Tag Archives: Major League Baseball

Opening Day Thud

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JULY 23: Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants pitches during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the game at Dodger Stadium on July 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

On paper, we knew the Giants probably wouldn’t make the playoffs, and the Dodgers may run away with the division. But, shortly before tonight’s season opener in Dodger Stadium, the league announced that the playoffs have been expanded to 16 teams total, adding 3 teams to each league. Eight teams EACH from the AL and NL. This is great news for the Giants. But, they still have to be in the top 8 of 15 teams in the NL, a pinnacle they haven’t reached since 2016. But, it’s 60 games, so a little streak here or there, and they could sneak in.

Tonight, the news even got better as Clayton Kershaw was scratched from the start with back issues and placed on the IL. Dustin May was called up as his replacement. Everything started to look a bit more rosey for the Giants. After they had a minimal 1-0 lead (after squandering opportunities to score much more), the Dodgers finally broke through with a 2-out rally to tie the game off Cueto in the 4th. Overall, Cueto looked good until giving up two consecutive singles, a walk, and another single to tie the game.

With expanded rosters, and a young corp to try and battle these monoliths of baseball, Gabe Kapler has an extreme challenge, but he has some depth in numbers (as do all teams, of course). He quickly brought in Drew Smyly and Rico Garcia in the 5th and 6th to toss zeros. But, everything unraveled in the 7th when Tyler Rogers, who only gave up two earned runs in 17.2 innings last year was tagged for three earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. He was also the victim of questionable defense, including his own. With runners on the corners and one out, there was a comebacker to Rogers. He appeared to have enough time to start the 1-6-3 double play, but opted to go for the runner stranded off third. Unfortunately, instead of just running him back to third (the runner from first was able to make it all the way to third, like you’re supposed to), a long pickle ensued, which also allowed the hitter to get to second. So, yes, they got the second out of the inning, but now TWO runners were in scoring position instead of the end of the inning. Enrique Hernandez quickly doubled the Dodgers’ run total with a two out, two run knock to right to put the Dodgers up 4-1, and that was the end of it. They tacked on four more runs throughout the night, and the Giants didn’t put up much of a fight, offensively. But, the game was still tied going to the bottom of the 7th.

Joe McCarthy and Dany Jimenez made their (forgettable) MLB debuts tonight. Let’s be honest, the Giants roster is full of unknowns, castaways, rookies and retreads. Much like when the GM in “Major League” tried to fill the roster with such players to tank the season, but the team has been boxed in by over-inflated “thank you” contracts, bad trades, and a lack of draft depth. If they don’t make the playoffs in this “easy” year, it may be a few more until they crack the top.

There’s always tomorrow.

Chad

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Episode #195: Greed is not Good

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Framegrab from the KPIX helicopter flying over Oracle Park, showing the new bullpens nearing completion.

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

Things are tough in the nation right now. From the pandemic to civil unrest, there are many more important things happening than a podcast about baseball and the Giants. Yet, Eric and I decided to go ahead with our recording, as we only do so every two weeks at this point. Perhaps our conversation can be a distraction from these troubling times.

There have been a few developments in the negotiations between the owners and players, but both sides seem to have their feet planted firmly. The owners want to pay the players much less than previously agreed to, with fewer games played, and the players want a prorated salary and more games. They are currently very far apart, and the chances of having a season seem to dwindle with every passing day. But, there is some hope that we’ll see baseball some time this year. We also chat about Vegas reopening, bullpen completion and new dimensions at Oracle Park and more!

Chad

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Episode #194: Baseball in San Francisco…in July?

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Oracle Park may not have fans in July, but could it have baseball? (AFP Photo/JUSTIN SULLIVAN)

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

Do we think this is likely? Not really. But, that is the latest bit of news coming out of the baseball world. Last week, MLB owners sent the players association a proposal that would start an 82 game season in July. Some of the main points of how the season would work include the DH for the NL, an expanded 14-team playoff, games restricted to mainly geographic opponents to reduce travel, and a myriad of COVID-19 related guidelines for on-field play (no spitting, chewing tobacco, fist bumps, etc.). They also proposed a 50/50 revenue split with the players, but that would result in lower salaries than the players already agreed to on March 26, when they agreed to a pro-rated salary based on the number of games played. Additionally, California Governor Newsom indicated that pro sports may be able to return by June, without spectators.

All of these issues are massive hurdles, which makes the prospect of a season starting in July seem unlikely. However, baseball fans around the nation would be ecstatic to see their team playing on their home field (on TV) sometime this year.

We also talk about Blake Snell’s unwillingness to play for less, the Giants are paying their non-baseball staff through September, and the OOTP Baseball dream bracket #2 will send in the 1954 and 2012 Giants as part of the field of 64 historic teams.

@ chadk21, @ 2outhits, @torturecast

Show links:

MLB Owners Proposal Highlights: https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-2020-season-plan-owners-approve-proposal-for-july-start-talks-reportedly-begin-without-salary-discussion/

Blog by Craig Calcaterra: https://craigcalcaterra.com/blog/the-pandemic-diary-may-16/ 

Blake Snell: https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29174318/rays-ace-blake-snell-says-refuses-play-reduced-salary

OOTP Dream Bracket #2: https://www.mlb.com/dream-bracket

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Episode #193: Could we Have Baseball in June?

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Tuesday the only path for sports to return this summer includes no fans in attendance and players being kept in quarantine for the duration of their seasons. (Photo by Alex Brandon/Associated Press)

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

We’re back to talk about developments in a plan that may bring baseball back in some form by June. Currently, the plan is to essentially put all players and personnel in a bubble, test them for the virus every week, and make sure they only travel to and from the stadiums and hotel. However, the PPE and test kits required would put a huge strain on medical resources, and there are players with families that are unwilling to be away from their families for five months or longer. Adding families to the bubble would raise the costs and stakes far too much. This plan is questionable, at best, but may be our only route to a form of baseball.

Baseball Reference is simulating the 2020 season with the game, OOTP 21, and currently the Giants are in 4th place at 7-10. Hunter Pence is 1-3 in the players’ league, playing MLB The Show ’20, but he had an epic walk-off Buster Posey homerun in his last game. You can view his games on his Twitch channel.

Stay safe out there, and if you have a quarantine story to share with us, drop us a line at chad@torturecast.com!

@chadk21

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Episode #191: Corona Virus, Astros, and MLB Season Delayed: a Twitch Special

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The corona virus has upended the world, and this includes the sports world with the suspension of MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS as well as the cancelation of March Madness and all D1 winter championships.

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

Check out the video stream on Twitch here! https://www.twitch.tv/videos/566341797

The founder of this podcast, Willie Gregory (@williedills) invited Eric and I to join himself and his friend and Astros fan Ty (@tyberius_asher) on a special Twitch streamed episode to talk about the Astros cheating scandal. However, in the days that passed, the corona virus had taken over the headlines and canceled or suspended sporting events around the world, including Major League Baseball.

In this special episode, we chat with Ty about how he has dealt with the Astros cheating scandal as an Astros fan, and then we dive in to discuss this brave new world that we are in. Covid-19 has forced the suspension of the NBA, NHL, MLS and MLB and canceled March Madness. Even Disneyland closed! My son’s school closed, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the list goes on. Even Tom Hanks and his wife have it.

Join us for a long, interesting, fun, and inebriated episode of the TortureCast!

Check out the video of our stream below!

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Episode #180: Yaz’s Mad Dash to Home

Marlins Giants Baseball

Mike Yastremski slides safely into home plate to score the deciding run in the Giants’ 2-1 victory over the Marlins at Oracle Park on Sunday. (AP Photo/John Heft)

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

Yaz’s dash to home in Sunday’s game was an analogy for this year’s Giants’ team. Heart and hustle, but not the highest level of talent. But, heart and hustle will win games, as it is obvious in their 33-15 record in 1-run games, best in MLB. The Giants went 3-4 this week against the Pirates and Marlins at home, securing a losing record at Oracle Park. That said, their road record is above .500, and they can finish that way. A weird juxtaposition that the Giants will contend with next year. If they had a winning home record this year, they would be in contention.

Bruce Bochy only needs 2 more wins to reach 2,000 in his career, with 12 games to go. The Giants find themselves in Boston and Atlanta this week. Eric and Chad talk about the week that was in Giants’ baseball.

From a record-setting number of players on the roster, who’s hot and not, Cueto’s fabulous return, and the bullpen having the best ERA in the NL in September, despite the trades and injuries. All this and more in episode 180 of the TortureCast!

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Episode #177: Longo Saves the Week

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Bruce Bochy and gang take the Bay Bridge Series trophy in his 4,000th game managed on Sunday. They were apparently very happy with it.

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

After a sweep at the hands of the Cubs essentially eliminated any chance the Giants have of making the postseason, Evan Longoria had a great weekend against the A’s, enabling the Giants to take the Bay Bridge trophy and climb back to 4 games out of the wild card. But, if they had just taken one game in that crazy series against the Cubs, they’d be 2 out right now. With precious little time remaining, the Giants have to step on the gas…now!

Eric and Chad review the 2-3 week and talk about players’ weekend, Bochy’s 4,000th managed game, Cueto’s rehab, Pablo’s TJ surgery, who’s hot and not and more!

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Episode #176: Yaz Hands!

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks

Mike Yastrzemski watches his third homerun of the game leave the yard in the 11th inning of a 10-9 Giants victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both teams hit 6 homeruns each, 1 shy of the MLB record set just a month ago. Photo by Getty Images.

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

Eric said the Giants needed to go at least 4-2 this week, and well, they did. Although, we were hoping for a 5-1 week, Bum laid an egg in the last game vs Arizona. We recap a solid week of Giants baseball which saw Mike Yastrzemski hit 3, yes, 3 homeruns in a game. Last time that happened was Jarrett Parker…where is he now? We also saw the MLB debut for Logan Webb, Pillar light it up, Belt’s granny, MadBum’s masterpiece vs Oakland, and Will Smith’s meltdowns.

We review the week in Giants’ baseball, stroll down memory lane, cover transactions, the upcoming series, and bring back “Guess that Giant!” Hope you enjoy episode 176, we did!

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Episode #172: Bustering out of the Break

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San Francisco Giants’ Buster Posey hits a grand slam during the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, July 12, 2019, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

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

The Giants have won 9 of 11 and lead MLB in homeruns for the month of July with 22. You read that right. They lead the league in homeruns this month. Did this team find their true identity, or is this just a phase like a cranky teenager going through a growth spurt? Eric and Chad talk about the series win in Milwaukee and recorded this during the Giants’ 19-2 demolition of the Rockies in the first game of their day-night doubleheader today.

To the surprise of everyone, the Giants are one of the hottest teams in the league. All the more surprising is the fact that they are winning on the strength of their offense. The team is 9-2 in its last 11 while averaging 8.5 runs per game. Suddenly, they’re just 4 games back of a playoff spot. At 750/1 to win the NL Pennant, there would be value betting on the Giants to squeak into the playoffs and make a run. However, Farhan Zaidi is still likely to sell at the deadline, so bettors wouldn’t actually be wagering on this Giants team; they’d be wagering on a team that may be without the likes of Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith. The guys at Sports Betting Dime think there is value betting on the Giants to squeak into the playoffs and make a run.

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Episode #170: We Want More Dick

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Alex Dickerson, acquired by trade from the Padres just last week, produced immediately for the Giants, knocking in 9 runs in his first two games in Giants’ uniform, breaking a franchise record. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

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

The title was just too sophomoric to pass up…sorry about that. But, we do want more production from Alex Dickerson, who knocked in 9 runs in the first two games in Arizona, including a grand slam, two doubles, and a triple. This performance prompted the chant, “Dick! Dick! Dick!” from the Giants’ dugout. Truly an awesome sight and sound.

We had a small break because of Chad’s vacation, but it was a fairly successful period for the Giants, as they went 7-5 during the two week break, but still find themselves in the cellar of the NL West. Eric and Chad review the last two weeks, the latest trade rumors about Will Smith and Madison Bumgarner, compare Mike Yaztremski’s stats through 92 plate appearances with that of his grandfather’s start, this week in Giants’ history, who’s hot and not and more!

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