SAN FRANCISCO -- As Giants starter Tyler Beede walked off the field in the fourth inning, Bruce Bochy tried to crack a joke to cheer him up.
“You know you’ve got a no-hitter here?” Bochy said.
It didn’t matter. Beede felt enough in his left side that the Giants sent him for an MRI after an 8-3 win over the Rockies. It was a terrible break for a young pitcher who looked poised to finish his rookie year on a very high note.
Beede had seven strikeouts and had not allowed a hit when he threw a pitch past Ryan McMahon and then grabbed his oblique. He was pulled after 53 pitches, his season-ending an hour or so earlier than hoped.
“It’s too bad. Really, what a bad break,” Bochy said. “That’s as good as stuff as he’s thrown all year. He was really locked in.”
The injury brought an unfortunate end to an up and down season.
The Giants moved last year's breakthroughs -- Dereck Rodriguez and Andrew Suarez -- to the bullpen early on. Shaun Anderson, who had a promising first half, has finished his rookie year as a late-innings reliever. Beede did the same last year in the minors, and there were points in this second half when it seemed he was headed for the bullpen.
Bochy would say "we'll talk about what we're going to do," and occasionally the rotation included a TBA. But then you'd see Beede taking batting practice with the starters, or throwing his regular bullpen session, and he would be back out there in turn.
"I think it's obvious there was a commitment there to Tyler. That, hey, we're going to give you every opportunity to prove you can pitch up here and also to help him improve," Bochy said. "Sure there were some growing pains, but it's gotten so much better."
That commitment was not because Beede is a former first-round pick. This is a new regime, one not beholden to previous draft picks. It was pretty simple. Beede has the repertoire to be a frontline starter, and the Giants are going to give him every chance to stick in the rotation long-term.
That stuff was on display from the start Thursday. Beede was sitting 95-96 with a fastball that maxed out at 98 mph this season. He threw his curveball 19 times and got six swinging strikes. With how good those two pitches were, Beede didn't even try his changeup, which at times is his best offering.
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Beede finished his season with a 5.08 ERA but that’s not how the Giants will evaluate him.
“If you look at the numbers you say it hasn’t been a great year, but I think you look at the most recent work,” Bochy said. “Atlanta, they got him for some long balls, but even in that game he threw strikes. He’s going out there and attacking hitters. You saw what he can do with that kind of stuff.”