SAN FRANCISCO -- Through the first two innings of his big league career, Andrew Suarez had thrown 23 strikes and just seven balls. That's a great trait to have as a pitcher. Most of the time.
"A lot of people say my weakness is I throw too many strikes," Suarez said after a 7-3 loss to the Diamondbacks. "I always try to compete. I've got to learn when to throw balls."
Suarez has pinpoint command and that's what got him to the big leagues. It'll keep him here, too, and it'll please his manager, pitching coach and infielders. But he's savvy enough already to know that there are times where a pitch in the dirt or six inches outside is a good one.
As he pounded the zone Wednesday, the Diamondbacks eventually caught on. Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer. John Ryan Murphy hit another. Both came on sliders.
"Hanging sliders," Suarez said.
The 25-year-old caught Goldschmidt looking at a two-strike curveball in the first and tried to go down and in with a slider in their second matchup. It stayed out away, and Goldschmidt blasted it.
"It was pretty much just a hanging spinner," Suarez said. "Sometimes I try to throw (the slider) too hard. I end up opening up (my delivery)."
The day was a learning experience, but also one to celebrate. Suarez had his mom, grandmother and brothers in the seats and said an ovation as he walked off the field was the biggest of his life. He may not make another start immediately, as Johnny Cueto is due back Tuesday, but Bruce Bochy left no doubt that Suarez will be a part of the future.
"I thought he did a nice job," Bochy said. "He pounded the strike zone. He made a couple mistakes but I thought overall that's a good job by him."