Tyler Beede shows why Giants excited about future despite early exit

Tyler Beede shows why Giants excited about future despite early exit

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. 

[RELATED: Pedro Martinez calls Barry Bonds 'perfect']

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.”

Ex-Giant Javier Lopez recalls vivid details about facing Barry Bonds

Ex-Giant Javier Lopez recalls vivid details about facing Barry Bonds

It took more than a decade, but in 2015, Chase Utley finally got a hit off of Javier Lopez. In their 24th matchup, Utley hit a ball off Lopez's spikes and it rolled into left field, allowing Utley to reach second.

"He asked me to sign the ball while he was staring at me at second base," Lopez said. "We had a little laugh about it."

Their first matchup came all the way back in 2004, when Utley was with the Phillies and Lopez was in his second big-league season with the Rockies. Utley hit into a double play, and it never got any easier. He finished his career with one hit in 23 at-bats against Lopez, with 13 of those outs coming on the ground.

On this week's Giants Insider Podcast, Lopez said Utley was his favorite matchup among contemporaries. But over his entire career, the moment that really stood out in a left-on-left matchup came against a fellow Giant. Lopez soaked up Barry Bonds highlights while coming through the minors and got to face Bonds in his second month in the big leagues. 

Former Giant Bobby Estalella -- Lopez said the massive catcher's nickname was Chestalella -- was behind the plate for the Rockies and came running out to the mound when Bonds walked up. 

"I think he could tell my heart was beating through my jersey. He was like, 'Alright, calm down, just stay with me the entire time. We're going to throw breaking balls, the slower the better, because he cannot stay back. He's a tremendous hitter but he struggles with that pitch,'" Lopez recalled. "I was like, 'Whatever you put down I'm going to throw.' I remember I threw a fastball and they called it a ball and I'm walking back to the mound, I lick my fingers, I'm rubbing the ball, and Barry Bonds has not left the box. That was his thing, standing in there and just kind of wiggling his bat. I was like, 'Oh boy, here we go.'"

Lopez threw a couple of sliders and got a strike Bonds didn't like. Then he tried a fastball up-and-in and watched as Bonds pulled a missile foul. First baseman Todd Helton looked at him with a clear signal in his eyes: Don't throw that pitch again. Lopez went back to his sweeping breaking ball and Bonds swung through it and headed back to the dugout. Lopez watched him go. 

"I'm staring at Barry Bonds not because I'm some cool stud," he said. "I'm just like, 'That's Barry Bonds and I just got him out."

They faced off nine more times before Bonds retired, with the home run king picking up a double and two singles, but no bombs. Lopez struck Bonds out three times overall, something that naturally came up years later when they were both affiliated with the Giants. He recalled telling Bonds he had punched him out three times. Bonds asked how many times he homered and was told it never happened. 

"That's because you threw that sidearm cheating stuff," he replied. 

Lopez had his own legendary Giants career and is now one of the team's broadcasters. Bonds works for the team as an advisor and spends time with players in spring training. Lopez said the two still laugh about their matchups whenever they get together. 

[RELATED: Latest MLB proposal would have big impact on Giants veterans]

"He's such a great player," Lopez said. "Just to know that he's a small chapter in my book, my strikeout book -- it's a very short book -- but it's nice that he's got a page in it."

For more from Lopez on his big league memories, the current MLB proposal to the Players Association and his excellent walk-up songs, you can download the Giants Insider Podcast here or stream it here: 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Field to Table: Garlic fries recipe for making Oracle Park treat from home

Field to Table: Garlic fries recipe for making Oracle Park treat from home

There's nothing like the smell of garlic fries that greets you when you walk into Oracle Park.

With Giants baseball on indefinite hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, what better way to pass the time than make garlic fries at home?

NBC Sports Bay Area has teamed up with to create the "Field to Table" cooking show, where we'll attempt to cook our favorite ballpark treats from home.

Giants studio host Kelli Johnson, Giants insider Alex Pavlovic and "Shelter on Base/Triples Alley" member Anthony Garcia all attempt to make the Oracle Park delicacy from scratch in the debut show of "Field to Table."

Check out the video above for the recipe and to see their cooking skills on display.

Receive $25 off a $100-or-more order on by using the promo code "NBCSPORTS"