SAN DIEGO — Logan Webb and Alex Cobb are the rocks of the Giants’ pitching rotation. Kyle Harrison is a shooting star after a flawless launch to his MLB career.
Beyond that? The Giants’ very public experiment in pitching strategy has stretched into September.
Tristan Beck took his second consecutive turn in the starting rotation on Friday night against the Padres, and he didn’t bring any further certainty about how the Giants will handle games when the Big Three don’t start. Beck was hit hard for 2 2/3 innings in a 7-3 loss at Petco Park that left the Giants in a tie with the D-backs for the third and final NL Wild Card spot.
Beck, a 27-year-old rookie, pitched to a 3.34 ERA in 28 relief appearances before he made his first MLB start on Sunday. That went well enough — 4 1/3 innings, three runs in a Giants victory over the powerhouse Braves — to earn the right-hander another look as a starter.
Whether there will be a third look is uncertain after Beck faced 17 Padres batters and struck out none of them while yielding nine hits, six runs and two home runs. Of the 17 balls put in play against him, eight were hit hard (95+ mph exit velocity, per Statcast).
“If he starts the next time through, it’s because we think it gives us the best chance to win,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “If we open in front of him or he pitches in a multiple-inning role, it’s because that’s what gives us the best chance to win. It won’t be because he didn’t have a good outing tonight.”
For big chunks of the season, Kapler has employed spot starters, openers and straight-up bullpen games to cover holes in the rotation. It has gone on for so long that the non-traditional approach is the new normal, to a degree.
“I’m not too sure what it’s going to look like down the stretch,” Beck said. “But with our two guys at the top — Cobb and Webb — I like our chances.”
Kapler attributed Beck’s rough night to poor location on his breaking pitches. Beck pointed to “pitch execution.” The Padres attacked with such gusto that TV broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow wondered aloud about possible tipped pitches as the game unfolded.
Beck said he didn’t think he was tipping pitches, but he didn’t entirely dismiss the notion.
“That’s something I’ll go look at,” Beck said. “They didn’t have very many uncomfortable pitches that they saw, whether they were swings or non-swings. I did feel like they were kind of on my stuff all day.”
The Giants faced a 6-1 deficit when Beck departed. They subsequently showed why they’re in the playoff hunt come September by competing until the 27th out. They got the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning in the form of Wilmer Flores, who opened the game’s scoring with his career-best 20th home run.
Though Flores grounded into a game-ending double play against reliever Scott Barlow, he was anything but dispirited.
“It’s like 2021, playing meaningful games in September,” Flores said.
Said Kapler: “The great thing about September, as we turn the page and move into this month, this is when players start to recognize they’re going to do everything they possibly can to help us win games. Independent of their role, independent of their situation, it’s a great time to be selfless.”
Count Beck in that group. He was concerned only about how his performance Friday affected the playoff race, not how it might affect his role.
“We know they’re crunching the numbers and trying to give us the best chance to have success,” Beck said. “It can be tough doing different roles, and such different roles. Physically, mentally, it’s a little different. But there’s definitely confidence coming from the fact that when they give you the ball, it’s the best opportunity to succeed.
“It’s unfortunate when it doesn’t go your way, like tonight. But in the long run, it’s been great for us.”
2023-09-02 06:22:30 , "Page Arizona" – Vivrr Local