LOS ANGELES -- The Giants faced Clayton Kershaw on Friday night and will see Walker Buehler on Sunday. In between, they got a reminder that this frightening Dodgers player development pipeline goes far beyond the names most fans already know.
Tony Gonsolin, a hard-throwing right-hander with a Jeff Samardzija vibe, started on Saturday night. In the sixth, the Dodgers turned to another rookie, Dustin May, an even-harder-throwing right-hander who looks like Carrot Top but pitches like Noah Syndergaard.
They are part of a future at Dodger Stadium that never seems to stop showing up. It's a roster the Giants will need to find a way to compete with one of these years, which is why they keep running Tyler Beede out there despite the struggles.
The 26-year-old entered the night with a 7.05 ERA over his previous eight starts, but against the best team in the National League, Beede tossed five shutout innings. A young and inexperienced bullpen did the rest and the Giants walked away with a 1-0 win.
Beede's night really came down to one sequence in the fifth, when manager Bruce Bochy showed remarkable confidence. Two singles and a walk loaded the bases ahead of MVP frontrunner Cody Bellinger, but Bochy let Beede try and figure it out, even though he had a bullpen full of fresh arms, particularly left-handed ones. As Andrew Suarez warmed up, Bellinger ended the inning.
"His stuff was still good. He's had a tough go the last seven or eight starts, so that was hopefully a big out for him to get that win and get one of the best hitters out in the game with what was at stake," Bochy said. "I just wanted to give the kid a shot there, and he came through."
Beede opened up with two balls, but then reached back for a 95 mph fastball on the outer edge. Bellinger fouled it off of Stephen Vogt's glove. The battery went to the exact same location and Beede again pumped 95, this time getting a harmless fly ball to left. He walked off the mound without watching it land in Mike Yastrzemski's glove.
"I think it was probably the pitch (Vogt) and I had the most confidence in at that point with command and location to get an out," Beede said. "He's a good fastball hitter. Very talented. To have the ability there to throw it on the corner and execute a couple fastballs was what I needed to do. I have a lot of respect for him. In that situation, going right after him was the plan. It worked out well."
The rest of the plan was one nobody could have seen coming. With Tony Watson nursing a sore hand and Will Smith down with a tight back, Bochy turned to four rookies and two left-handers who spent most of the season in Triple-A.
Shaun Anderson dominated in the sixth, getting six swinging strikes in a clean frame. Tyler Rogers and Suarez got through the seventh, with Suarez coming back out to start the eighth. Sam Coonrod and Fernando Abad also pitched in that inning, with Abad getting Bellinger to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Jandel Gustave took the ninth, and after walking the leadoff batter, he got Kiké Hernandez to bounce into a game-ending double play.
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The Giants have taken two straight against the best team in the National League and have done so using mostly inexperienced pitchers. Bochy leaned back in his chair and smiled as he talked about them. This wasn't how he ever drew it up, but it sure worked beautifully.
"Those kids just did a terrific job today against a tough lineup," he said. "They kept their poise out there and made pitches all night."