Giants

Healthy Tyler Beede shows why he's Giants' top pitching prospect

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Healthy Tyler Beede shows why he's Giants' top pitching prospect

Tyler Beede had one goal in mind when he found out he would pitch in the Arizona Fall League: stay healthy. 

"That will be my big goal for the Fall League," Beede told NBC Sports Bay Area on staying healthy back in late August. 

Beede's season in Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats was cut short due to a groin injury. He stepped back on the mound in the AFL on Oct. 25 for the first time since July 19. Coming out of the gates, Beede showed rust in his debut as he allowed five earned runs and walked three in two innings pitched. 

Then, Beede found his groove and ended on a high note with his final start on Tuesday. The Giants' top pitching prospect went five innings and allowed two earned runs with no walks and one strikeout in a no decision. Beede also rolled seven ground-ball outs and threw 44 of his 71 pitches for strikes (62 percent). 

"I was hoping to be able to pitch in the Fall League, because my thought was I was missing so much time at the end of the season I would have to make it up somehow, some way, and I wanted to so I could keep my arm in a strong position to potentially pitch more innings next year," Beede said in the same previous interview.

He did exactly that with 16 innings in the desert. Beede's shortened 2017 campaign ended at 109 innings, his lowest since the six games he pitched in after the 2014 MLB Draft. 

"It's not so much about statistics out here as it is a matter of getting more innings," Beede said Tuesday to MLB.com. "I'm feeling comfortable with where I finished up, which is exciting, for sure."

In Beede's final three starts, he pitched 14 innings and allowed three earned runs -- good for a 1.93 ERA -- and struck out 10 batters to only one walk. Take away that first start coming off injury and both Beede and the Giants have plenty of reasons to be excited about statistics too. 

As they head home for long stretch, Giants get a solid win over Dodgers

As they head home for long stretch, Giants get a solid win over Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — While dealing with multiple concussions, Brandon Belt was often forced to sit peacefully in a dark room to avoid noise and light. This latest DL stint also included some sitting in a room, but this time the focus was on visualization. 

Belt said he sat down and repeatedly told himself that he would be fine physically when he returned from an appendectomy. He needed to trust his body and his approach, and in his first at-bat back, he got validation. Belt flied out to the track in the second inning Saturday night. A day later, he cleared the wall, giving Chris Stratton insurance that would hold up in a 4-1 win over the Dodgers. 

The homer was Belt’s 12th of the season and 110th in the big leagues. It was his first without an appendix, and it came after no rehab games. 

“I knew I felt alright,” he said.”I didn’t need (rehab games). I guess there’s always a concern when you come back and try to be up to speed, but the way I felt in the cage, I figured I would be alright.”

Belt’s blast was the second of just three hits for the Giants, but they didn’t need any more than that. Nick Hundley had a two-run shot himself and Stratton battled without his best stuff, throwing six innings for a staff that needed a boost in the worst way. 

For the third time on this trip, the Giants won before taking a flight. This one is a short one and will get them back home, where they are 19-11 this season. The winning clubhouse was full of players and coaches eager to get away from hotels. 

“It’s awesome,” Belt said. “We’re through our toughest part of the schedule, I believe.”

The Giants have played 42 games on the road, the most in the majors. They’re just 16-26 away from home, and Bruce Bochy has said repeatedly that the team needs to play better on the road to have a chance at the postseason. But thats a goal the Giants can focus on in a couple of weeks. For now, they’re starting a stretch where they’ll play 20 of 26 at home. Those six road games are nearby — in Phoenix and Denver — and the three “road” games after this 26-game run are in Oakland. 

The Giants will spend just six nights away from their home beds from now until July 23. In other words, it’s go time. Despite their issues, they are just 4 1/2 games out in the National League West. This upcoming stretch will determine if they are a real contender, and could determine whether or not the front office is selling at the deadline. 

“We have a very, very good home field advantage with our fans and how well we’ve played at AT&T Park,” Hundley said. “If we’re going to win the division, we have to win at home. We know that, and we expect to win at AT&T Park and we’ll carry that confidence over to the next series.”

Belt, Hundley power Giants past Dodgers to avoid sweep in LA

Belt, Hundley power Giants past Dodgers to avoid sweep in LA

BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES — The Giants sure know how to clinch a happy flight. 

This was a road trip that should have been better, but at the very least, the players made sure they didn’t have any depressing travel experiences. They beat Max Scherzer on getaway day in Washington D.C. and won a 16-inning game on the final day in Miami. Before flying back to San Francisco for a 10-game homestand, they toppled the Dodgers 4-1 to avoid a sweep and finish the trip at 5-5. 

After scoring two-or-fewer runs in 11 consecutive games at Dodger Stadium, the Giants got to four in the first three innings Sunday. Here’s how it all went down … 

—The Giants had just two hits in five innings against lefty Caleb Ferguson. Luckily, one was a two-run homer from Nick Hundley and the other was a two-run homer from Brandon Belt. Hundley’s homer was his eighth, giving him twice as many as Buster Posey. Belt’s homer was his team-leading 12th, and first since having his appendix removed. 

— Chris Stratton gave up plenty of loud outs, but got through it. He ended up allowing just one run on three hits in six innings. The Giants have won six of Stratton’s last seven starts. 

— Quietly, Will Smith has been outstanding. He lowered his ERA to 0.96 after striking out Cody Bellinger and Yasmani Grandal and getting Yasiel Puig to fly out to right.