SAN FRANCISCO — When reporters approached at 11 p.m. Tuesday night, Tyler Beede was still in his full Giants uniform. He had not thrown a pitch since 8:30, but Beede knew that facing the Diamondbacks was not his only duty on this night.
The Beede family has been waiting 24 years for this moment. There were photos that needed to be taken to commemorate the former first-round pick’s MLB debut, and Tyler knew his parents would want him in uniform.
“It’s not a bad jersey to be wearing,” he added, smiling. “It’s pretty exciting.”
A smile was permanently attached to Beede’s face, and for good reason. He lasted only four innings the first time out, but he held tough and left the rest of the game to his veteran teammates. Andrew McCutchen’s walk-off in the bottom of the ninth gave the Giants a 5-4 win and made sure AT&T Park was rocking as Beede celebrated with teammates and then met his family for photos, and to hand over the baseballs from his first pitch and first career strikeout. This was a night he’ll never forget.
“It was just a good experience for him to get this out of the way,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “I’m sure this is going to help him down the road.”
The Giants are hopeful Beede helps them for years down the road. For now, here’s a look at Night 1.
FIRST INNING: In his Cactus League debut two years ago, Beede walked three batters in two-thirds of an inning while fighting a surge of adrenaline. He looked calm as he led the Giants onto the field, beginning his career at 7:18 p.m. with a 93 mph fastball to Jarrod Dyson that caught the bottom of the zone for a strike. Dyson grounded out to second later in the at-bat.
“I was nervous probably prior to the game,” Beede said. “Once I got out there, I settled in. Going through the emotions of the game and battling pitch to pitch, I think I was probably putting too much focus into making perfect pitches as opposed to just making quality pitches.”
That led to command issues that put Beede in a tight spot. He walked Ketel Marte, but pitched backwards to Paul Goldschmidt — slider, 94 mph fastball — to jump ahead 0-2. But then another 94 mph fastball tailed too far over the plate and Goldschmidt bounced it up the middle. Beede went full on A.J. Pollock, and with both runners going, Pollock yanked a down-and-in fastball into the left field corner for a two-run double.
It appeared the inning would spiral as Pollock took third when Beede forget to check the runner, but the rookie buckled down. He went changeup, fastball, changeup to whiff Alex Avila on three pitches. Chris Owings flied out to right on Beede’s 23rd pitch of the inning.
“As soon as I got in after the first I said leave them there,” Beede said. “That’s as many as they’re getting.”
SECOND INNING: Beede has spent much of his time in the minors focusing on getting quicker outs and he dialed up a grounder when he needed it. With a runner on, he buried a 2-2 curveball to Nick Ahmed and got a needed double play.
“You’ve got Gold Glovers behind you so you want to try to force them to put the ball in play,” he said. “That was the gameplan. There were situations where I was being too fine but in that situation we had to get the groundball and watch those Gold Glovers turn the double play up the middle. A thing of beauty, for sure.”
The first swinging strike came on a changeup to the next batter, opposing pitcher Patrick Corbin, but Beede sprayed two other changeups wide and went too low with two fastballs, walking Corbin. He bounced back, though. On his 42nd pitch of the night, Dyson popped up to second.
THIRD INNING: This frame kicked off with a changeup, which wasn’t much of a surprise. Beede threw 20 of them, and the pitch generated two of his four swinging strikes. He threw 49 fastballs — topping out at 95 mph — 10 curveballs and eight sliders.
“We all know he has great stuff,” catcher Buster Posey said. “It’s just a matter of believing in it and trusting his command.”
That four-pitch mix came in handy when Beede ran into another jam. A Giants pitcher can never be blamed for walking Goldschmidt on four pitches, as Beede did with one out, but he compounded that by starting 2-0 on Pollock. Three pitches after a mound visit from pitching coach Curt Young and the entire infield, Beede drilled Pollock.
But he took advantage of Avila again, striking him out with a changeup that started at the knees and then took a nosedive toward the dirt. A fastball and curve put Chris Owings in a two-strike hole, but he battled back. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Beede froze Owings with an 89 mph slider that caught the inside corner.
In the bottom of the inning, Beede dug in at the plate for the first time. He was a .204 hitter in the minors and at 6-foot-3, 211 pounds, he certainly has the frame to develop some pop. Corbin was dominant through five innings, though, and Beede struck out.
FOURTH INNING: The first pitch of this inning was Beede’s 70th, and it looked like he would have a much needed quick one. Two flyouts opened the inning, but Beede walked Corbin for the second time.
“I don’t like walking the pitcher twice,” he said. “That’s something that’s obviously glaring, but he’s a good hitter so I tried to treat him like any other hitter and make quality pitches to him. Just happened to walk him a couple times.”
As Reyes Moronta started warming up in the bullpen, Dyson shot a fastball into center, bringing Young out for another meeting. Beede once again limited the damage, getting Marte to spin a soft grounder down to third to end the inning. The pitch was Beede’s 87th and final one of the night. He threw 45 strikes and 42 balls. The rest of this night would be up to his teammates.
Moronta, Cory Gearrin and Tony Watson kept the line moving, and the lineup overcame a brutal start to push runs across on two sacrifice flies, a bases-loaded walk, and a ball that was thrown away on a double steal. In the end, McCutchen walked a team off for the second time in four days. Beede did not get a win or a loss on his record, but he was part of a Giants win.
“At the end of the day, I kept the team in a position to win and obviously we had an incredible win there,” he said. “There’s a lot I can work on moving forward, but overall I limited damage when I needed to.”