SAN FRANCISCO -- Tyler Beede resurrected his career this spring by cutting his repertoire down to three pitches, but on Tuesday, Statcast caught two that fell in between his fastball and changeup. Beede smiled when asked if he was throwing a slider again.
"Thank you for noticing," he said.
The pitch didn't do any damage, but it tells you a bit about where Beede and the Giants are right now that he even felt comfortable changing it up in a game. The Giants are willing to give their young right-hander a long audition, no matter what the ERA says, and Beede is going into each start with the confidence that he can work to get better, not just try to hold on to a big league job.
The final line in a 6-5 win over the Padres on Tuesday might not show improvement at first glance: 4 2/3 innings, 4 earned runs. But this might have been Beede's most encouraging start of the season, in large part because of a stretch that shows exactly why the Giants are still so excited about the former first-rounder.
Beede retired 11 straight after a rough start, seven of the outs coming on strikeouts. He mixed an overpowering fastball with a good curve, and briefly dominated a good lineup without really needing his changeup, which often is his best pitch.
"It does a lot for me," Beede said. "Coming into this game, I wanted to attack these guys with my stuff. Coming out, I know my stuff plays."
There is work to do, still. Ultimately this game is about recording outs, and while Beede suffered from some bad luck, he didn't help his cause by opening the fifth with a walk as he held a two-run lead. But after a comeback win, the Giants were able to feel a bit better about a young player who hopes to be part of the future here.
"He just looked determined to not let it get away from him this time, and he did a great job of that," manager Bruce Bochy said.
Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a homer on the first pitch of the night and the Padres put runners on the corners with one out, but Beede got out of the jam and cruised into the fifth. On a rare 85 degree night at Oracle Park, he showed the kind of raw stuff that the Giants don't have elsewhere in their rotation. His fastball averaged 94.6 mph and maxed out at 96.1. He blew a 95 mph heater past Manny Machado to end the third and and got Wil Myers, a notorious masher at Oracle Park, on the same pitch.
Beede used his curveball as his out pitch for five of his seven strikeouts.
"As I was going, I was able to see that the curve was a pitch I could land and use to expand in and out of the zone," he said. "I felt comfortable using the heater to get ahead."
The fastball took center stage at the end. Two infield singles pushed a run across in the fifth, but Beede still had a chance to get back to the dugout with the lead and a shot at his first big league win.
With two outs, Machado saw 12 pitches, fouling seven of them off. Beede reached back for 96 mph on his 93rd pitch of the night and Machado fouled it straight back. The next 3-2 offering came in at 95, and that, too, was fouled back. A changeup dipped too far inside and Beede's night was done, the bases loaded as the rookie yelled into his glove.
"I threw the kitchen sink at him," Beede said. "I didn't want to throw him a cookie down the middle. He won that at-bat."
The Giants trailed a few moments later when the Padres somehow scored two on a grounder back to the mound. But they rallied with three runs in the seventh. Third base coach Ron Wotus may have been the unlikely star of the sequence. When Evan Longoria rocketed a ball into the left field corner, Wotus aggressively sent the trail runner, Joe Panik, to the plate. Panik looked like he would be out by 10 feet, but Tatis Jr.'s throw skipped and the run scored.
"That's aggressive there and it worked out great," Bochy said. "That's a great job by Ronnie."