MILWAUKEE -- Tyler Beede continued development on the mound has been one of the most encouraging aspects of the Giants’ season so far. In Sunday's 8-3 series finale win over the Brewers at Miller Park, he showed his bat can be impressive, too.
Recalled from Double-A Richmond before the game, Beede finished 2-for-4 while allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings in his first start since July 2. He matched his career high with seven strikeouts and did not walk a batter for his second consecutive outing. Beede provided a much-needed quality start for the Giants, whose bullpen was heavily taxed the first two games of the series.
“He clutched up in a huge way,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. “You look at the bullpen usage, we had some guys that needed a break. He was going to be out there, even if things weren’t going that well. We needed length. He did a great job on both sides of the ball and helped himself. What a game he had to get us to that point. It was huge.”
After taking two out of three from the Brewers, the Giants have now won eight of their last 10 games to improve to 23-23 on the road.
Shortly after giving up a game-tying home run to Christian Yelich, Beede picked up the Giants by delivering an RBI single that sparked a six-run seventh inning and propelled San Francisco to the win.
After a leadoff double by Donovan Solano, the 26-year-old rookie came through with his second hit of the afternoon, singling to center field to put the Giants ahead by one. Beede had originally squared up to bunt before pulling his bat back and shooting a grounder past a diving Keston Hiura for his first career RBI.
“Fortunately, they were expecting the bunt and had the second baseman shifted over enough to where the ball squeaked through,” Beede said. “Obviously, it’s a little lucky there, but it’s good to put the ball in play and at least get him over.”
A first-round Draft pick in 2014, Beede posted an 8.06 ERA over his first six appearances of the season, but he’s showed remarkable growth in recent weeks, logging a 3.41 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 29 innings over his last five starts.
“He’s taken huge strides,” Bochy said. “His confidence is growing. He’s attacking the strike zone. He had the good breaking ball and a good change going, too. He had a good mix going today.”
One of the keys to Beede’s turnaround was his decision to begin attacking hitters with his fastball up in the zone instead of trying to drive the ball down. He’s also started to expand his repertoire, reintroducing his slider into his pitch mix after temporarily abandoning it during Spring Training. Of Beede’s 103 pitches on Sunday, 22 were sliders, resulting in four swinging strikes and seven called strikes, according to Baseball Savant.
Beede’s recent success has come at a trying time for his family, as he is still mourning the loss of his stepfather, Andrew Rivers III, who died at age 52 on June 29 following a long battle with cancer. Beede took the mound three days after Rivers’ passing and produced the best start of his young career, firing seven innings of one-run ball against the Padres. Since Beede wasn’t scheduled to make his next start until after the All-Star break, the Giants optioned him the next day to allow him to travel home to Boston to attend Rivers’ memorial service.
“I think it was my opportunity to sort of honor my stepdad in a way that I only knew how, and that was just to go out there and pitch for my family,” Beede said. “I don’t know how much emotion was going through inning to inning, but I think before the game and after the game, I took a moment to reflect on sort of the role model that he was in my life, how much he helped me off the field and how encouraging he was. My family back home stayed up late and watched. I guess it meant something for them to see me do well on that particular day. That was encouraging, just to have my family’s spirits lifted in a time where it was tough to find things to be happy about.”