There was a time when the Giants could wait for Tyler Beede to develop. That time was before the trade deadline came and went without Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith sporting different uniforms.
If the Giants want to tell themselves they are competing for October baseball, it’s difficult to continue to trot out a pitcher who has stopped giving them a chance.
Beede was dismal for a fourth straight start and the Giants’ offense overslept, waking up too late and turning their nine-game homestand into a losing one with a 9-5 defeat to the A’s in front of 39,511 at Oracle Park on Wednesday.
The Giants fell back below .500 (60-61) and trail by four games for the second NL wild card, with the Cardinals yet to play Wednesday. They concluded their run at home on a sour note, going 4-5 before starting a nine-game trip in Arizona. They’ll then play the Cubs and finally the A’s — finishing up the Bay Bridge Series — and it will be interesting to see if they still have relevant games left at Oracle Park this season.
If they want to stay in the hunt, something has to change with Beede. The 26-year-old rookie, whose season thus far has been more about progress than results, is regressing. The former first-round pick couldn’t record an out in the fifth inning, giving up four runs in four innings on eight hits with five strikeouts.
Offensively, apart from Kevin Pillar’s two hits, the Giants were no-hit through seven against a struggling Homer Bailey. They attacked the Oakland bullpen and scored five in the eighth to breathe life into the park, but the energy didn’t change the outcome.
Mike Yastrzemski’s three-run homer was the big blow in the frame. They brought both Alex Dickerson – who was activated before the game – and Pillar to the plate as the potential tying runs, but Dickerson had an RBI groundout and Pillar, against stud A’s reliever Liam Hendriks, struck out to end the threat.
For Beede, this is more than a blip. In his past five starts, Beede has allowed 22 runs and 40 hits in 23 1/3 innings. His ERA has skyrocketed from 4.70 to 5.77. The Giants, who are 7-1 in the past eight Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Samardzija starts, have lost Beede’s past five.
It’s expected Dereck Rodriguez will pitch Thursday and possibly Logan Webb on Saturday. Whether Beede makes his next rotation turn is in doubt.
It was the soft ones – a Bailey swinging bunt – and the hard ones – a Matt Olsen shot off the “G” in Levi’s Landing in right field, a Matt Chapman two-run homer to center, his first of two – that victimized him. Even a few of Beede’s outs were made at the warning track, with the A’s jumping on Beede from the onset. He didn’t pitch a clean inning until the fourth, and it was his only one.
Until the eighth, the Giants’ offense matched Beede, at least in tone. Against Bailey – who entered play with a 9.78 ERA in his past four starts – they were clueless. No Giant reached second base against the veteran.
Bailey went seven scoreless, two-hit innings, walking one and striking out seven. Brandon Belt was back at the top of the lineup and went 0-for-4 with a walk, 3-for-30 (.100) in his past nine games. Crawford managed a rare single, but is still 7-for-48 (.146) with one extra-base hit (a double) in his past 14 games.
Dickerson’s return is welcomed for a team that needs it. Is starting pitching help on tap, too?