Tag Archives: TortureCast

What’s Good With The Giants? The Quest For Mediocrity

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The San Francisco Giants are finally playing better baseball. At least they were, until the last few days in Chicago. I was so hopeful for this week’s post. The last home stand was such a positive. After that it seemed like the Giants were building momentum with a series win in St. Louis. And then, the stupid Cubs and Wrigley Field ruined all those good vibes. So sick of those guys.

The Giants have played 49 games, roughly 3/10ths of the season, and currently own a 20-29 record. They sit at 4th place in the surprisingly competitive NL West, 11 games behind the first place Rockies. Last time I checked in, the Giants were a last place team but only 9 games back. So, I guess that’s progress? Right? I know, it really isn’t.

There was a lot more good over the past 17 games and it was much easier this time finding some positives from the 9-8 stretch. Continue reading

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Can The Giants Come Back And Make The Playoffs?

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Otto Gruele / Getty Images

 

Sitting at just 17-25, the San Francisco Giants are a long shot to make the playoffs in 2017. Even after their wonderful 5-2 home stand, the Giants are in 4th place in the NL West, around 9 games behind the first place Rockies.

A week ago, Chad an I recorded a podcast in which the basic theme was, “now or never”. Since the Giants recently reeled off a 5-game winning streak, and seem to be playing better ball, it got me wondering if they could possibly rebound from their bad start and make the postseason. I’m going to try to some answer some questions and see if we can look into the future and predict if the Giants can make it. All stats are from the Wild Card Era (1995-present).

Has a team in the Wild Card Era started this bad and still made the playoffs?

Yes. There is hope. Continue reading

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Last Place Sucks!

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One-fifth of the way through the season and the San Francisco Giants are in last place.

It’s been five weeks of baseball and the San Francisco Giants are 11-21. They have the worst record in the National League. That’s a great line to grab you, huh? Makes you want to read more about the mess that has been the 2017 season, doesn’t it? Well, I hope so. Even when the team stinks, and they stink right now, there are positives. I’ll try to tackle a couple of those here before getting to the bad news because, as we all know by now, there’s a lot of bad news.

The schedule is now 1/5th of the way complete. The Giants are 9 games out of 1st place. That’s almost 2 games a week! Oh man. They have won back-to-back games just once and have only 2 series wins. We’ll be back with a new podcast episode this week to talk about the Giants getting hammered in Cincinnati, and the week ahead. Please, let’s find some good news.  Continue reading

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What’s good with the Giants?

We here at TortureCast often talk about breaking down the Giants season into smaller segments. At the start of play today, the San Francisco Nine have played 16 games, 1/10th of their season total. So I decided now is a good time to check in and see how things are going.

The Giants are 6-10 after splitting two games during their Kansas City memories tour. All alone in last place, one measly half game behind the San Diego Padres. This weekend, the Giants will try to get out of the cellar in the house of horrors known as Coors Field with three games against the Rockies.

Every couple of weeks or so I’ll be back to check in after each tenth of the season. I figure that’s long enough to space them out so I can make sure I’ll stay on it. If I could write every day, believe me, I would. So, riffing off my old “3 up, 3 down” format, here’s some observations about the 2017 San Francisco Giants. Continue reading

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Episode #112: The Final Stretch

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Remember when the Giants backed into a wild card spot in 2014? What happened next? Just sayin’

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

The Giants went 5-9 since we recorded two weeks ago, just when we thought they were turning the corner. Those 9 losses included 3 in which they led going into the 9th, including vs. STL and LA. Not gonna lie. Those losses hurt, A LOT. And now, they’re having a direct impact on the Giants’ chances of making the playoffs, but here they sit, 1/2 game back of NY and 1 game up on STL.

Eric and Chad talk about the final six games of the year, and the keys to securing a wild card spot, now that LA has clinched the NL West.

Please enjoy, what will most likely be our last regular season podcast of 2016. Hopefully, we’ll have a playoff edition for episode 113. Disregard that 13 part of the number.

RIP Jose Fernandez

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Giants Lose to Cardinals. Matt Cain Explains.

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You can download the interview with Matt Cain here, or stream it below!

Ok, Matt Cain doesn’t explain why they lost, but he has a message for Giants fans: they signed up for criticism, and they do deserve some right now, but they are in control of their own destiny.

I talked with Matt Cain after the Giants lost 3-0 to the Cardinals. The Giants now trail the Mets by 1 game and lead the Cardinals by only 1 game. He did mention Rally Cupcakes. So, Giants fans, eat those cupcakes, their playoff hopes hang in the balance.

Chad

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Casilla Blows Another Save. Everything is OK.

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The Giants blew another 9th inning lead tonight. In fact, it was their 8th loss after leading in the ninth. Never mind the 28 blown saves that lead the NL. At least they won some of those games. But, 8 losses after leading after 9 (2 of them came after leading by 3 in the 9th, btw) is SOUL-CRUSHING. Let’s look at the what ifs:

  1. If they won tonight (blowing only 7 9th inning leads), they’d trail the NL West by 4 and lead the Mets by 1 and Cardinals by 4 in the wild card.
  2. If they had only blown 6 ninth inning leads, they would trail LA by 3 and lead the Mets by 2 and Cards by 5.
  3. If they had only blown 5 ninth inning leads, they would trail LA by 2 and lead the Mets by 3 and Cards by 6.
  4. If they had only blown 4 ninth inning leads, they would trail LA by 1 and lead the Mets by 4 and Cards by 7.
  5. If they had only blown 3 ninth inning leads, they would be TIED WITH LA and lead the Mets by 5 and Cards by 8.
  6. If they had only blown 2 ninth inning leads, they would LEAD LA by 1 and lead the Mets by 6 and Cards by 9.
  7. Ok, so most teams don’t blow more than a few leads in the ninth, so I’ll stop here. Most teams blow a lead or two or three, but not EIGHT!!

Point being, the Giants are still in this race, but the NL West is most likely out, unless they go 6-0 against the Dodgers.

Let’s hope they win tomorrow, because if they don’t, the Giants may miss out on the playoffs by 1 or 2 games, and it will all come down to the bullpen in the 9th.

Did anyone think that Casilla would be called upon again? I’m shocked that he’s still in the “rotation,” but I don’t think we see him again in the regular season in a save situation after the boos that rained down on him and Bochy tonight.

Chad

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Episode #111: The Turnaround?

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The majestic Pence beard has awoken from its slumber. (photo: Darin Wallentine/Getty Images)

Download the episode here, or stream it below!

Hey, the Giants have won 4 out of their last 5 and turned a 1-4 roadtrip into a 5-5 with great starting pitching and Hunter Pence playing like frickin’ Hunter Pence, wildly flailing appendages, hair and all!

The Giants still have a slim shot at the division and hold a lead on a wild card spot. Chad and Eric talk about their chances, Santiago Casilla, and if Bochy has developed dementia all in episode 111.

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Episode 110: Giants are the Worst

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Download the episode here, or stream it below!

After a failed recording (no, seriously, we did a WHOLE podcast and forgot to hit the record button last week!), and serious schedule challenges, we finally got 3 out of 4 of us to record episode 110 of the TortureCast! Of course, we last recorded when the Giants were up by 6.5, but now they are trailing by a full game to the Dodgers.

We talk at length about what went wrong, how bad every facet of the game has been, but also about how unlucky it has been to lose as many games as they have due to poorly timed hitting, pitching and blown saves.

Matt Moore for Duffy and Will Smith. Are these trades worth it? Is this Carlos Beltran or Jeff Kent? Truth is, we won’t know for a while, but there is plenty of the season left for these trades to pan out in a favorable way.

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Is It Time To Panic?

Belt

 

That road trip sucked. There’s no way to sugarcoat it. The San Francisco Giants went 1-7 and generally looked flat, and out of sync. They come home only three games ahead of the Dodgers for the NL West lead.

THREE

That number can be made up during one series of baseball. The cushion that once was, is gone.

So is it time to panic? I guess that depends on how you look at it. There’s a precedent for this kind of thing. On June 8th of 2014, the Giants were a season high 22 games over .500 and had a 10 game lead in the NL West. When it was over they finished 6 games behind the Dodgers and had to play the Wild Card game. Then the Giants won the title.

Sure. That’s a different team. I agree. This 2016 squad is probably the most talented bunch Bruce Bochy has managed in a Giants uniform and a free fall like 2014 shouldn’t be in the cards. I mean, it can’t be? Can it?

On June 24 this season, the Giants held their largest lead over LA at 8 games. On July 10th, they reached a season high 24 games over .500 with a record of 57-33. That was the record the Giants held going in to the all star break. It was a 6.5 game lead over the Dodgers.

It’s not really fair to compare this year’s team against 2014, but we can’t help it because it literally just happened. It’s easy to draw comparisons.

That doesn’t mean the same thing has to happen, and I’m betting it won’t. Hunter Pence, Joe Panik, and Matt Duffy should all be returning to the lineup over the next month. The whole of the offense won’t have to rest on the shoulders of Brandon Belt, Buster Posey, and Brandon Crawford.

The lineup isn’t as deep as it once was. But, fingers crossed, it should be there again. On this 1-7 road trip the Giants held the opponent to 5 runs or less in 6 of the 8 games. The problem is they scored 23 runs total in the 8 games, less than 3 a game. Take out the 7 runs in the Wednesday loss to Boston ad it’s barely over 2 runs per game.

The Giants aren’t hitting. That makes the errors and subpar pitching performances stand out. Jeff Samardzija got rocked in the 6th inning at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, but in a live yard all the Giants could manage was 2 runs on a defensive swing base-hit. It’s hard to win when the middle of the order combines for 4 total runs in 8 games.

A lot of the chatter after the final game in New York from the Giants clubhouse was about getting back in a routine. This weird road trip with multiple days off was not normal. Playing the next 7 games at home will surely be a welcome thing for a club that really hasn’t been home since July 10th.

The Cincinnati Reds are coming to town for 3 games and overall they have not played well this season. At 38-60 they are tied for the 3rd worst record in baseball with the Tampa Bay rays. The Reds just wrapped a 9-game homestand to start the second half. They wen 6-3 against Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Arizona. Back in May the Giants took 2 of 3 from the Reds in Ohio and averaged just over 5 runs a game.

There’s that 5-run mark again. It jumps out because the Giants are 36-9 when they score 5 or more runs in a game. The offense is what really makes this team hum and it just wasn’t there for this trip.

Like I asked earlier, is it time to panic? I don’t think it is. Clayton Kershaw may miss the season and require surgery. The Dodgers are winning games now, but their own injuries will catch them. Much like what has happened to the Giants recently.

There’s also the idea that Bobby Evans is looking for bullpen help. Aroldis Chapman is out as closer option. He got traded to the Cubs, and I’ll be honest, I’m glad we don’t have to tiptoe around his recent domestic violence incident. I would have a hard time rooting for him.

Other than a reliever, the Giants could shore up any part of the team. With the emergence of Mac Williamson lately, the Giants probably feel better about the OF depth. The rotation may need some help, and the next week will clear that up. Jake Peavy and Matt Cain each start twice this week and we’ll all know if there’s a need.

Don’t panic. The Giants are still one of the best team in baseball and have reinforcements coming. After this week at home they take their last trip to the east to start August. The farthest they fly after they return home then is Chicago. The Giants thrive in their comfort zone and we shouldn’t expect any less down the stretch. It’s just another extension of Bochy’s “keep the line moving” mentality.

Or, I could be totally wrong and this season is about to fall off a cliff.

-Eric

@2outhits

 

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