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A short modern history of Giants aces giving up a ton of runs

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Tyler Beede joins an exclusive group of recently great Giants pitchers who gave up 8+ runs in a single start.

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
“Do you think I should try not giving up home runs?”
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Last night, future Giants ace Tyler Beede made his 2019 MLB debut, and while I wasn’t able to catch the game, I’m sure it went great!

/checks box score

Okay, it was bad awful horrific disastrous exactly what you’ve come to expect from this team these days not great. After a strong Spring Training followed by 22 2/3 IP of 1.99 ERA ball in Sacramento, Beede was called up yesterday to replace the injured Derek Holland, but more importantly, he was here to show us all that he’s finally ready to live up to his first-round pedigree.

He did not do that. With a line of 8 ER in 2 1/3 IP, including two massive three-run homers to Derek Dietrich, Beede’s first start in a Giants uniform this season does not bode well for either him or the team.

But that got me to thinking: What other recent Giants aces have given up 8+ runs in a start, and what do their examples portend for Beede?

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and see what we find!

Matt Cain, April 18, 2008: 3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 4 SO, 9 ER

Playing in the undersized market of St. Louis, Matt Cain got off to a rocky start, giving up a leadoff walk to Skip Schumaker and a ground-rule double to Chris Duncan. A groundout by Albert Pujols brought in a run, but Cain recovered by inducing a pop fly and a strikeout. He coasted through the second inning only to give up a two-run home run in the third, also to Chris Duncan. Not the best showing so far, but hey, there was plenty of time to recover.

And then the fourth inning happened.

After a strikeout, a single, and another strikeout on a missed bunt by the pitcher, Cain followed up with this series of misery: double, single, walk, home run, double, for a total of five runs. Second-year Giants manager Bruce Bochy finally showed mercy and brought in Erick Threets, who definitely isn’t a made-up player. Threets subsequently gave up a walk and a double, tacking on another run to Cain’s line.

The cherry to this horse-flavored sundae was that the opposing pitcher was none other than Todd Wellemeyer, who threw a solid game of 7 IP and gave up only 1 ER. He would sign with the Giants two years later out of pity, just in time for the first dose of EYBS.

As for Cain, he would recover nicely from his personal Hindenburg, putting together a solid year and finishing the season on a strong note, with 20 IP and only 4 ER over his last three starts. (Of course, he lost two of those three starts.) More importantly, Cain was never bad again and played great for the rest of his career. haha *sob*

Tim Lincecum, June 13, 2007: 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 6 SO, 7 ER

Here’s a fun fact: Timmy has given up eight runs four separate times (though he technically only gave up 7 ER in one of those starts). But none of those games quite fit the narrative I’m going for, so I’m opting for this one instead, even though it doesn’t fit my criteria and you know what, YOU can shut up!

The year was 2007, and Lincecum was just a doe-eyed, gangly, reefer-smoking weirdo who had nasty stuff and carried the promise of a future we could only imagine. He was called up in early May, struggling a little bit in his first start but settling in after that.

And then, like some kind avian menace from a Hitchcock film, the Toronto Blue Jays squawked their way into San Francisco and evilly pecked away at our hopes and dreams.

The game started on a similar note to Cain’s: Lincecum gave up a leadoff single to Howie Clark, who proceeded to steal second. A wild pitch allowed Clark to advance to third, and then a Matt Stairs’ groundout brought him in. But Lincecum settled down, and he breezed through the second inning. He ran into some trouble in the third (a walk and a single, followed by two sacrifice flies), but minimized the damage to one run. Again, there was plenty of time to recover and turn in a solid or even great start.

And then the fourth inning happened.

A walk, steal, and single led to the first run of the inning. Three more singles brought in two more runs. Lincecum gave up a walk, and first-year Giants manager Bruce Bochy saw enough. He brought in Randy Messenger, who is probably real. Messenger gave up another single to future Giant left fielder Aaron Hill, tagging another run to Timmy’s line. The Giants would ultimately lose 7-4.

But hey, it turned out okay! Lincecum would follow up his 2007 season with back-to-back Cy Youngs, and one year after that, he would pump a single, glorious finger into the air while sitting on the shoulders of Giants.

More importantly, Lincecum was never bad again and he played great for the rest of his career. haha *sob*

But neither Lincecum or Cain’s performances would match the horror that was to come.

Madison Bumgarner, June 21, 2011: 1/3 IP, 9 H, 0 BB, 1 SO, 8 ER

I think we all remember where we were on June 21, 2011. I certainly remember. I was at my parents’ home, watching the Giants face the Minnesota Twins on my laptop, alone in my room and soon alone with my grief. The starter that night was a promising behemoth of a man: Madison Bumgarner, World Series-hero-in-training. After an extremely rough April that would take even T.S. Eliot aback, Bumgarner strung together 10 quality starts before the June Swoon decided enough was enough.

The play-by-play reads like how a scratched CD playing “Who Let the Dogs Out” sounded (you know, when CDs were a thing): single, double, single, double, single, double, single, double. Opposing pitcher Carl Pavano thankfully ended the madness by striking out, but Ben Revere picked it up again instantly by hitting another double. Fifth-year Giants manager Bruce Bochy finally caved, bringing in Guillermo Mota to finish off the first inning.

Of course, Bumgarner would have the last laugh, easily stymieing the Twins three years later on his way to single-handedly winning a World Series. And just like Lincecum and Cain, Bumgarner was never bad again and he played great for the rest of his career. haha *sob?*

All of this is to show that giving up 8 ER in one start is no big deal, and if anything, it’s just a sign that fame and glory is in the cards for Beede. Better luck next time, #FutureGiantsAce.