SAN FRANCISCO -- Last July 19, Tyler Beede came out of the bullpen for the Sacramento River Cats, taking over for top pitching prospect Shaun Anderson in the bottom of the sixth. He gave up a single and then walked two, getting pulled after recording just one out.
Beede threw 18 pitches that night and just eight found the strike zone. Exactly a year later, he threw 89 while pitching through the eighth inning of a big league game for the first time. Sixty-two of them were strikes.
It's a dramatic difference, but for Beede the renaissance actually started in those bullpen sessions. He focused on repeating good habits, and after getting a bit leaner in the offseason, he continued to work on repeating his delivery. The confidence came quickly.
"As I look back to a year ago, yeah I was in the 'pen and things weren't going great statistically, but I started to over time make better habits," Beede said after a 1-0 win over the Mets. "The season didn't end great but I still felt confident in what I was doing, and then going into the offseason I made some changes that made me more efficient.
"I think it's just been a matter of shifting my focus to 'hey, attack' instead of trying to make perfect pitches. I think it's always been in me to have great command. I look back to high school and parts of college where I was dominant because I was attacking guys. It's not like I've never been a good command guy, so I think it was just getting that shift of focus. My stuff is good, I've known that, let's just go after guys."
Beede went after the Mets from the start, keeping pace with reigning Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom, who threw seven shutout innings on his end. This is something he couldn't have done last season, or maybe even earlier this year, but Beede's confidence has grown and he has put together a recent streak that matches the team's.
Beede allowed three hits and struck out five Friday, walking just one. In his last three starts he has a 1.66 ERA in 21 2/3 innings, with just one walk to 16 strikeouts.
"It was fun to watch," manager Bruce Bochy said, smiling. "It's fun to watch his progress and his development and how his game has grown."