’s first start, and who we hate this week (insert Puig).
And, did anyone notice that this new Buster Posey commercial shows an infielder, who receives the throw from Posey, THAT IS WEARING BILL TERRY’S RETIRED NUMBER 3?! C’mon man! Under Armour, do your research! Oh, and Buster is totally throwing out a Barry Larkin look-alike.
All three of us will be at AT&T on Thursday when the Giants host the D’backs. Tweet us, come by, and say hi! We’ll also be recording our traditional “Bonusode” after the game at Zeke’s if you want to hang out.
It’s been a while, but the boys are back with the first podcast of the 2013 regular season.
Giants return with 21 of 25 members from the 2012 WS team
Surprise guys who made the team, Nick Noonan and Guillermo Quiroz
We talk a bit about our amazing experience at Media Day in February, and the opportunity to interview many of the Giants players. (if you missed it, go to our YouTube channel for the treasure trove of video interviews with Posey, Lincecum, Belt, Crawford, Zito, Romo, Bochy)
The Week in Review
Giants first week of the 2013 season and they go 4-3, taking 2 of 3 from LA and losing the last 2 to StL, and winning the first one from Colorado.
Pence is HAWT: 3 HRs in the first 7 games, .292
Lots of cold hitters: Scutaro, Posey, Belt, Torres all under .200
The Big Question
Any concern about Cain or Vogelsong or Lincecum? Nahhhh
Would you have pulled Cain earlier on Sunday?
Tweet At Me, Bruh
Chad: “Bay Area Sports Guy @BASportsGuy Get me some shots of sad cheerleaders, stat! AND Wendy Thurm @hangingsliders: Obligatory sad cheerleader photo dot tumblr”
Willie: @Nicolevolgelsong is now following us, we win
Our New Favorite Guy
Willie: Chad Gaudin – great pickup, really good stuff and looks like he’ll be a fixture in the pen this year
We welcome in the new year with our first TortureCast of 2013. Unfortunately, Ben couldn’t make tonight’s recording, but Willie and Chad discussed the recent deals to avoid arbitration for Posey, Pence, Blanco, Arias, and Mijares. We also bitch about the BBWAA and the injustice of not a single player being voted into the Hall of Fame, as well as pimping FanFest on Feb 9, the excitement of pitchers and catchers reporting on Feb 12, a banana in an unfortunate hole, and we dream about the possibility of Bruce Bochy driving Jim Harbaugh down Market Street with another championship trophy for THE City.
Buster Posey ($8m) and Hunter Pence ($13.8m) sign one year deals to avoid arbitration
Giants control Posey through 2016 and will probably seek a long-term deal sometime this year
Other Giants that signed one year deals to avoid arbitration: Arias ($925k), Blanco ($1.35m), Jose Mijares ($1.8m)
Only arbitration-eligible player left is Romo, who filed for $4.5 million and the Giants countered with $2.675 million
BBWAA chose not to vote in Bonds and Clemens, in fact, NO ONE made it in
We will be interviewing the Giants “Social Media Consigliere,” Bryan Srabian this Saturday to talk to him about his job and FanFest!
Pitchers and catchers report Feb 12!
Tweet At Me, Bruh
SFG10032: @TortureCast – Turns out Hunter Pence is a pretty hardcore Blizzard gamer. Pretty cool. http://t.co/ZZK9rsab
We Should Hate This Guy
Willie and Chad dish out serious hate for the BBWAA who “made a stand” against the PED users. It’s an F-ing game, and you are not holier than any of these athletes that you help to create. Baseball ignored the issue, you voted them as MVP and Cy Youngs, STFU.
Why We Will Win It All
Willie – Wrapping up the last big pieces from last year and didn’t fall in love with guys who won’t help, Sabean is making all the right moves and there’s no reason to think he won’t make the right moves at the trade deadline either.
We shake off the World Series hangover with an episode to review the Giants’ moves in the offseason thus far, and we even challenged ourselves with listening to our season preview episode that we recorded at The Public House (at AT&T Park) with Thomas and Danny from Two Guys, a Glove and a Coke Bottle.
Scu-Scu-Scutaro signs 3 yrs/$20 – We all like this one, even if he sucks at age 40
Pagan signs 4 yrs/$40m – Thank the baseball gods that he signed one day before Victorino signed with Boston for 3/$39m!
Affeldt signs 3y/$18m – Quality signing, he likes the stability of the Giants
Pence will be signed, probably for $13-$14m in arbitration, Giants not seeking long term contract, though
Torres is Back! 1 yr, $2m
Blanco is arbitration eligible, probably won’t cost that much
Sabean and Bochy contracts extended through 2014
Dodgers with the largest payroll in MLB history at $225m
Melky gets 2/$16m from Blue Jays who are loading up for a run at it
The BIG Question
What will happen with Brian Wilson? We all concur that the Giants had to make the business decision that they did, and that frankly, Wilson is being a whiny douche if he’s hurt by their non-tender. He doesn’t deserve $7 million for a year after his second Tommy John. In fact, he earned $8.5 million last year for two appearances before he went on the shelf. Suck it up, sign an incentive-laden contract with the Giants and we’ll all move along as a happy family.
It’s a holiday podcast! Chad and Ben talk a lot of Lincecum, and a little Bumgarner, and start getting a little nervous…but then talk Melky, Posey, and Pagan and everything seems a little better. Who do we love this week? Who do we hate? How many awkward things is Ben going to say after having to work on a national holiday? Tune in to find out!