Beede knocked by Braves in series opener

Pitcher hits season-best 98 mph on fastball, but roughed up by a pair of homers

September 21st, 2019

ATLANTA -- A tumultuous rookie season for continued on Friday night, as the 26-year-old right-hander struggled to contain the talented Braves, who clinched their second consecutive National League East title by handing the Giants a 6-0 loss at SunTrust Park.

Beede was charged with the loss after yielding six runs over six innings, with the bulk of the damage coming on a pair of two-run home runs by Ronald Acuña Jr. and Brian McCann. The Giants had no answers for Acuña, who reached base in each of his four plate appearances and finished 2-for-2 with a homer, a double, two walks and three runs.

The Giants, meanwhile, were shut down by Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who allowed only three hits -- two singles and a double by Mike Yastrzemski -- over eight scoreless innings. Josh Tomlin secured the final three outs of the game for the Braves, who streamed onto the field afterward to kick off a champagne-filled celebration.

“I’ll tell you what, this is a good team,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s why they’re celebrating right now. They have such a good lineup. Depth, speed. They’ve got youth, and they’ve got experience. It’s just a great mix. They’ve had a heck of a year. Congrats to them on clinching tonight.”

The festive scene served as a stark reminder of the talent gap that currently exists between the Giants (74-80) and the elite teams in the National League. While they are on pace for their third consecutive losing season, the Giants have a promising crop of young prospects working their way up through the farm system, including first-round Draft picks Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos and 18-year-old shortstop Marco Luciano.

The Giants hope that group’s arrival will spearhead their own return to contention in the near future, much like Acuña and Co. have done for the Braves.

Beede has endured a difficult second half, but he entered Friday on an upswing after working 11 1/3 scoreless innings over his previous two outings. His streak quickly came to an end against the Braves, who threatened from the get-go when Acuña opened the game with a walk, advanced to third on a hit from Ozzie Albies and scored on a sacrifice fly by Freddie Freeman.

Acuña doubled and scored another run in the third before doubling Atlanta’s lead with his 41st home run of the season in the fifth. After a leadoff single by Foltynewicz, Acuña crushed a first-pitch curveball from Beede over the right-center-field fence to put the Giants in a 4-0 hole.

“It’s a talented lineup,” Beede said. “Acuña did a good job of sitting back on a curveball, hitting it the other way.”

The Braves padded their lead in the sixth after McCann hammered a two-run shot on a down-middle fastball from Beede, who now has a 5.23 ERA over 23 appearances this season.

Still, the results didn’t entirely align with the stuff Beede showed on Friday. Even after logging a career-high 148 1/3 innings between the Majors and the Minors this year, Beede averaged 95.4 mph on his fastball and topped out at 98 mph, his hardest-thrown pitch of the season.

“In terms of doing what I can control, I love where I’m at,” Beede said. “But I hate losing, so I’m not going to be happy about a start like this. At the same time, I thought it went better than the results might have shown.”