LOS ANGELES -- Even after he posted an 8.06 ERA over his first four starts of the season, the Giants were willing to stay patient with Tyler Beede. On Monday night, the 26-year-old rookie delivered the breakthrough performance they had been waiting for.
Despite issuing five walks, Beede held the first-place Dodgers to just a Max Muncy solo home run over six innings to earn his first Major League victory in the Giants’ 3-2 series-opening win at Dodger Stadium.
“Obviously, to win here in this ballpark against this team is awesome enough,” Beede said. “But for it to be my first is obviously special and something I’ll never forget.”
“I’m proud of the kid,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s the best part of the game when you see these kids come up and do well. He was pretty excited after the game.”
Beede scattered three hits and struck out seven, five of which came on his curveball, in the best start of his young career. He is only the fourth Giants pitcher to pick up his first career win at Dodger Stadium, joining Shawn Estes (July 13, 1996), Larry Carter (Sept. 11, 1992) and John Burkett (April 30, 1990).
“He stepped up in a big way, obviously,” catcher Stephen Vogt said. “To me, he showed tenacity tonight. He didn’t have the best command I’ve seen him have, and he figured out a way to make pitches when he needed to and figured out a way to get outs. To me, that’s the sign of somebody who is trending in the right direction.”
A first-round Draft pick of the Giants in 2014, Beede endured a disappointing 2018 campaign that included a brief demotion to the bullpen, but he arrived at Spring Training with renewed confidence and a streamlined repertoire that quickly made him one of the biggest revelations of camp. He earned his first look with the Giants after logging a 1.99 ERA over his first five starts with Triple-A Sacramento, though he initially struggled to translate that success to the Majors.
Still, Beede’s confidence never wavered, and he appeared on the verge of a breakthrough after striking out a career-high seven over 4 2/3 innings in his last start against the Padres on Tuesday.
The flashes of promise finally clicked into place against the Dodgers, as he paired a fastball that topped out at 96.1 mph with a sharp curveball and changeup to stymie one of the best lineups in the National League. After issuing a two-out walk to Matt Beaty in the first inning, Beede came back to whiff NL MVP frontrunner Cody Bellinger on three pitches after spotting a curveball on the outside corner for a called third strike.
“I think everything plays off the fastball location,” Beede said. “When I’m locating the heater down and away or riding it up in the zone for a strike, I think that makes that curveball just as good.”
Muncy accounted for the lone blemish against Beede, launching a misplaced fastball out to right field for a leadoff home run in the second. The Dodgers threatened in the fifth after Joc Pederson singled and Bellinger drew a two-out walk, but Beede escaped the jam with the help of an outstanding defensive play by shortstop Brandon Crawford and first baseman Pablo Sandoval.
Crawford ranged far to his left to field a ground ball off the bat of Muncy before spinning and throwing to Sandoval, who made an impressive stretch to nab the ball and record the out. Sandoval suffered a laceration on his right pinkie after Muncy stepped on his hand while attempting to beat out the grounder and departed the game in the following inning. He required four stitches, but X-rays came back negative.
“It was worth it,” said Sandoval, who is considered day to day.
In accordance with team tradition, Beede was plopped into a shower cart and doused in beer after the game to celebrate his milestone win. It was a moment that Beede savored, and one he had been anticipating since making his debut with the Giants last May.
“I couldn’t tell you what it was a mix of, but it was cold and it stung a little bit in the eyes,” Beede said. “I was excited to take the second shower after that. They were busting my chops in there. I’ve been waiting a couple years for this, obviously, making my debut last year. I always wanted to contribute to this team and be someone that they can rely on to throw out there every five days. This more than anything solidifies perseverance and my ability to come back after a rough year and be a guy that they can look to to contribute to this team.”