Giants

Bruce Bochy details why Giants' Tyler Beede is struggling in second half

Bruce Bochy details why Giants' Tyler Beede is struggling in second half

It's been all downhill for Tyler Beede ever since he pitched eight shutout innings against the Mets on July 19.

In eight starts since then, the young Giants right-hander has allowed 29 runs in 37 innings. His ERA is a robust 7.05.

On Monday in St. Louis, Beede allowed five hits and three earned runs in just four innings. Two of those Cardinals runs came in the first inning.

After the Giants' 3-1 loss, manager Bruce Bochy was asked if he saw a common thread in Beede's starts in the second half.

"Yeah, the biggest common thread is his command gets away from him," Bochy told reporters in St. Louis. "You saw [Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright], getting strike one, for the most part, he was ahead in the count, and we were getting behind and throwing a lot of pitches and having trouble with the secondary pitches, but like I said, it got better for him. But you're three runs down at that point."

Beede seemed to agree with Bochy's assessment.

"I think after the first [inning], I started to feel a little more locked in, settled in there, but yeah, first inning a little bit inconsistent," Beede told reporters. "The plan was to establish my curveball. This is a team that is very talented one through nine, but they struggle with the curveball a bit just from watching past games against pitchers with good curveballs. Plan was to establish that, but didn't have a great feel for it, so I think the adjustment from there was to throw more sliders. Felt good with my fastball."

In his first full season in the big leagues, Beede has a 5.61 ERA in 96 1/3 innings pitched. Including his 34 2/3 innings at Triple-A, Beede is at 131 total innings, 16 1/3 shy is his career-high from 2016.

But Beede brushed aside any fears that he is running out of gas.

"Honestly, this the best I've ever felt in my career," Beede said. "It's the byproduct of a good offseason, putting my body in a position to pitch in September. Body feels great, arm feels even better."

[RELATED: How Pablo captivated young Giants players]

Now Beede needs to see if he can get his command in the vicinity of great.

Giants, Madison Bumgarner's camp talking with Dodgers rumor swirling

Giants, Madison Bumgarner's camp talking with Dodgers rumor swirling

SAN FRANCISCO -- Sure they're the ones talking to agents in suites, discussing blockbuster trades, and spending millions on players, but at points of the MLB Winter Meetings, Giants executives are just like their fans. 

That was the case Tuesday night, when Gerrit Cole reportedly agreed a record contract and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic immediately reported that the Dodgers, a finalist for Cole, would turn their attention to Madison Bumgarner. Rosenthal's tweet instantly caught the attention of officials in the team's suite and some who were wandering the lobby. Those who had already left for dinner discussed the news after ordering their wine. 

The report startled the fan base. It did not shake the front office. You won't find many people who work for the team who are confident that Bumgarner will be pitching in San Francisco next season, but the Giants also do not believe he'll actually end up with the Dodgers. 

"A smart negotiation tactic," one source said, smiling. 

The Dodgers reportedly bid about $300 million on Cole and were in on Anthony Rendon, who reportedly got $245 million from the Angels, but they don't have a recent history of spending big on free agents. Cole and Rendon were special cases because they were at the very top of their respective markets. 

Bumgarner, per sources familiar with his thinking, is seeking a deal in excess of $100 million. It's unknown just how high the Giants would go and they're not thought to be at the forefront of discussions, but president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi met with Bumgarner's agents on Tuesday and said Wednesday night that the Giants are still engaged with Bumgarner's camp. 

Most in the organization are still preparing for Bumgarner's departure, and it's unlikely that the latest rumors will change that thinking. Zaidi isn't one to be bullied into a move by the possibility of a popular player signing with a rival. This will be a baseball decision for the Giants.

[RELATED: Why Giants hired 'player developments' coaches]

"We are kind of going through the process with all free agents based on where we are as an organization, what our direction is going to be, and there's a lot of rumors and a lot of innuendo and a lot of noise," Zaidi said Wednesday night when the latest rumor was brought up. "We just have to go based on what we know and the conversations that we're having."

MLB rumors: Giants bringing in Oracle Park fences, but only slightly

MLB rumors: Giants bringing in Oracle Park fences, but only slightly

The Giants promised there would be changes to the dimensions of Oracle Park, and they evidently have lived up to their word.

The fences are coming in -- but not by a ton.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle's Hank Schulman, San Francisco reportedly has marginally shortened the distance to all fields.

What about Triples Alley, you ask? Surely there must be more drastic changes to that area of Oracle Park, right?

Not really.

Six feet doesn't sound like a lot, but then again, Brandon Belt might have doubled his home-run total from last season under those dimensions. The Giants are removing the bullpen mounds from the first and third-base sidelines, and they are expected to be relocated to the extra space now created in the outfield.

[RELATED: Giants announce eight additions to Kapler's coaching staff]

So, it appears Oracle Park generally will maintain the same character, but likely will allow for more offense. Given the trouble the Giants have had in attracting free-agent hitters, perhaps the shortened dimensions will somewhat detract from its identity as a pitcher's haven.