Padres feed as Beck serves
In any case, there was some prankery at the start of the game.
In the first inning, Wilmer Flores got a no-hitter off Michael Wacha of the San Diego Padres, who temporarily maintained the high spirits of the previous 7-2 victory. The home run was Flores’ twentieth of the game, setting a season-best for an individual player. Flores was also the first player on the 2023 San Francisco Monsters to reach the milestone.
Additionally, with the arrival of Kyle Harrison (who is scheduled to pitch on Saturday) and Tristen Beck’s career-defining performance against the Overcomes (4.1 IP – 3 H, 3 ER, 5K on 8/27), San Francisco was beginning to have a cautiously optimistic but nonetheless cautious outlook on having to some extent a beginning pivot once again.
On April 20th, Beck gave his presentation, and ever since then, he has been an innings eater. It is an unpleasant task to do in a club, frequently after the damage has been repaired. Oversight of the most audacious counteraction. That seems to have clouded my perception of Beck, the pitcher who always seems to be on the mound when the Monsters are behind or extended.
However, after reviewing his game records, Beck has proven to be very effective on the hill. He has, in fact, been helpless against severe travels. serving rather than pitching. We witnessed that when the Beams tagged him for 10 hits and 5 runs over the course of more than 3 innings. In your first season in a while, you should work harder to avoid the compounding issue. Our key lies in mid-game adjustments, and Beck is still acquiring a feel for the group. He has made a notable amount of appearances, and his Statcast-like stats appear to be more positive than bad, particularly in relation to his routine details and avoiding harsh contact.
However, in his second professional beginning, those figures took a hit.
Before I anticipate a gathering of family members who traveled down the 15 from Crown to watch him pitch, Beck took the hill. It was immediately clear that Beck was serving rather than pitching; however, there was little slicing to the guardians in the stands on the broadcast and no happy toe-bobbing from friends and family as it was in Kyle Harrison’s comeback because there wasn’t much of a chance either.
Fernando Tatis Jr. responded to Flores’ grand slam in the first inning with one of his own, jumping on a first-pitch slider and slamming it off the wall in right field that had been pulled in. The difference between their grand slams is that El Nino’s was immediately followed by another speedster on base.
The very next at-bat, Juan Soto sent a 2-strike sweeper over the centerfield wall. In just ten pitches, San Diego scored three runs. Four of the six balls in play exited the bat faster than 95 mph, and all three of the lead-off hits were barrels.
Beck typically mixes a strong slider and fastball, then throws his sweeper 20% of the time. He increased his sweeper rate while decreasing his straight slider from 35% to 12% against San Diego. The new combination was unquestionably ineffective, to the point where Mike Krukow speculated loudly in the second whether Beck was tilting his pitches. The San Diego hitters just recently showed signs of foreknowledge.
After Fernando Tatis crushed the nibbling slider over the right field wall in the first inning, hitters essentially stopped using it. Luis Campusano followed his usual course of action and singled in the Padre’s fifth run the only other time he intentionally threw the ball into the zone. A pitch with a personality emergency down the middle to a Significant Leaguer won’t go well, as the sweeper in the early innings hauled and came in a level like a bend.
Execution was the most important factor. When he had influence, Beck didn’t make any persuasive contributions on 2-strike counts. Trent Grisham received a second-inning curveball that was low, but with a 0-2 count, the pitch shouldn’t have entered the strike zone. It did, and the outfielder caught it to score the fourth run for the Padres. The final pitch Beck threw was a sluggish sweeper that hovered over the center of the plate and was again a 0-2 build-up to a late hit-up by Matthew Secure. Secure, who had two RBIs and a 6-1 lead, nearly lined it over the left field wall.
Only one of the 25 swings the Cushions attempted against Beck ended in failure. Over the young righty’s 2.2 innings of work, they scored 6 quick spikes in demand for 9 hits. This one was a complete disaster, albeit it might have been less disastrous if he had performed in certain high-influence situations. He grounded a ball to second base in the third inning that could have ended the inning with a double play, but Thairo Estrada booted the ball and miraculously recovered to still score the go-ahead run. Nevertheless, the Padres made 2 more runs as a result of the poorly opened door.
Michael Wacha and his change-up against San Francisco batters appeared to be effective throughout 6 innings with a sizable lead. Anything that could have led to more opportunities for the offense was suppressed or reduced to a single run count.
Brandon Crawford narrowly missed a 2-RBI double in the fourth that would have given the Goliaths a 3-point lead, but Grisham found it in the hole in the right neighborhood, forcing the Monsters to settle for a penalty.
Estrada’s odd day continued in the sixth inning with two sprinters on when he was called up on a strike-3 call that clearly made me wheeze as I sat alone in silence in front of my television. Spear Barrett, the home plate umpire, had been incredibly friendly to the pitchers all night long, but this one really stole the cake and shifted the focus back to Wacha.
The next time up, Crawford would single, their only hit with runners on base, but it took an unusually difficult pitch for Mike Yastrzemski to score. With the bases loaded, Swim Meckler worked the count completely. He received a fastball over the strike zone that might have been ball 4, but Meckler had to make a play because he was aware of Barrett’s formless strike zone. He sprang the ball, and Wacha walked off the mound after allowing 2 unannounced spikes in demand that led to 6 singles, 2 walks, and 6 strikeouts over the course of 6 innings pitched.
When a grounder skipped through Estrada’s legs with two outs in the sixth, San Diego scored their eighth run. In any scenario, the Monsters might have brought the binds to the plate right after the reliever. Blake Sabol and LaMonte Swim Jr. were hit by Scott Barlow after Estrada and Crawford received two singles from him, scoring the third run for the Monsters.
Wilmer Flores started pitching to the tying run when the bases were loaded. The first inning had long since passed by that point. In line with his previous performance, Flores was unable to connect for number 21, instead forming a double play to conclude the game.
How might this experience impact the Monsters’ hopes and expectations for their pivot? Is Tristan Beck someone they can rely on to set the tone of every fifth game, especially in this close competition for Trump card spots?
I think he already has enough “stuff” and isn’t damaged by giving up free bases. His low tendency to strike out is concerning for a starter. He has the ingredients, yet the dish isn’t quite right. He definitely suffered from area errors in this one, and his offspeed made him unsurprising. In such late counts, does he need to use his fastball more? Beck needs time in the kitchen, which should be obvious, and if San Francisco was not in conflict, he and Keaton Winn would get it. Both are unique situations, and the group must be quite adamant in order to obtain a Trump card.
The Monsters will not get by on guarantees at this point in the season; they need results, and they want them as soon as possible.