The National League’s best team brought out the best in the Giants. More directly, it brought out the best in Tyler Beede.
The Giants rookie pitcher, in front of 42,479 fans at Dodger Stadium, in front of millions of ESPN viewers, threw his best game as a major league pitcher and got hit first career win. With some help from his defense, a solid bullpen effort and just enough offense, the Giants won their fourth in five games, 3-2 over the Dodgers on Monday.
Beede at times dazzled, at times fought but always seemed in control when he had to be, relying on a 95-mph fastball and a curveball that baffled several Dodgers.
In six innings – tying a career high – the 26-year-old worked around three hits and five walks, striking out seven, always able to get the big out when he needed it.
Will Smith’s 19th save — in 19 chances — evened the head-to-head between the rivals this year at 5-5.
Beede’s only blemish was a ball that Max Muncy pulverized in the second inning, but he got better as the night got longer. His only perfect inning came in his last one, when he struck out Chris Taylor and Kike Hernandez before getting Austin Barnes to ground out meekly. He lowered his ERA from 8.06 to 6.67, beginning to show why he was a first-round pick in 2014.
“It is all about getting that confidence, that sense of belonging up here,” manager Bruce Bochy said of Beede before the game.
Beede belonged, and so did the Giants (31-39) behind him.
Beede’s biggest trouble came in the fifth inning, when an infield single and walk put a pair on for Muncy. Muncy pulled a strong changeup toward the second-base hole, where no Giants were in their shift. Brandon Crawford raced from the shortstop hole, fielded it and spun in one motion, lobbing it to Pablo Sandoval. The first baseman fell up the first-base line to catch the ball with his foot on the base, a brilliant play from throw to catch.
But Muncy’s momentum took him right over Sandoval, appearing to stomp on his hand, and Sandoval was pinch-hit for the following inning.
His replacement, Tyler Austin, would tack a run on when Stephen Vogt’s legs came through again. The backup catcher, who tripled twice Saturday and is only playing to spell Buster Posey, hit a ground ball to first with Brandon Belt on first and Austin on second. Matt Beaty threw to second, but there was confusion over who would cover first as Vogt barreled down. No one did, and Taylor’s throw sailed by unimpeded, allowing Austin to make it 3-1 Giants.
Beede was dealing early until he encountered Madison Bumgarner’s favorite Giant. Muncy destroyed Beede’s fifth pitch of the third inning, sending it 433 feet to right to cut the lead to 2-1. It was Muncy’s 17th of the season.