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.
You can download the episode here, or stream it below!
Ben, Eric and Chad get together to talk about the first couple of weeks of spring training, including the record number of players in camp, the competition for scarce infield and outfield positions, the fifth starter, the new closer, and of course, Hunter Pence’s freshly shorn face.
The TortureCast has awakened from its long winter slumber to bring you thoughts on the Super Bowl and the Giants’ offseason. We say goodbye to Romo (Dodgers), Lopez (FA), Peavy (FA), Pagan (FA), Blanco (D’backs), Casilla (A’s), and welcome Melancon, Morse, Rollins, Hundley, and a lot of familiar faces. The starting rotation is almost set, but there are questions in the outfield, except for Gorkys!
We regretfully dedicate the first portion of this episode of TortureCast to the Super Bowl and the bad? call at the 1 yard line. Willie, Chad and Eric catch up on all of the signings by the Giants, including Casey McGehee and Nori Aoki, and reminisce with our man-crush on Michael Morse, who is now a Miami Marlin. We will also be at Media Day on Feb 6 to interview as many Giants as we can, so if you have a question you want us to ask, let us know at torturecast AT gmail DOT com or find us on Facebook and Twitter.
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:
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?
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.
It’s been a month since we recorded our gloriously long World Series Championship podcast, but our livers and tear glands have recovered enough to deliver our first “hot stove” podcast of the offseason. Chad, Ben, and Eric talk about the impending Lester decision (probably made by the time you listen to this), and the Giants options to fill their holes in left field and third base. Tim Flannery retired, and Madison Bumgarner won Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Year,” which apparently ripped off the fresh collective scabs of millions of KC Royals fans.
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 at TortureCast.com.
Buster Posey dishes out his third championship #BusterHug to Madison Bumgarner moments after Pablo Sandoval caught a foul popup to secure the Giants’ third World Series in five years (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
For the third time in the last five years, the San Francisco Giants are World Series Champions!
Riding the superhero left arm of Madison Bumgarner, the Giants squeezed out a 3-2 win in game 7 of the World Series to down the Kansas City Royals.
Willie, Chad and Eric record our longest podcast of the year to discuss this memorable World Series; the heroes, the almost-goats, and what it took to fuel a remarkable run that has placed the black and orange in “dynasty” status.
Even if you have to listen to it in two parts, sit back, relax, and bask in the glow of three Commissioner’s trophies!
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!
You’ll be conjuring the name “Ishikawa” until the Giants move to London in 2134. (San Jose Mercury News)
The guy who wore jeans to the 2010 World Series ring ceremony (in 2011).
The guy who bounced around on the Brewers, Orioles, Yankees, Pirates, and spent most of this year in AAA.
And he’s our starting left fielder in the NLCS?
When did this exactly happen? I know they say “all hands on deck” in the playoffs, but for the Giants, it’s almost as if Bochy asked Sabean, “Hey, got any stale donuts left in the break room? I’m looking for just a morsel to keep me from eating my large cap.” Yet, these seemingly stale morsels: the Paniks, Duffys, Perezes, Ariass (that looks bad there), and of course, the Ishikawas, may not be your first choice for a fresh pastry, but dammit THEY WILL FEED YOU!
And in a pivotal, uncharacteristic moment (for Bochy and this team), Ishikawa misplayed a ball hit to him in left, and as it sailed over his head for an RBI double, you could literally hear the moans escape from AT&T. The redditors and others just screaming, “SEE, I TOLD YOU ISHI CAN’T PLAY OUTFIELD, CLEARLY JUAN PEREZ IS THE ONE AND ONLY GATEKEEPER TO THE WORLD SERIES….DUMB BOCHY!”
No sense screaming about any and all mistakes made in June and July when they were in the trough of the big leagues. Much like the collective screaming of millions of not-Ishikawa-jersey-wearing Giants fans were abated a bit by the fact that Bumgarner minimized the damage to that one run. They were in the game.
Then Panik, who hadn’t homered since he grew pubic hair, yanked one just fair to put the Giants ahead.
Wait, the Giants hit a homerun? Ok, so Crawford and Belt have done it, I guess it’s been long enough. When do we get the run scored via the “ball-stuck-in-Pierzynski’s-orbital-socket,” a misplayed ball by the Cardinals because the ball literally split in two after a broken bat fragment julienned it, or the wild buffalo sacrifice at second base? Apparently that well dried up tonight, and the baseball gods smiled upon the black and orange masses to give us a game for the annals of Giants lore. Not only did Bumgarner give up a homerun to a lefty for the first time since April, but the third string catcher also launched one off of him in the third. It appeared that the devil magic was bubbling from the Cardinals side.
I myself was pessimistic. No matter how many improbable comebacks this team has made, you figure they can’t win EVERY GAME in dramatic fashion…..right?
Enter Michael Morse. After both starters settled down and cruising, the 8th inning came like a well-lubricated freight train. Morse was actually on deck in the 7th to pinch hit for Bum, but since they went so quickly, and with Bum wanting to pitch one more inning, Morse came back out with his neon orange cleats in the 8th against one of the best setup men in the game. Morse has had two ABs all NLCS and hasn’t played beyond that for more than a month. Of course. Because it’s the Giants. Neshek is nasty, but he hung a slider, and Morse jumped on it, tying the game at 8.
Again, where’s the ball off the seagull for a run?
After a 9th inning that left me guzzling Pepto and wailing on my children, (THANK YOU AFFELDT!), the bottom of the 9th unrolled the carpet to Michael Wacha, last year’s NLCS MVP. However, he hadn’t pitched since September 26, and with Rosenthal in the pen, I thought it to be a curious move in such a high leverage situation, both mentally and physically.
After a Sandoval single and Belt walk with one out, it set the stage for either a) a double play, b) a walk-off 3 error Benny Hill title sequence, c) walk off homer.
HAHAHA go the fuck home, you’re drunk, option c).
Oh, and why don’t you replay this 45 times in honor of Ishikawa’s jersey number
The Giants, who scored 10 runs without a hit over their last 5 games, scored all 6 via the long ball tonight.
The Giants really are trolling the baseball world right now.
The Giants were considered the 10th seed in the MLB playoffs, yet here they are, demolishing the Pittsburgh Pirates and Washington Nationals to become one of the “Final Four” in Major League Baseball. Willie, Chad and Eric (@2outhits) discuss the Giants’ chances in the NLCS vs the Cardinals and what makes these teams so special in episode 73 of the TortureCast!