Tag Archives: Los Angeles Dodgers

Episode #144: Have a Week, Brandons!

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Brandon Belt was just named NL Player of the Week, and deservedly so. He hit .444 with 5 HR, and has raised his season average to .313 and is now in the top 5 in the NL in most offensive categories. Photo: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

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

Brandon Belt was just named NL player of the week. Belt hit .444 with 5 HRs for the week, and is now in the top 5 of most offensive categories in the NL and is an MVP candidate at this point. So, suck it, Belt haters. Brandon Crawford has raised his average from .189 on May 1 to .302 by hitting well over .500 in the month of May.

He credits his turnaround to Panda and Blanco, who noted that he used to have his hands set a little higher, just mere inches. Low and behold he checked the video and fixed it. MadBum has three rehab starts coming up, Mac Williamson will be back soon, and the Giants might be running into a buzzsaw of a road trip, facing Houston, Chicago Cubs, and Colorado. This might be a tough road trip to survive.

The offensive explosion this month has compensated for the horrendous starting pitching, which has plummeted the Giants to 12th in the NL in ERA at 4.33. That said, the entire NL West is struggling, and the Diamondbacks have opened the door for almost any team to take command. The Giants are in 3rd, just 2 games back at 24-24, but the Dodgers have won 4 in a row and are just 3 games back of the Giants.

This is anyone’s race!

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Episode #141: To .500 and Beyond!

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Johnny Cueto has been nothing short of phenomenal this year, posting a 0.84 ERA. However, there is a chance that he may be out for an extended period of time. Worst-case scenario is Tommy John surgery. We will hold our collective breath. Photo: Ben Margot / Associated Press

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

The Giants wrapped up the week with a 5-2 record as a part of a 7-3 homestand, propelling them above .500 for the first time this season.

Chad and Eric talk about the hot offense, Panda’s perfect inning, who’s hot and who’s not, and injuries. Speaking of which, we might be saddled with bad news regarding Johnny Cueto. Although he’s seeking second opinions about his UCL, it could mean Tommy John surgery.

The Giants are off for a 10 game road trip, and have 18 road games in May, vs. 7 at home. Could be a tough month for the Giants, or it could be an opportunity for the offense to continue heating up in these small ballparks.
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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 #138: Cutch Saves the Day!

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Andrew McCutchen launches a walk-off 3-run homerun in the bottom of the 14th inning vs. the LA Dodgers to win the game, 7-5. (Photo: AP)

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

Although it’s been a week since we last recorded, the Giants only played 4 games, thanks to off days and a rainout. They went 2-2 last week, splitting 2 game series each with the Mariners and Dodgers, but the Dodgers series was dramatic! The Giants blew a lead late to force extra innings, and actually went down 5-4 in the 14th before Andrew McCutchen launched the most memorable hit of this young season, a 3 run homer to win the game. He also went 6-7, the first time a SF Giant had 6 hits at home…ever! They also exploded for 10 runs in game 2 vs. the Mariners.

Chad and Eric discuss these four games, significant at bats, who’s hot and who’s not, and preview the upcoming week.

This, and so much more in episode #138 of the TortureCast!
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Episode #137: Giants Split in LA…somehow

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San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik has made history with two solo home runs in the first two games of the season, and pretty much saved the series as a split. Photo by Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

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

If you told us that the Giants were going to start the season without MadBum, Shark, and Melancon, yet split the first four games of the year in LA, we’d take that in an instant. We’d be even more flabbergasted if you told us that the Giants would be outscored 14-2 but STILL WIN 2 GAMES. Thank you, Joe Panik! His two solo shots in two consecutive games off of Kershaw and Jansen may have single-handedly prevented the Giants from being swept.

That said, winning the first two games of the series put the Giants in the driver’s seat to take the series, but they couldn’t do that, losing 5-0 and 9-0 in the last two games.

Chad and Eric dive into the stats of the series (mainly that the Giants were 1-20 with RISP, and Longo, Cutch and Jackson combined for 2-43!), the pros, the cons, the strengths and the weaknesses. But, hey…it’s only four games.
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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 #131: Astros-Dodgers World Series Preview

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Ack, the unthinkable has happened! The Dodgers are in the World Series! Listen to Eric and Chad break down their predictions.

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Episode #130: Free Fallin’

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Matt Cain, we are going to miss you. Photo by Brad Mangin

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

What a horrendous day. Just coming off the news from Puerto Rico, then comes the Vegas shooting and now Tom Petty. Let’s talk about baseball, shall we?

Chad, Eric and Willie reflect on the end of the 2017 season for the Giants, including what went wrong, how they may address it, Pablo’s season-ending walk-off and how that affects the draft, and of course, Matt Cain’s last start. Chad talks about covering Cain’s last start and Eric shares a poignant moment he had with his father when they watched Matt Cain and Barry Bonds beat the Cubs in Chicago.

We also dwell upon the impending playoffs and offer up our predictions. Chad and Willie both predict Houston and Washington making it to the World Series with Houston winning it all, while Eric thinks the Dodgers will hoist the Tiffany trophy after defeating the Astros. (GOD I hope Eric is wrong)

That means it’ll be the Twins vs the Rockies in the World Series, of course.

We’ll be back in a week or two to reflect on the playoffs, then again after the World Series before we head into the hot stove season.

 

 

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Episode #127: We Called This Episode 128

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Remember this? Yeah, it’s about the only real memorable contribution made by Connor Gillaspie, who was DFA’s by the Giants yesterday. But, oh what a moment it was. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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

So, we lost track of the number. 127, 128…it’s about the same difference as in Matt Moore’s expected and real ERA.

Speaking of Moore, we talk about the huge disappointment he’s been, among other Giants. They are flirting with a 100 loss season, but are throwing in the towel with the youth movement, DFA’ing Connor Gillaspie, sending down Hwang, and calling up Suarez, Jones, Parker and others. If Beede and Arroyo weren’t hurt, we just might have the RiverCats playing out the rest of the Giants’ season!

And yes, we talk about the reunion with the Panda, and trading away a solid player in Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox for some pocket lint that may not amount to anything.

At least we can look forward to 2034?

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