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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 #124: Well, we thought it was turning around…

San Francisco Giants v St Louis Cardinals

The Shark has been solid lately, striking out 59 while only walking 1. But, there’s the rest of the team…

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

When we recorded our last podcast two weeks ago, the Giants were 8-2 over their last 10 games, and had pulled within 6 games of .500, but it’s all gone south since. Despite tonight’s win in Milwaukee, the Giants have plummeted to the dredges of MLB with Philly and San Diego. They also lost 2 of 3 to Philly, which was the first series win for Philly in 5 WEEKS.

Eric and Chad discuss their recent woes and now there are rumblings of being a “seller” for the first time since 2007-2008. Posey even reflected on this new era for Giants baseball. Still, we look for highlights and silver linings, and we aren’t quite ready for them to sell just yet.

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Episode #122: Josh Osich’s Mustache

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This glorious facial hair will save the Giants’ season

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

Ben returns to the podcast with Chad and Eric to discuss what may be the turnaround for the Giants’ season. Sure, it’s only a four-game winning streak, but they hadn’t won more than two consecutive games all year. The pitching is settling in, and despite the injuries, the offense has shown some life over the last several days. Buster Freakin’ Posey is showing how to put a team on his back, going on a home run tear, catching a 17-inning game, and hitting a walk-off in said 17th. Cain has been somewhat of a “stopper,” and although he many not quite be channeling 2012 Matt Cain, it’s more than serviceable for a fifth starter. Span is hitting over .400 since coming off the DL and setting the table.

Now, they just need to start winning series and get back to .500, and we can talk about making the playoffs thereafter.

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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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Audio Interviews from Media Day (Posey, Crawford, Samardzija, Melancon, Moore, Bochy)

Check out our audio interviews with seven Giants from this weekend (ok, Bochy is just video). The consistent theme is that there is hope emanating from the back of the pen, namely the new closer, Mark Melancon. He was so chill, I thought perhaps he was on performance depressants.

You can catch almost all of these interviews in their video format (plus or minus a few minutes) here.

 

Buster Posey

Brandon Crawford

Jeff Samardzija

Hunter Pence

Mark Melancon

Matt Moore

Bruce Bochy

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Exclusive Player Interviews…and some not so exclusive interviews…

 

Yesterday was a very productive day at AT&T Park, as I grabbed quick group interviews with Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Hunter Pence, Matt Moore, Bruce Bochy, Jeff Samardzija and the new closer, Mark Melancon. All but Samardzija (audio only) are in the YouTube playlist above.

Now that FanFest is over, and spring training is about to start, just sit back, relax, and see what your some of your favorite Giants have to say about the upcoming season.

Chad

 

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Episode #111: The Turnaround?

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The majestic Pence beard has awoken from its slumber. (photo: Darin Wallentine/Getty Images)

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

Hey, the Giants have won 4 out of their last 5 and turned a 1-4 roadtrip into a 5-5 with great starting pitching and Hunter Pence playing like frickin’ Hunter Pence, wildly flailing appendages, hair and all!

The Giants still have a slim shot at the division and hold a lead on a wild card spot. Chad and Eric talk about their chances, Santiago Casilla, and if Bochy has developed dementia all in episode 111.

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Episode 110: Giants are the Worst

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Download the episode here, or stream it below!

After a failed recording (no, seriously, we did a WHOLE podcast and forgot to hit the record button last week!), and serious schedule challenges, we finally got 3 out of 4 of us to record episode 110 of the TortureCast! Of course, we last recorded when the Giants were up by 6.5, but now they are trailing by a full game to the Dodgers.

We talk at length about what went wrong, how bad every facet of the game has been, but also about how unlucky it has been to lose as many games as they have due to poorly timed hitting, pitching and blown saves.

Matt Moore for Duffy and Will Smith. Are these trades worth it? Is this Carlos Beltran or Jeff Kent? Truth is, we won’t know for a while, but there is plenty of the season left for these trades to pan out in a favorable way.

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Episode 107: Keep Those Winning Streaks Coming!

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MadBum has allowed 2 ER or fewer in his last one million starts (photo courtesey of fxtribune.com)

Download the episode here!

Or, play it on Podomatic here! Or stream it below!

Chad and Eric talk about the Giants’ second 8 game winning streak of the season, the incredible pitching they have been benefiting from, All-Star voting, Duffy’s injury, who’s hot, and Timmy’s great performance in his first start with the Angels. And, if you’re not a Warriors fan, don’t listen to the first part of the podcast as Chad laments on what could have been the completion to a historic season.

Damn Warriors.

Chad

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