Manny Machado

Tyler Beede's growing confidence on display in Giants' win vs. Padres

Tyler Beede's growing confidence on display in Giants' win vs. Padres

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tyler Beede resurrected his career this spring by cutting his repertoire down to three pitches, but on Tuesday, Statcast caught two that fell in between his fastball and changeup. Beede smiled when asked if he was throwing a slider again.

"Thank you for noticing," he said. 

The pitch didn't do any damage, but it tells you a bit about where Beede and the Giants are right now that he even felt comfortable changing it up in a game. The Giants are willing to give their young right-hander a long audition, no matter what the ERA says, and Beede is going into each start with the confidence that he can work to get better, not just try to hold on to a big league job. 

The final line in a 6-5 win over the Padres on Tuesday might not show improvement at first glance: 4 2/3 innings, 4 earned runs. But this might have been Beede's most encouraging start of the season, in large part because of a stretch that shows exactly why the Giants are still so excited about the former first-rounder. 

Beede retired 11 straight after a rough start, seven of the outs coming on strikeouts. He mixed an overpowering fastball with a good curve, and briefly dominated a good lineup without really needing his changeup, which often is his best pitch. 

"It does a lot for me," Beede said. "Coming into this game, I wanted to attack these guys with my stuff. Coming out, I know my stuff plays."

There is work to do, still. Ultimately this game is about recording outs, and while Beede suffered from some bad luck, he didn't help his cause by opening the fifth with a walk as he held a two-run lead. But after a comeback win, the Giants were able to feel a bit better about a young player who hopes to be part of the future here. 

"He just looked determined to not let it get away from him this time, and he did a great job of that," manager Bruce Bochy said. 

Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a homer on the first pitch of the night and the Padres put runners on the corners with one out in the first inning, but Beede got out of the jam and cruised into the fifth. On a rare 85-degree night at Oracle Park, he showed the kind of raw stuff that the Giants don't have elsewhere in their rotation. His fastball averaged 94.6 mph and maxed out at 96.1. He blew a 95 mph heater past Manny Machado to end the third and got Wil Myers, a notorious masher at Oracle Park, on the same pitch. 

Beede used his curveball as his out pitch for five of his seven strikeouts.

"As I was going, I was able to see that the curve was a pitch I could land and use to expand in and out of the zone," he said. "I felt comfortable using the heater to get ahead."

The fastball took center stage at the end. Two infield singles pushed a run across in the fifth, but Beede still had a chance to get back to the dugout with the lead and a shot at his first big league win. 

With two outs, Machado saw 12 pitches, fouling seven of them off. Beede reached back for 96 mph on his 93rd pitch of the night and Machado fouled it straight back. The next 3-2 offering came in at 95, and that, too, was fouled back. A changeup dipped too far inside and Beede's night was done, the bases loaded as the rookie yelled into his glove.  

"I threw the kitchen sink at him," Beede said. "I didn't want to throw him a cookie down the middle. He won that at-bat."

[RELATED: Giants expect Posey back in lineup Wednesday vs. Padres]

The Giants trailed a few moments later when the Padres somehow scored two on a grounder back to the mound. But San Francisco rallied with three runs in the seventh. Third base coach Ron Wotus may have been the unlikely star of the sequence. When Evan Longoria rocketed a ball into the left-field corner, Wotus aggressively sent the trail runner, Joe Panik, to the plate. Panik looked like he would be out by 10 feet, but Tatis Jr.'s throw skipped and the run scored. 

"That's aggressive there and it worked out great," Bochy said. "That's a great job by Ronnie."

Former Giant Aubrey Huff compares himself favorably to Manny Machado

Former Giant Aubrey Huff compares himself favorably to Manny Machado

With spring training starting, it's only natural for former MLB players to wax-poetic about their playing days.

That's fine. Reminisce. Tell stories. Show off those old battle scars.

Just don't take it too far -- like Aubrey Huff did on Twitter on Wednesday.

The former Giant has gotten himself into some hot water on the social network in the past, and while this was certainly a different situation, his decision to place himself in direct comparison to new Padres third baseman Manny Machado was ... ill-conceived.

Machado dominated the sports headlines after reportedly agreeing to a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres on Tuesday morning. One day later, Huff couldn't resist:

Look, we get it. That's a lot of money. Machado's reported contract would be the second largest in the history of baseball.

But, really Aubrey? You want to go there?

Say what you want about how Machado isn't worth $300 million, and you might have a point. But the idea that he and Huff having a few similar hitting stats over their first seven seasons is somehow indicative of them being similar talents is downright laughable.

Laughable, like if you pulled a thong out of ... nevermind.

It's due to comparisons such as the one Huff made that the world of baseball analytics even got started. When limiting ourselves to just home runs, RBIs, and other base hitting stats, we don't get the whole picture. This isn't breaking news.

So, what do the more advanced statistics indicate when comparing Huff and Machado's first seven seasons -- the ones that factor in the totality of a player's value?

Let's introduce you to the concept of WAR, Aubrey. Clearly, you haven't been paying enough attention to baseball since you walked off not-so-quietly into the night.

WAR, or 'Wins Above Replacement' is an attempt to summarize a player's total contributions to their team in one statistic. It's not the end-all, be-all stat, but generally, it gives you a good idea of who was good, who wasn't and to what degree, relative to the average replacement player that season.

As you'll see, when it comes to WAR, there isn't even a comparison:

Due to Machado's contributions in many of the non-hitting areas of the game -- such as fielding, baserunning, etc. -- the newest Padre was worth almost three times as many wins above replacement as Huff over their first seven seasons.

In fact, given that their base hitting stats were similar, a comparison of their dWAR -- Defensive Wins Above Replacement -- shows just how dissimilar Huff and Machado were in that facet of the game.

Over his first seven seasons, Huff posted a cumulative dWAR of -6.0; that's to say that his team would have accumulated six more wins with the average replacement player in Huff's place. Over Machado's first seven seasons, he posted a cumulative dWAR of 11.3.

In fact, in all of Huff's 13 MLB seasons, he never posted a positive dWAR. Machado has never posted a negative dWAR up to this point in his career.

[RELATED: Giants react to Machado's reported agreement with Padres]

Machado has appeared in 926 career games, playing either third base or shortstop -- arguably the two premier defensive positions -- in every single one. Huff played nearly half of his games over his first seven seasons -- 48.6 percent -- at DH or one of the corner outfield spots.

Any way you look at it -- well, other than the way Huff did -- Machado has been a far superior player over his first seven seasons in the league. And, based on his track record and age, there's hardly reason to expect Machado's production to fall off drastically after leaving the bandbox that has been the AL East.

Huff was right about one thing.

This was a fun comparison for at least one MLB fan.

MLB rumors: Giants are still 'in the picture' to sign Bryce Harper

MLB rumors: Giants are still 'in the picture' to sign Bryce Harper

If Bryce Harper hasn't signed by the time you sit down for dinner Tuesday night, in the words of Ace Ventura:

Just wait longer.

The first major free agency domino fell Tuesday morning with the San Diego Padres reportedly giving Manny Machado a 10-year, $300 million contract, setting the table for Harper to sign shortly thereafter.

Or so we thought.

Harper eventually will sign somewhere, but it won't be with Machado in San Diego, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

Now, for that last little bit ...

"In the picture." OK. Is that the foreground, or the background? The red, or the white?

(I can never remember that).

Harper is widely expected to command a salary that exceeds Machado's, and thus far, the Giants have given no indication that they are willing to approach anything close to upwards of $300 million.

Still, the NL West just added another superstar, to a team with one of the best young cores in the league. The Dodgers show no signs of slowing down, and both the Diamondbacks and the Rockies are liable to surprise within any given season.

Could Tuesday's developments compel Farhan Zaidi and the Giants' brass to change course and offer Harper a huge number? After Machado got $300 million, that's assuredly what it would take.

[RELATED: Giants react to Machado's reported agreement with Padres]

We don't know how far out the Giants are on the periphery of the Harper picture, but at the very least, it appears they're still in the running, to some degree.

When Harper puts pen to paper is anyone's guess. It might be minutes. It might be hours. Heck, Harper could take the first two months off and show up in June. The baseball season is plenty long enough, as is.

Need some help passing the time?

Might I suggest an extremely quotable movie.