Tag Archives: Major League Baseball

Episode #161: Pillar Power

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Kevin Pillar hits a grand slam against the San Diego Padres. The Giants’ centerfielder hit 4 homeruns this week, propelling them to a 4-3 record. (Photo: SF Examiner)

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Where would the Giants be without Kevin Pillar? He dominated the week, hitting 4 homeruns with 12 RBI. In fact, no other Giant had more than 1 RBI for the week! The Giants sit at 7-10, 4 games back of the Padres, but it would be much worse without Pillar’s contribution. That said, he’s only hitting .155 on the season, so he’s getting timely hits. How long will this last?

We talk about Pillar and the week in review on episode #161, including the insane 18 inning win against the Rockies, surprising pitching from the Shark, and how the bullpen leads all of baseball with a 1.77 ERA. However, they also are at the bottom of the NL with a .199 batting average, and have mustered only 10 homeruns, which is the same as Kris Davis! Eric also introduced a new segment called “Guess that Giant,” which Chad performed poorly in. Let us know in the comments if you guessed this Giant faster than Chad did (we’re sure you did). This was a fun podcast to talk about a winning week. The Giants go on a long east coast trip, so their hitting has to come around at some point.

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Episode #160: Cody Bellinger has More Homeruns than the Giants

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Brandon Belt has been one of the only offensive bright spots in the early 2019 campaign. Here he hits his third homerun of the year while playing the Tampa Bay Rays at Oracle Park over the weekend. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

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

In episode #160, Chad and Eric have a lot to discuss. The Giants are 10 games into the 2019 season, and although they haven’t been swept, they also haven’t won a series, going 3-7 in that span and dwelling in the cellar in the NL West. The pitching has been excellent, in fact, 2nd best in the NL, but their offense is non-existent. They have averaged only 2.5 runs per game and are hitting .207 overall. Cody Bellinger has more homeruns (7) than all of the Giants (6). We also talk about the two trades Zaidi pulled off this week and the short cups of coffee for Michael Reed and Connor Joe. Eric brings in a new minor league report, and he’s planning another new segment for the episodes to come this season.

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Episode #153: Giants May Never Win Again

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Ryder Jones dislocated his left patella on a swing. No one touched him. WTF? Yep, this encapsulates your 2018 Giants. Photo: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

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

Yes, that show title is hyperbole. But, the Giants have lost 8 in a row, plunging them to 8 games under .500 and 11 games back in the West. They were swept in Colorado and Milwaukee, making it their first winless 6 game road trip since 2015. Although their pitching hasn’t been horrible, the pen and starting pitching is choosing bad spots to fail. Their hitting, or lack thereof, is the main culprit. The difference between their home (+9) and road (-17) records is astounding.

Ryder Jones going down for the season on a swing just encapsulates this injury-ridden season too well. MadBum, for all of his fire and fury, plunked Ryan Braun after their words earlier in the game, was met by a grand slam by Jonathan Schoop, the best retribution the Brewers could have asked for…and that’s after 3 of their players and manager were ejected for their reactions from the plunking.

With less than three weeks left in the season, the Giants will try and finish with some competitiveness, and hopefully be spoilers for a team or two. They will also try and avoid their longest losing streak in SF club history at 10 games (1996 and 1985). Hopefully it will never get to their overall club record at 13 games (1902 and 1944).

Thanks for the wonderful comments on YouTube, and hopefully you’ll root for this team as they close out this miserable season. Besides, football is back, and a good distraction, anyway.

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Episode #150: #25 is Retired

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Barry Bonds finally had his number retired on Saturday. Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

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Eric and Chad talk about Barry Bonds’ #25 being retired (Willie Mays’ and Barry Bonds’ speeches are at the end of the podcast) and all of our memories watching him as fans before we started this podcast. We also review the split of a four game series with the Pirates and focus on the emerging star of Dereck Rodriguez, whose name, if you Google it, still comes up with his dad’s picture first (Pudge)!

The Giants need to play with some sense of urgency right now. Sitting 6 games back of Arizona with 43 to play, they need to do well on this 10 game road trip, starting with 3 in LA. Tonight, it’ll be a classic matchup: MadBum vs. Kershaw.

It’s a tough road, but stranger things have happened.

Enjoy episode #150!

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Episode #149: Playoff Chances are on Life Support

San Francisco Giants vs Houston Astros AT&T Park MLB Baseball

Bumgarner twirled 7 inning shutout ball against the Astros, only to get the no decision, much like Dereck Rodriguez the previous game.

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

Two weeks ago we talked about the Giants’ dwindling playoff chances and how they needed to reel off a streak of near-historic proportions to get back in the race. It hasn’t happened in the last two weeks. Going 5-7 in those two weeks with some late heart-breakers against the Astros has all but put a nail in the coffin for the Giants playoff hopes. MLB rates them at a 2.2% chance of getting into the dance.

When you look at their current deficit at 6.5 games behind Arizona, you can point to just one game a month that they shouldn’t have blown. If they just had one game a month back, they’d be sitting just 1.5 games out. This is the difference between a good team and a mediocre team.

Chad and Eric review the last two weeks, talking about the devastating blow of Cueto getting Tommy John surgery, Pablo is out for the rest of the year with a hamstring tear that required surgery, and Brandon Belt is still out. Although rocked by injuries, the Giants have had bright spots in Dereck Rodriguez, Duggar, Moronta and others. We also talk about why the Giants didn’t buy or sell, and if they’re rebuilding. And…should they trade Bumgarner?

Enjoy Episode #149 of the TortureCast!

Chad

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Episode #146: Giants are Surging

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Derek Holland is wondering where all this winning is coming from (Photo: USA Today)

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

The surging Giants just completed a 3 game sweep of the division-leading Diamondbacks in Arizona behind timely hitting and phenomenal pitching from their staff. All told, the Giants have won 10 of their last 12 and find themselves only 2 1/2 back of Arizona in a virtual tie with the Dodgers. After the final 3 games on this road trip in Colorado, the Giants return home once again for 10 games before the All-Star break. The Giants currently have the best home record in the NL, so home cooking should be good to close out the first half.

Eric and Chad discuss the latest successful homestand, walk-offs by Pence and Crawford, incredible pitching from their rookies and Bumgarner, and how the Giants will handle both Samardzija and Cueto coming back to the rotation, given the great performances from Suarez and Rodriguez. In fact, the Giants are 8-2 in their last 10 combined starts (2.62 ERA).

We also talk about who’s hot and not, this date in Giants history, and the All-Star game vote here in Episode #146 of the TortureCast, the podcast by and for fans of the San Francisco Giants.

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Episode #145: Giants Refuse to Quit

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Madison Bumgarner earns his first win of the year with a 3-0 victory over the Padres. He pitched 8 innings, allowed 3 hits and 2 walks and struck out 8. Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

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

We’ve had a string of real-life incidents get in the way of recording the last 3+ weeks, including Memorial Day, the death of Chad’s dog, Eric’s car breaking down, and a hair appointment (long story). Alas, Eric and Chad get back together to talk about what we’ve missed and where the Giants are. They are .500, 4 games back, and quite frankly, in a position to win the west, now that they have MadBum, Panik, Williamson, Hanson, Melancon and others back on the roster. That said, they’re missing Strickland to a self-inflicted hand injury, and Longoria also breaking the same 5th metacarpal that both Strickland and Bum broke. It’s like whack-a-mole with injuries this year. Get one back, another one goes down.

They’ve won 3 in a row, 4 of their last 5, and Bum had a classic dominant performance last night against the Padres. This is the point. The Giants can’t keep giving away games. Just one or two games a month equates to 6-12 for the year, which can make the difference in a season. The Astros won like 13 in a row, including many close games that they didn’t give up. That’s the mark of a championship team, like the Giants were for their 3 World Series rings.

Eric and Chad talk about who their pick for team MVP is so far this season, drafting Joey Bart, who’s hot and who’s not, injuries and more in this packed episode #145 of the TortureCast!

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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 #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 #142: How Sweep it is!

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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)

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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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