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Episode #162: At Least the Hitting was Better this Week?

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Buster Posey hits his first homerun since June of 2018 (237 ABs), which was also his first career HR against the Pirates. It was a 3 run HR that gave the Giants a 3-2 win. Photo by Gene S. Puskar

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

The Giants raised their team batting average over the last 6 games from .199 to .209. The bad news is that the Giants’ pitching staff ERA went from 2.75 to 3.22. Christian Yelich hit 8 homeruns…this week. The Giants have 13 homeruns…as a team….all season. Eric and Chad talk about a 2-4 week during this road trip, dropping 2 of 3 each to the Nats and Pirates. But, in almost every game, a single play was the difference. The Giants are, well…competitive. They truly are. A few hits here and there and the Giants could be .500 or better. They are not getting crushed. They just can’t win most of the close games, which is, well most of their games. At least Buster Posey won a game single-handedly with a 3 run jack to defeat the Pirates 3-2. He also applied the tag to Kang to record the final out at home that game. So, there’s that. But, that’s exactly what the Giants need. And more times than once every 23 games. Also, why can’t the Giants score in the first inning? They are dangerously close to setting the MLB record for not scoring the first to open the season. They are at 23, while the record is 28. Hell, why not? Who cares? BTW, they are hitting .096 in the first inning. All 7 hits are singles. I want to see them score that first first inning run via the little league homerun with like 7 errors on an infield hit.

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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)

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

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.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook, and of course, visit http://www.torturecast.com for podcast episodes and written articles.

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Episode #159: 2019 (late) Season Preview

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Brandon Crawford #35 of the San Francisco Giants scores ahead of the tag of Austin Hedges #18 of the San Diego Padres during the fifth inning of a baseball game at Petco Park March 31, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

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

Chad and Eric host our annual season preview episode a little bit late…well, after 4 games into the season, but there is a good reason for that. Chad had the flu one week, then was traveling for work, then last week was having the experience of a lifetime, diving 2 miles under the ocean in the historic Alvin submarine, exploring a recently discovered “octopus garden” near an extinct underwater volcano while the BBC broadcast all this live back to the UK for their “Blue Planet Live” show. So, yeah, good reasons.

The Giants started off the season with a whimper, losing 3 of 4 in San Diego, while mustering only 5 runs in the process. They are hitting an NL-worst .177, but at least their pitching is 2nd! By the way, who expected Michael Reed and Connor Joe to be on the roster? We review this series, and preview the season, reading off all of YOUR predictions for total wins this year. Spoiler alert…most of you don’t think they’re going to win that many game. We also give our playoff, statistics, trade, and milestone predictions.

Spring has sprung, and baseball is back, baby! Can’t be sad about that.

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Episode #158: Struck out on Harper

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Sorry, Giants fans. Harper will not be wearing a Giants uniform, but then again, if he had signed, it would have been for 12 YEARS. I think some of us are glad this didn’t happen. (Graphic: NBC Sports Bay Area).

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

Chad and Eric reconvene after the #Harperwatch ended last week. The Giants were once again the bridesmaid after Harper said no and took the rose from the Phillies. But, we talk about the reasons why he stayed in the NL East, and why it could have been a prohibitive contract for the Giants, especially if they aren’t going to be competitive for a few years.

We also talk about the start of spring, the crowded outfield and pen, starting rotation possibilities, Bochy’s retirement announcement and the unfortunate Larry Baer incident.

The season is a mere 24 days away, and we can’t wait!

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Episode #157: Deja-Vu

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We lost two true Giants this offseason. Willie McCovey on Oct. 31, and Peter Magowan just days ago. (Photo from ESPN)

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This is the second time we recorded episode #157 (first version in November was eaten by my dog…I think), but we are back to get you ready for the upcoming season. Eric and I talk about what moves have occurred with the Giants’ new head of baseball operations (not much), the passing of two Giants greats, the current outfield market, potential trades, the Hall of Fame results, and our Super Bowl predictions. It’s great to be back in the podcast saddle again!

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Episode #155: Coming Down the Stretch

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Hunter Pence watches a mammoth homerun sail to the warehouse at Petco Park. It may have been his last in a Giants uniform, but he certainly played his last road game with the Giants in St. Louis over the weekend. Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

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

The Giants finished their abysmal road record at 31-50 after losing their final four roadies (1 in SD, 3 in StL). It marks only the 6th time the Giants have lost 50 or more games on the road and the first time they’ve done that in consecutive seasons since 1984-85. At least they’re guaranteed of a winning home record (they are standing at 41 wins).

Eric and Chad review the week on the road, a monumental bomb off the bat of Hunter Pence, the possibility that GM Bobby Evans might be replaced and what a new GM might do (trade Bumgarner?), Melancon’s struggles, our picks for the Willie Mac award, review the current playoff situation and pray and hope that the Giants can knock LA out of the playoffs this coming weekend as both teams close out the regular season.

We’ll be back next week to wrap up the season and preview the playoffs. Until then, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us @TortureCast.

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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 #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 #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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