Giants

Tyler Beede optioned after Giants fall in series finale

Tyler Beede optioned after Giants fall in series finale

SAN DIEGO — Tyler Beede slowly buttoned up and tucked in a blue shirt and then reached down to tug on fancy brown shoes. In his locker hung a suit jacket. It was an outfit that was ready for a big league flight to the next city, but Beede won’t be on that flight. 

The rookie was optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento after Sunday’s 10-1 loss to the Padres. The Giants likely will slide Jeff Samardzija back into the rotation at some point next week, but Bruce Bochy wouldn’t go as far as confirming that Sunday. His focus was on the loss, and on giving Beede some pointers as he headed back to the minors. 

“We think he needs to go down and continue to progress and work on some things we want him to work on,” Bochy said.

The Giants want Beede to execute better when he gets to two strikes, but they also want him to be a bit more cautious early in the count. Twice in the fourth inning, Beede gave up hits on first-strike pitches that caught too much of the zone. Bochy pointed out that the Padres have a young and aggressive lineup, and part of the maturation process for the young starter facing them is to know that. 

“It’s a four-game series and you’re watching the games, and hopefully you’re aware of that,” Bochy said. “Hitters are aggressive up here with men on base. That first pitch has to be a quality pitch, too.”

Beede was charged with five earned in 3 2/3 innings. In two starts, he lasted just 7 2/3 innings, but he said he would take away as many positives as he could. 

“From this start to the last start, there was a lot of improvement with fastball command and the same thing with off-speed pitches,” he said. “It’s really just about polishing some things later in the count … my stuff plays, it’s just a matter of being more polished later in the count.”

Beede will head down with an 0-1 record, but this one wasn’t close to all on him. The Giants went 0 for 8 with runners on scoring position. They struck out nine times in their first look at young lefty Joey Lucchesi. They played lackluster defense at times, making the kind of mistakes that made one wonder if some minds were already on the off day. 

The end result was a third straight loss, and yet another series loss here at Petco Park. Since the 2016 All-Star break, when the Giants appeared to be a juggernaut, they have played here six times. They have lost five series and split the other. 

“It’s disappointing,” Bochy said. “We’ve been nicked up with this pitching staff and it showed up a little (today).”

Johnny Cueto will return Tuesday and Samardzija could be back Saturday. But there are so many other leaks that won’t be filled by changes to the rotation. With three coming against the first place Diamondbacks and then three more against the surging Angels, the Giants would be well served to plug some of them soon. 

Giants given eighth-best odds to sign Bryce Harper

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AP

Giants given eighth-best odds to sign Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper will be the hottest name on the open market this upcoming offseason. The Nationals star outfielder becomes a free agent at the end of the 2018 season and teams will be unloading their wallets to sign the former NL MVP. 

One team rumored to be in on Harper is the Giants. According to Las Vegas, though, the Giants' odds of signing Harper aren't great. In fact, they're far worse than their biggest rival, the Dodgers. 

Bovada is officially giving the Giants the eighth-best odds to land Harper at +15000, six spots behind the Dodgers who have the second-highest odds at +350. 

Through his seven-year career, Harper already has quite the history with the Giants. Well, most notably, with Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. Harper hit three home runs off the Giants in the 2014 NLDS, two coming off Strikland. Three years later, Strikland had his revenge on Harper, striking a brawl in San Francisco. 

Harper is the rare free agent who hits the open market at such a young age. He turns just 26 years old on Oct. 16 despite playing seven years in the big leagues. 

In his walk-year with Washington, Harper had quite the underwhelming start. Harper hit just .214 in the first half with an .833 OPS. He did, however, smash 23 home runs and his low batting average had much to do with a .226 BAbip. In the second half, Haper has been on fire, batting .304 with a 1.004 OPS, 11 more home runs, and a .385 BAbip. 

The six-time All-Star brings the power bat that the Giants desperately need. The Giants' top-two home run leaders -- Evan Longoria (16) and Gorkys Hernandez (15) have combined for 31 home runs. Harper alone has hit 34 this season, the second-highest of his career. 

Giants CEO Larry Baer has said the front office will "shake it up" with the roster this offseason. Adding Harper would be one strong San Francisco cocktail. 

'We'll see' on Hunter Pence, the authentic Giant no matter what

'We'll see' on Hunter Pence, the authentic Giant no matter what

When Larry Baer vaguely hinted at the Giants “shaking things up” for 2019, it was largely assumed that said shakeup probably would include Hunter Pence, one of the mainstays of TGOD.
 
The Grand Old Days.
 
But it also was largely assumed that Pence would seek what is left of his baseball fortune elsewhere because, well, he just seems like a guy who would be standing in someone’s outfield forever.
 
Instead, when asked about his future after he hit his gargantuan home run Tuesday night in San Diego, all he said was, “We’ll see.”
 
Pence isn't a “we’ll see” kind of guy. He has made his fame on being a “hell yeah!” kind of guy, and that was the very attitude that elevated him to cult status in San Francisco.
 
And that’s the other thing. It’s hard to imagine him in another uniform, even though he was an Astro and a Phillie before he went west, and typically players from other teams don’t usually get cult status in this very provincial town.
 
Oh, and don’t get your delicates in a knot with that “provincial” crack. Every sports town is provincial, and not just a little. All sports, like all politics, are first and foremost local. Pence just happened to crack San Francisco’s code with the pregame dugout speeches, and the scooter, and the goofy pre-at-bat rituals, and the gangly gait and googly eyes and Captain Underpants nickname and the Wawindaji nickname and the all-weather-carpet hair.
 
And the results. On a team that has not fielded a full complement of major-league-starter-caliber outfielders since Barry Bonds’ last year in 2007, Pence stood out through two World Series and a third playoff run. He mattered greatly at a time when the Giants were at the top of their game in making fan-base memories.
 
And now, “we’ll see.” It almost sounds like a retirement speech rehearsal, even though there are so many ways to interpret that simple two-word speech.
 
Indeed, players hate when outsiders do their retiring for them. If Pence wanted to announce that he was done, he was more than capable of forming a longer and more declarative sentence.
 
But he has established such a visceral connection with this town that imagining him anywhere else seems wrong. Signing somewhere else and then coming to sign a one-day contract “to retire as a Giant” seems inauthentic for him.
 
And for those who note that he was handsomely compensated for his time in San Francisco (which he very clearly was; a shade over $100 million), he paid it back in deeds. The books are square on Pence, and begrudging him anything is the mark of a cad.
 
So “we’ll see” it is. He’ll say more when it’s time to say more, but “we’ll see” seems perfectly sufficient for today no matter how he takes to embellish those two words.