In Tuesday’s 3-2 win over the Miami Marlins, the Pirates successfully utilized a bullpen game strategy, with five pitchers responsible for covering nine innings. Tyler Beede was tasked with the important role of covering the sixth and seventh innings in what was a one-run game, and did so flawlessly.
Beede didn’t allow a baserunner in either of his two frames, and he picked up a pair of punch outs to keep the Pirates out in front by a run. Beede’s stuff looked sharp, notably his fastball that was routinely hitting the upper 90s on the radar gun.
The right-hander’s fastball has increased in velocity each year he has been in the Major Leagues. When Beede first broke in, his fastball averaged 92.3 mph. This season, he’s averaging 96.1 mph on the pitch, putting him in the 85th-percentile for fastball velocity across the league.
Tuesday’s relief appearance was a continuation of the success that Beede has shown since the Pirates claimed him off waivers from the San Francisco Giants back on May 12. The right-hander has a 2.92 ERA/4.25 FIP in 24.2 innings across 14 appearances out of Pittsburgh’s bullpen so far. Beede has done a good job of keeping the ball in the park, surrendering only a pair of homeruns.
He’s especially been good in the month of July as he’s only allowed one run and one hit over five innings and has picked up five strikeouts in the process.
With the Pirates, opposing batters are only hitting .202 with a .601 OPS against him. Beede’s hard hit percentage is way down since his time with the Giants, and his ground ball rate is over 50% since putting on a Pirates uniform.
That recipe has made up for the low strikeouts totals — only 13.6% and has turned Beede into an important part of the Pirates bullpen that has had their share of struggles throughout the season.
Beede, a first round draft pick of the Giants in 2014 out of Vanderbilt, is showing the potential the Pirates saw in him when they picked him up off waivers. The move has paid off for both the Pirates and Beede, and the 29-year-old should see more opportunities pitching in big spots for the club as the season progresses.