Tag Archives: Joe Panik

Episode #118: It Could Be Worse

bustergettinghit

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

@torturecast

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Even Year Magic Goes Code BLUE, then Sucks us Back in

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This is like the fourth image for this article tonight. So many possibilities. It was the missed call on Gillaspie, then the triple by Gillaspie, then the Chevron HR by Bryant, and now finally, the game-winning double by Panik. That’s 10 consecutive elimination game victories for the Giants, a record that may never be broken. (Photo: John Hefti, USA TODAY Sports)

Holy crap. It’s midnight.

Well, Giants fans. Even-Year Magic has a trick or two up its sleeve, as it turns out.

It seemed alive and well in the first half, then experienced a near-death crisis after a 2 1/2 month-long bout with some rare disease, before rising from the ashes with a sweep of LA to close out the season. It even squeezed out another magical toot when Conor Gillaspie sent a ball soaring into the New York night to win the Wild Card and send them up against the best team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs, who have experienced the opposite of “even-year bullshit.”

Most of us had high hopes, even a little swagger and confidence, much like Johnny Cueto’s shimmy in game 1 of the NLDS that would have won 9 of 10 such contests. But, that lingering cough that Even-Year Magic had came back, allowing a late inning homerun by Baez that sealed a 1-0 victory for the cubbies. Or, was Even-Year Magic (bullshit) just getting warmed up?

Then, game 2. Many fans thought that Matt Moore deserved the start after his last two performances down the stretch. However, Bruce Bochy, the god of postseason decisions, decided to go with Jeff Samardzija, because he “earned” it. That blew up in his face, as the Shark gave up 4 runs in the first 2 innings, a deficit that the Giants would never overcome.

Even-Year Magic is now in prime post-season form, ready to pounce, right?

Game 3. Elimination game. Madison Bumgarner, postseason wizard. Of course, the Giants would win this game and send us hopefuls to the wishing well and wearing all manner of good-luck-superstitious attire to somehow pull out the last two games of the series, duplicating the magic of 2012 when the Giants won three consecutive elimination games TWICE, against Cincinnati and St. Louis.

But, after 24 consecutive scoreless inning in elimination games, Bumgarner did something a bit uncharacteristic. He missed Posey’s target. Against a pitcher. With 2 outs. And 2 strikes.

Jake Arrieta, a good hitting pitcher (.262 w/2 HR), promptly launched a three-run homer to the only Cubs’ fan sitting in a section just beyond the left field fence.

Now, Even-Year Magic was on life support, or planning the best bullshit party we’ve ever seen. Not just that, but Cubs’ magic (or impending doom) was materializing. It wasn’t Kris Bryant, or Rizzo, or Fowler, or any of the usual suspects.

The Goddam pitcher. Against the best postseason pitcher in history.

Then, Even-Year Magic gets a 2nd, or 32nd breath, as the Giants rallied in the 8th, putting two runners on, forcing Joe Maddon to put in Chapman for a six-out save. After striking out Hunter Pence, wild card hero Conor Gillaspie sent a ball just over the outstretched glove of the right fielder for a 2 run triple, giving the Giants their first lead of the night. Crawford followed with an RBI single, and moved to third with one out. This is where things started to swing back in the Cubs’ direction, because, of course it would.

The Giants couldn’t plate Crawford, which proved to be a huge run, should they have gotten it. But, two weak groundouts prevented that from happening, and Romo took the ball into the 9th. We all knew what could happen; feared it; lamented it’s coming, but maybe with Even-Year Magic present, it couldn’t possibly, right?

Leadoff walk.

F that.

Then Kris Bryant did what good hitters do, hit a mistake, a hanging slider right down the middle into the night. But, that wasn’t enough. No. It had to scrape the top of the Chevron car and bounce into the stands for a 2 run game-tying homer. Looking at the angle, because it was hit so high, it appears that if the car wasn’t there, it would have been a double off of the wall. No matter, Romo retired the next three in order.

Yeah, another blown save. 30 in the regular season, including 9 losses when the Giants led going into the 9th. Surely this would prove to be the 10th.

The Giants had a shot at a walk-off. After a one-out walk by Belt, Posey, who was 3-3 on the night, laced a laser into deep right field, but Almora Jr., made an incredible game-saving catch as he sprawled out on the warning track to snare the line drive. Belt gambled, and was running on the play, so he was doubled off, which means, if that hit got down and by Almaro, Belt scores easily, and the Giants win. But no. Of course not. That drive couldn’t have been one foot to the right. One foot back. One foot short. Almaro couldn’t have been playing one foot deeper or to his right. It was as close as close could be.

Romo retired the side in order in the 10th, with a little bravado vs. Baez, which, honestly, was stupid. Dude, you gave up the tying homerun that led to the end of the season (a lot of people thought). Now you’re showboating?

Will Smith entered the 11th and retired the side in order. The Cubs were down to their last relief pitcher, although they had an assortment of starters. Panik led off the home half with a single, was sacrificed to second by Blanco, but neither Trevor Brown nor Denard Span could knock him in, sending it to the 12th.

Ty Blach, who looked so good in the regular season, and in his brief outing earlier in the NLDS, retired the Cubs in order in the 12th. After the Giants yet again, could not muster a run, Blach entered the 13th into a maelstrom that he worked hard to escape. After Black got Russell out, singles by Baez (only the second hit since the 4th inning, the other hit was the one that TIED the game in the 9th), put pressure on the rook. However, pinch-hitter David Ross grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.

 

Then, just when you thought that old crafty lefty, Even-Year Magic had its last moment of glory, it decided to make it’s presence known once again. Brandon Crawford delivered a two-strike double just prior to Joe Panik driving a double to the deepest part of the yard, easily delivering the win to the Giants dugout in a raucous celebration amongst fans and players alike.

The Giants live for at least another day. It’s their 10th consecutive elimination game win. Guys, that is an insane number. Even if they lose tomorrow.

Yes, this magic could run out tomorrow, but boy, we’ve witnessed its glory over two memorable games and four memorable post seasons. Go get ’em, Matt Moore, you even-year-grinning assassin. God damn, my liver can’t take this. And it’s my wedding anniversary tomorrow.

Chad

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Media Day Interviews: 8 Giants!

posey

The wonderfully talented Veronica Belmont joined me at AT&T park today to interview as many San Francisco Giants players as possible. No, we couldn’t interview them all, but we did make it through eight of the more important Giants: Buster Posey, Matt Cain, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik, Matt Duffy, and Kelby Tomlinson.

I COULD list all of these interview separately below, but it’s after 1 AM, so I’m going to just give you the link to the interviews of Podomatic. Because

Here it is! 

http://torturecast.podomatic.com/

 

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Episode 96: Giant Collapse

Can you name this Giant? He just might be the face of the 2015 season. If you DO recognize him, you realize he’s played far too many games for the defending World Champs. Yes, Ehire Adrianza and others have had to fill in for a decimated Giants’ roster, which well, has suddenly turned 2015 into a tire fire.

Download episode 96 here, or stream it below!

[audio http://torturecast.podomatic.com/enclosure/2015-09-07T23_16_28-07_00.mp3]

What the hell?! We take one measly week off and the Giants fall off a cliff?! We promise that we didn’t take a mercenary contract out on any of the players, or spike the Gatorade in LA. From 1 ½ games back of the Dodgers when we recorded episode 95 exactly 2 weeks ago, to an 8 ½ game chasm, the Giants’ season is all but mathematically over. So, sit back and commiserate with Chad, Ben and Eric in this eulogizing podcast. Damn, this odd year curse might actually be real.

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Episode 93: Shrug off that Hangover

Didn’t we all feel like we took one off the noggin’ this weekend?

Right click here to download the podcast, or stream it below!

[audio http://torturecast.podomatic.com/enclosure/2015-08-10T22_44_01-07_00.mp3]

The boys are back after a vacation break to bring you some heartache, but silver linings. The Giants were swept by the Cubs, but thanks to the Pirates and Nats, sit only 2.5 games back of the Dodgers. We talk starting rotation, injuries, who we love and hate, and basically sing a huge kumbaya.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @TortureCast and like us on Facebook!

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Episode 80: Jerry Rice

You can download this episode here, or

Stream it below:

[audio http://torturecast.podomatic.com/enclosure/2015-02-23T23_03_20-08_00.mp3]

Yes, Jerry is a 49er, but we covered him at the AT&T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach this month, so it sort of, by proxy, regionally counts to fit our jersey-number-title-thing that is dying. So, here’s a video of Jerry leading the group “Buster Hug” that we caught on film earlier this month.

The boys are back in Arizona! Timmy reunites with his dad, Pablo is still fat, Cain is throwing wild and free, Ben and Chad review their experience and interviews at Media Day, Bochy’s heart had a scare, Sheilds rejected a larger offer from the Giants, Moncada signed with Boston, and the first radio broadcast of a spring training game is next week, March 3.

Can’t you just smell the fresh cut grass through your media player of choice?

You can follow us on Twitter @TortureCast and like us on Facebook! All of our podcasts and video and audio San Francisco Giants player interviews can be found here or YouTube.com/TortureCast.

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Interviews with 8 SF Giants at Media Day

Today we were able to snag interviews with eight Giants at Media Day at AT&T Park, including Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Matt Cain, Brandon Crawford, Travis Ishikawa, Joe Panik and Casey McGehee. Some of the players we had exclusive time with, others we shared questions with other reporters.

We’ll also be covering the Giants vs. 49ers charity shootout at Pebble Beach on Tuesday, 2/10!

All 8 interviews are below separately, the first one however, is the master playlist, and here is the playlist directly on YouTube.

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by | February 6, 2015 · 5:04 PM

Is This an “Off” Season for Sabean?

Three rings in five years and currently the longest-tenured general manager in MLB, and he  still can't win over some Giants fans this offseason.

Three rings in five years and currently the longest-tenured general manager in MLB, and he still can’t win over some Giants fans this offseason.

Many Giants fans have not been satisfied with the lack of moves for the San Francisco Giants this winter. Actually, they’ve made moves, just not “sexy” moves. No Lester, no Panda, no Scherzer, no big names.

But, is that necessarily a bad thing? Clearly we’re heading into an odd-numbered year, so if the mystical powers have their way, the Giants will find themselves out of the playoffs and tuning up for another magical ride in 2016. Let’s review, by the numbers, if the Giants will actually be worse off than they were in 2014.

Let’s remember that the Giants WON THE WORLD SERIES with a team that, credit to getting off to a historic start of 41-20, rode through tremendous slumps catalyzed by a series of injuries. Brandon Belt could find no luck, breaking his hand and then getting his coconut smacked by a fellow player who was already on the DL. Of course, that player is Marco Scutaro, and his comeback lasted all of 11 at bats in 2014, which brings us to the horrendous situation on second base for the better part of the year, in which the Hicks/Uggla/Adrianza experiment failed miserably. Then you have Pagan in center, who couldn’t avoid another string of injuries, Morse, who was out for most of the last two months, Cain’s bone chips finally caught up with him…Jesus as I write this, how the hell did they even finish above .500?!

Many critics point out that Aoiki had only one homerun last year and Casey McGehee only four. Granted those power numbers undoubtedly will not go up playing at AT&T Park. But do they need to? The Royals came within a run or two of winning the World Series with the fewest home runs in the league, remember. Although those power numbers are down over the Giants corresponding position totals from last year, both Aoki and McGehee got on base at a much higher clip, and as a result, could score more runs (dependent on the lineup behind you, different for every team). Yes, McGehee is a downgrade from Panda, but the contract money saved has been spread in other areas, specifically Aoki, Peavy, Romo and Vogelsong. We also have to consider what the Giants could get back for close to a full season in 2015. Granted, this all relies on the bastard variable called “health,” but IF Cain and Belt can stay healthy, that means more production from first base and a starter, not to mention Peavy is in for a whole season. These in combination with a full season from Joe Panik at second base, to me, more than offsets the losses in left field and third base. Take a look at the projected numbers for Aoki, Belt and Panik, based on a projection of 550 at bats. McGehee is static at the 616 at bats he had last year:

stats20150127

 

Yes, please yell at me as you note the RED all over the power department, with dips in the 20 to 40 percent range. However, this can be tempered, to a degree with all the GREEN showing a projected rise in on base percentage, batting average and stolen bases. Runs are dependent on who’s hitting behind them, so I’d throw out the projected 8% drop in run production.

Bottom line, the redistribution of salary may have cost power, but that investment could potentially be reaped in other areas, such as men on base and contact percentage.

I know, but chicks still dig the long ball, right?

Chad

PS – We’ll be covering “Media Day” at AT&T Park on February 6, 2015. Be sure to look out for video and audio interviews with many of your SF Giants. If you have any specific questions for the players that you’d like to send in, email to chad AT torturecast DOT com.

You can view past video interviews from Media Day 2013 and 2014.

 

 

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by | January 27, 2015 · 4:20 PM

Episode 75: We’re Going to the World Series!

Unreal. The San Francisco Giants have won the National League Pennant and are in the World Series for the third time in the last five years.

Unreal. The San Francisco Giants have won the National League Pennant and are in the World Series for the third time in the last five years.

You can download episode 75 here, or stream it below!

[audio http://torturecast.podomatic.com/enclosure/2014-10-21T00_34_38-07_00.mp3]

Incredibly, our boys in black and orange have done it for a third time in five years! In a rousing 4-1 NLCS win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the Giants move onto the fall classic to face the young upstart Kansas City Royals beginning Tuesday night. Willie, Ben, Chad and guest Eric Nathanson review the NLCS, including the momentous homeruns hit by Michael Morse and Travis Ishikawa that have left indelible marks in Giants’ lore. In the last half of the podcast, we preview the Royals, their strengths and weaknesses, and how the Giants might exploit them. We also talk about Hunter Pence’s lack of geography knowledge, a horrible ESPN article, our favorite guys and we make series predictions (hint, all 4 of us take the Giants). Tune in for a jam-packed special World Series episode of the TortureCast!

 

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Episode 74: NLCS Tied 1-1

Bumgarner has been the only true ace of the playoffs. (USA Today/Getty Images)

Download the podcast here, or stream it below!

[audio http://torturecast.podomatic.com/enclosure/2014-10-13T23_15_41-07_00.mp3]

A special mid-NLCS episode of the TortureCast finds the Giants and Cardinals knotted at 1 game a piece in this 7 game series. Now, the scene shifts back to our park in China Basin for games 3, 4 and 5. Willie, Ben, Chad and special returning guest, Eric Nathanson, break down games 1 and 2, including what went right (bullpen) and what went wrong (bullpen, BA w/RISP). Although the walk-off HR was soul-crushing for about a minute, we all were inspired by the tenacious Giants coming back throughout the game, including the dramatic 9th inning.

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