Tag Archives: Jeff Samardzija

Episode #143: It Could Be Worse

 

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The Shark got bit again on this road trip, much like most of the starting staff, giving up 10 runs in 9.2 IP. Photo: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

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

How could losing 6 out of 7 be worse? Well, if the rest of the NL West played well, that’s how. The Giants, coming off a sweep of Atlanta, were only 4 games back of division-leading Arizona. Although they went on to lose 6 out of 7 this week, they find themselves only 4.5 games out. Arizona got swept, LA got swept, Colorado didn’t play very well. So, at 20-21, the Giants return home to face the Reds in a critical series to stay in the hunt until MadBum and Cueto can return to aid this team.

Chad and Eric talk about the starting staff that just got absolutely wrecked in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, and their astronomically high strikeout ratio.

Fellow fans, there are silver linings to everything, and this podcast has a very thick lining.

 

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Episode #136: 2018 Season Preview

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Opening Day is Thursday, March 29. Ty Blach vs. Clayton Kershaw.

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

It’s our annual season preview! In this 7th preview in total, the gang has all been pretty close in guessing the Giants’ win totals…until last year. With all of us ranging between 84 and 92 wins, we were more than 20 games off.

That said, no one predicted that the Giants would lose 98. Taking that into consideration with this year’s injuries, we have the biggest range in our hosting history, with Chad going low with 76 wins, Willie just behind at 79, and Eric piling on the unicorn droppings with a whopping 96 wins, proclaiming that the Giants will win the West, the World Series, Duggar will win Rookie of the Year, and Posey and Panik will battle it out for a batting title.

Perhaps Eric is getting high off his new puppies?

We also read listener’s win total predictions, talk final potential roster moves, and our keys for getting off to a good start, considering that the Giants play the Dodgers 10 times over their first 29 games…and that’s without Bum or Shark.

 

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Even Years may be Odd

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San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner is helped off the field after getting hit by a batted ball during the third inning of the team’s spring training baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in Scottsdale, Ariz., Friday, March 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

The second half of 2016 was horrid, but the Giants limped into the playoffs, and were one bullpen collapse in the 9th inning short of forcing a game 5 in the NLDS.

2017 was an odd year, so nothing was expected, except the unexpected happened. The Giants lost 98 games after losing Madison Bumgarner to a freak, yet, completely preventable motorbike accident on an off day in Colorado. Match that with under-performing players, other injuries, and a bullpen that couldn’t plug any dyke in the world, and you come up with the second worst season in SF history. But, I think I speak for all of us when MadBum went down…there was a collective “oh shit,” and I’m sure the team felt it, too. I’m sure there was an emotional tsunami that cost the team a few games.

But…this offseason the Giants addressed many issues, including third base (Evan Longoria), outfield (Andrew McCutchen and Austin Jackson), bullpen (Tony Watson, Will Smith coming back from TJ), and with promising performances from young bullpen guys and Chris Stratton this spring, and with the prospect of MadBum having a full healthy season, things were positive, dare I say…confident. Yes, this team exuded confidence, in defiance to last year’s supposed outlier.

Then, two days ago, Jeff Samardzija was shut down. Yesterday we learned that he has a right pectoral muscle strain, and will be out 4-6 weeks. Although bad news, at least it wasn’t a shoulder injury, and maybe this injury could explain his drop in velocity this spring, along with the neck-jerking frequency of homeruns he was giving up.

Then…today.

It’s not an off day in Colorado, but it WAS the LAST start of the spring for Madison Bumgarner.

THE LAST START OF THE SPRING.

HIS NEXT START WOULD BE IN LA ON OPENING DAY.

Ah…the cruel baseball gods dipped Whit Merrifield into the cauldron of odd-year-bullshit, and firmly placed him in the 2018 batter’s box to deliver a line drive up the middle that impacted the FUCKING PITCHING HAND of the Giants’ best player.

Fracture.

Surgery.

with pins.

MadBum won’t even get the pins out for 4-6 weeks before he can start rehab and throwing. Most sources indicate that he may not even pitch before the ALL STAR BREAK. He’s out at least 6-8 weeks.

Are you fucking kidding me?!

After all of the re-tooling, pressing up against the luxury tax, and thankfully, having a relatively injury-free spring, this happens?!

Oh yeah, the Giants and Dodgers play 10 times in the first 33 days (29 games) of the season. None of those games will feature the Shark or MadBum. Any, and I mean ANY hopes of the Giants beating the Dodgers this year are gone. I mean, Chris Stratton as their #2?!

Las Vegas had the over/under for wins at 81.5. I think Giants fans were hoping for 86+ for a wild card. I think that number just dropped by 10 wins.

So, unless even magic will rear a unicorn ass and pull something out of it that we just cannot imagine, I think the even-year magic is over. Perhaps Sabean sold their collective soul to the devil to win three championships (which, btw, I’m cool with). Maybe this is their penance for coming back from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits in the NLDC and NLCS. Maybe this is karmic payback for Pence’s triple-hit, or Blanco’s bunt that didn’t go foul, or maybe even MadBum’s god-like performance in game 7 in 2014.

These aren’t even age-related issues for Bumgarner. Or over-use. Motorbike accident. Freak line-drive. Both will cost him about a full season of pitching combined.

And two seasons of frustration for Giants fans.

-Chad

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Episode #128: Baseball is great, but pray for Texas

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Can we never speak of, or see these creamcicle orange unis ever again? (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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

Although we didn’t dwell on the hurricane in Texas, we wanted to mention that thousands, if not more, people, are being severely affected by this storm. Please, donate money, pray, do whatever you can to help those in harm’s way.

As far as baseball, Chad and Eric reconnect with Ben to discuss recent developments in Giants-land from their earliest and official elimination from the West, being swept by Arizona, Kontos to the Pirates, Cain getting bombed…wait a minute, jeez, sounds like we didn’t have fun!

But actually, any time you get three guys talking baseball, no matter how depressing it may seem, it’s actually quite enjoyable, because you know what, there’s real life like in Texas. We do also dwell on more positive topics like the player’s weekend uniforms and the Giants mega-interest in Stanton (like that’s going to happen).

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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 #123: Are We There Yet?

arewethereyet

“Sorry, son, you better piss in a bottle, cuz we have a long way to go”

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

Nope. Not yet. The Giants are making great strides, winning 3 series in a row, and opening with a win in their 4 game series with Chicago. However, they still find themselves 9 games back of Colorado and in a precarious hole. That said, if they had been .500 or worse, their season really would’ve been over by now, or close to it.

There is life. Not much, but it’s something to build upon.

Chad and Eric talk about where the Giants are more than a quarter of the way through the season, and what it’ll take to erase the Rockies’ lead, week by week. We revisit Eric’s excellent article on the history of playoff berths with a record similar to the Giants’, and although far from a lock, it’s encouraging to see that it’s been done multiple times.

Join us for episode 123 of the TortureCast!

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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 #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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Episode #120: May the Morse be With You

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Michael Morse with an improbable game-tying homerun in the 8th inning against LA, reminiscent of the one he hit in Game 5 of the NLCS. Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle

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

Willie returns to the podcast to chat with Eric and Chad about the Giants’ historic poor start. We still believe it’s too early in the season to panic, but there are legitimate concerns, but there are also bright spots like Matt Cain, Christian Arroyo, Michael Morse, Buster Posey and Joe Panik.

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Episode #119: Jarrett Parker’s Collarbone is the Giants

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Jarrett Parker broke his collarbone catching a fly ball against the fence on Saturday. Let’s hope the Giants have already hit their fence and come back over the next few weeks to turn this season around. (photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

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

We thought they’d turn it around this week.

They didn’t.

After a 2-4 week, the Giants sit in last place at 5-9, but we look at two seasons since 2000 when the Giants were worse (4-10) and both seasons they finished above .500. In 2000 they won 97 games and the west after starting 4-10.

Ok, so we’re looking for silver linings here.

Eric and Chad discuss MadBum’s winless start to the season, Cueto’s 3-0 start, the bad luck, who’s hot and who’s not, if Cain should be skipped, Marrero’s first MLB HR, Strickland and Gearrin haven’t allowed a run, and well, anything else positive we can point towards.

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