Giants rookie Tyler Beede made his fourth major league start Tuesday against San Diego, and it was his best to date. But the box score won’t show that.
It became more of a you-had-to-be-there-to-appreciate-it kind of outing, because he came away allowing four earned runs on five hits, and finished with an ERA that remains in the clouds, in San Francisco’s 6-5 victory over the Padres (33-34) at Oracle Park.
This story has been updated with quotes and post-game material from the Giants clubhouse at Oracle Park.
Shortly after allowing a solo homer (8) to center on the first pitch of the ballgame to rookie Fernando Tatís Jr., Beede (ND, 0-2, 8.06 ERA) settled in. And the Giants bats made up for some of his hard luck — a rare feat of late.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he was pleased to see Beede bounce back so well from the homer, especially since he’s struggled in his previous outings:
“Beede threw really well. The first pitch leaves the ballpark and he settled down and that scenario with young guys–you wanna see them get better and keep their poise, and he did that.”
In the first inning, Beede relied almost entirely on his fastball, allowing the homer and a pair of singles before getting out of the inning on a grounder and a strikeout. From then on he started mixing in breaking balls including a lethal curve and San Diego was at a loss as to what to do with him.
Bochy was impressed with the work he’s done to improve:
“They’re an aggressive club over there but he’s got the good curveball and change up and he’s been working on his slider — he used it a little bit tonight — and he’s starting to mix up his pitches, going on both sides of the plate with the fastball. I like that he was just really determined not to let it get away from him this time, and he did a great job.”
In the fourth inning, the Giants got him the run support few San Francisco starters have enjoyed with a pair of singles from Tyler Austin and Pablo Sandoval off Friars starter Chris Paddack (ND, 4-4, 3.15) ERA). And a two-run jack into the arcade off the bat of Steven Duggar (4) gave the Giants (27-38) a 3-1 lead.
Meanwhile, Beede struck out seven batters over 4-2/3 innings and maintained a conservative pitch count doing it. He said he felt it was his best major league outing so far and he felt more confident with his fastball than he has in a while. He said:
“The curveball was a pitch that I could both land and use to expand in and out of the zone. I feel comfortable getting ahead with my heater, throwing it to both sides of the plate and then using that curveball as sort of my swing-and-miss strikeout pitch. Tonight I felt great.”
Beede got to the fourth inning on 59 pitches. Then things came undone and the Padres bled him for 36 pitches and scored three runs on a pair of walks and three infield hits to take back the lead, 4-3.
Of the inning, Beede said:
“I don’t try to look at results all that often and so that fifth inning–there’s some tough luck there–but I’m happy with the way that I competed the better half of the game.”
Wil Myers walked to lead off, and with one out Paddack came to the plate.
Paddack had been 0-for-15 with eight strikeouts going into the at-bat, but he drew nine pitches before singling on a ground ball to Brandon Crawford at short, moving Myers to third.
With that, Tatís Jr. sent another grounder up the middle. Joe Panik dove for it and managed to halt its progress into center field, but when he tried to flip the ball to Crawford, whom he expected was covering second, no one was there. Paddack was safe at second, Myers scored and Tatís Jr. took first.
One batter later, Manny Machado drew 12 pitches before taking a free pass ending Beede’s night at 95 pitches. The Padres failed to make hard contact but they coaxed three-dozen pitches out of Beede’s arm and scored two runs on sharp grounders and walks.
“In that situation I wasn’t trying to throw anything down the middle. I was trying to respect [Machado] as a hitter but at the same time come right at him with my best stuff. Maybe I needed to take a little off the fastball there but that’s kind of my mindset in that moment was kind of give everything I had to leave it all out there for that at-bat.”
Bochy said after the long at-bat and heavy-workload in the fifth he felt Beede needed some help:
“What a tough inning. … Here we take the lead and you walk the first hitter, so that’s never a good sign, but then we had some tough luck with three infield hits.”
Trevor Gott came in to relieve Beede and things got a little bit wild. The first batter he faced, Eric Hosmer, slapped a 96-mph 0-2 fastball so hard at Gott it knocked his glove off.
Gott tracked it down and threw from the ground to Pablo Sandoval at first. He was too late to get Hosmer, and after a lunging snag, Sandoval threw home after Tatís Jr. but Stephen Vogt couldn’t get the tag down in time. Then, in all of the hullabaloo, Machado took the opportunity to move over to third. Vogt whipped around to make another ill-fated throw to Evan Longoria at the hot corner. Everyone was safe. The Padres had taken a 4-3 lead.
Bochy said the Padres were very aggressive on the bases and both he and Gott regretted that the reliever didn’t just hang onto the ball, but Beede said he thought Gott simply followed instinct on the play.
“It’s a tough play, it’s an instinct play….[Gott’s] got great stuff. It’s a situation where nine times out of 10 he’s gonna get out of that situation, like he done for me in the past.”
With the state of the Giants offense this season it seemed a tall order for San Francisco to retake the lead, but Brandon Belt came in to pinch-hit in the seventh against Trey Wingenter (L, 0-1, 3.86 ERA) and led off with a walk to get the rally started. Panik singled and a Longoria double scored them both and allowed Longo to take third. Sandoval added one more with a line out to center to put San Francisco back on top, 6-4.
Bochy was proud to see his guys come back to win the match:
“We needed some help at that point. Longo delivered in a big way and that was a good send by [third base coach Ron Wotus]. Pablo with that second run, I mean that’s huge it gives you a little margin of error.”
San Francisco would need that margin because the Pads added on one more with a dinger (8) from Ian Kinsler off Tony Watson but the Giants ‘pen locked down the one-run lead for the win.
Will Smith came in to get his 15th save and is now tied with Craig Lefferts for the second-most consecutive converted saves to start a season in Giants history — Rod Beck is first with 28.
Rookie Shaun Anderson (1-1, 4.18 ERA) will face Friars southpaw Joey Lucchesi (5-3, 4.21 ERA) Wednesday for a 6:45 p.m. contest at Oracle Park before the Giants take an off day Thursday.
Bochy said he expects Buster Posey (right hamstring) to return from the 10-day injured list in time for Wednesday’s matchup with San Diego. … According to Bochy, Belt’s neck “locked up” as he prepared to pinch-hit late in Sunday’s contest with the Dodgers. Bochy said this is the first time Belt has ever had any neck issues. He is expected to start Wednesday.
Julie Parker is SFBay’s San Francisco Giants beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @InsideThePark3r on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of Giants baseball.