Tag Archives: Jeff Samardzija

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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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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The Next Three Games are Elimination Games

traviswood

Travis Wood became just the second relief pitcher ever to hit a postseason home run. (Photo: Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports)

Ok, the title of this article is a little prophetic, I admit.

After the Giants fell to the Cubs 5-2 tonight, they find themselves in a 0-2 hole in the best of five NLDS, a situation in which they need to win three straight games, which they did twice in 2012 against the Reds and then the Cardinals (being down 3-1 in a best of seven). So, they’ve done it before, but against this Cubs club? They are clearly the better team, but that doesn’t always guarantee a ring, obviously.

If a comeback is to materialize, it begins on Monday with Bumgarner, Mr. October 2, toeing the rubber against Jake Arrieta. Bumgarner has 23 consecutive scoreless innings, and the Giants have won nine consecutive elimination games. Sounds good, but even if they extend that streak to 10, they’ll need Moore to pitch well in game 4 and of course, Cueto back in Chicago for game 5. Possible, but not likely.

It was crucial for the Giants to split in Chicago, and the key was definitely game 1. That is a game that could have gone the other way, but the Giants made crucial base-running mistakes, and never got a hit with a runner in scoring position. Tonight, Cubs pitchers knocked in three runs, one more than the Giants have in two games.

Samardzija “earned” this start, according to Bruce Bochy, but his poor stats at Wrigley, and against teams he used to play for (9+ ERA), confirmed the foreshadow. He struggled with pitch count and location, and allowed a crucial two-run single to starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks, which extended the inning for the next ensuing RBI hit, putting the Cubs up 4-0. George Kontos had an excellent third inning, but after Travis Wood relieved Kyle Hendricks after he exited the game after being hit on the arm by a Pagan line drive, Kontos promptly gave up only the second homerun hit by a relief pitcher in postseason history, in the fourth, to finalize the score at 5-2. That energized the crowd at Wrigley shortly after Giants fans and the media were wondering if the Billy Goat curse manifested itself in the injury to Hendricks.

Apparently not.

We’ll never know if Moore would have performed better, but many Giants fans preferred the latter option, given his last two starts that helped the Giants seal the second wild card. Besides, it’s hard to win a game at Wrigley with just two runs. We may get a chance to see Moore on Tuesday, should the Giants take game 3.

On the positive side, the Giants bullpen threw six innings, only giving up one run (that rogue relief pitcher HR by Wood), and Ty Blach looked good, setting down the 3-6 hitters in order. He looks to be a valuable asset and possible starter in 2017.

After their horrid second half, the Giants are fortunate to be in the NLDS, erasing that memory, but their performance in these first two games is a reminder of the offensive struggles that permeated the summer months. Of course, facing the #1, 2, and 3 leaders in ERA in the NL in their first three games didn’t help that. Jake Arrieta struggled at times this year, but has a swagger that almost matches Bumgarner, and is a Cy Young winner, so I don’t think Monday will be a cakewalk, especially if the Giants don’t score more than a few runs.

We’ll have to wait and see, one game at a time, if the even-year magic has run its course or not.

Chad

 

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Episode 102: “The Bristol Curse”

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Download episode 102 here or stream it below!

In our 102nd podcast, Eric and Chad break down the second week of the 2016 season that saw the Giants go 2-4 while our livers broke down even more. Our G-men dropped 2 of 3 in each city of Denver and LA, but not all is lost as we look at the positives of Samardzija’s and Cueto’s starts. Posey snapped his 18 AB hitless streak, Romo and Adrianza went on the DL, Duffy’s slump, Derek Law made his dad very happy, we share our concerns about Peavy and Lopez, how Samardzija met his wife, and Vin Scully’s dulcet tones as he recounts how MadBum and his wife saved a rabbit from a rattlesnake’s belly. Don’t forget to follow us @TortureCast on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and check out our articles, including Eric’s “Friday Five” at TortureCast.com!

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