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Episode #142: How Sweep it is!

Andrew Suarez

Andrew Suarez had a great start in Atlanta, absorbing errors and an unearned run in his victory. The Giants swept the Braves in Atlanta. (photo: AP Photo/John Bazemore)

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

TThe Giants are hotlanta right now after sweeping the young, first place Braves to start off their 10 game road trip. The Giants have won 4 in a row, 5 series in a row, 7 of 8, and 11 of 14. Their record stands at 19-15, 4 games back of the division-leading Diamondbacks.

Chad and Eric discuss their .417 average with runners in scoring position over the weekend, the great pitching, Johnny Cueto’s elbow, kicking the tires on Matt Harvey, who’s hot and not, injuries and more. We like to record when the Giants are good! Thanks for all of your great comments and support!

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Episode #140: Belt Hate

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We think that about half of Giants’ fans hate Brandon Belt, and the other half like or even love him. Or, perhaps it’s a very, very, vocal minority that bring their torches and pitchforks to social media. ALL. THE. TIME. Well, he’s hot now.

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

Just to be clear, we do not hate Brandon Belt, but we know that many Giants’ fans do, and we are perplexed. Chad and Eric talk about that along with the week in review, who’s hot or not, a little lineup reconstruction, the return of the Mac, and much more.
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Episode #139: RIP RISP

Arizona Diamondbacks vs San Francisco Giants

Brandon Belt uses his newfound telekinetic powers to summon his bat to his hands….or he maybe just struck out for the umpteenth time this season. It was a bad week for Belt and the Giants.

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

This is a week that you just wanna punch right in the face and forget about. It was a rough weekend bender, at best. Giants go 2-5, but the worst of it coming on the backend, losing three straight to the lowly Padres. Eric noted that after the Giants went 9-0 against San Diego in the first half of 2016, they are 10-23 since, and haven’t won a series against them during that time.

The Giants continue to have the worst batting average with runners in scoring position, a lowly .158, despite their overall team average at .244, which is 8th in MLB.

Struggling players include Beede (sent down, Cueto up), Pence, Belt, Dyson and Osich, versus the relatively few hot players (Posey, Crawford, Stratton).

We also talk about two SJ Giant teammates who hit for the cycle it the SAME game, then later that week, hit walk off homers each in back to back games! We review the injury report and bitch about Melancon. Overall, not a chipper episode, but a meaty one.

This, and so much more in episode #139 of the TortureCast!
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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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Wild Predictions For SF Giants Spring Training

 

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Photo: @SFGiants Twitter

Every year, crazy things happen in spring training. Guys you’ve never heard of suddenly become home run monsters. Pitchers on the fringe somehow dominate. It’s a world of possibility, and any sort of craziness can happen.

Do you remember Mark Minicozzi? No? Neither do I. I had to ask a friend what his name was. He’s the guy who hit 5 home runs in Cactus League play in March of 2014. Remember now? Ya. I don’t either. And I was in Scottsdale that year.

That’s the point. Spring training stats don’t matter. Teams aren’t watching results. They search for players who have the swing to fit their ball club. Or are willing to take pitches when it’s called for and not just go up there hacking trying to prove their worth. Continue reading

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Episode #132: Hot Hot Stove: Longo and Cutch!

cutch

Andrew McCutchen has joined the Giants via a trade last week. Last month, they acquired third baseman Evan Longoria via trade, and this week, they signed outfielder Austin Jackson.

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

In episode 132, Eric and Chad talk about the big signing for the Giants this off-season. We also talk potential lineup options, pitching rotation, and Hall of Fame results.

 

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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

osichstache

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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