By Jon Weisman
Three cheers for Brandon Beachy, who no longer has to say his last Major League game was August 20, 2013.
The 28-year-old right-hander officially put his second Tommy John surgery behind him, going four innings and throwing 78 pitches tonight, before being replaced at the start of the fifth inning by Chin-hui Tsao.
His fastball ran between 88-93 mph, with his slider at 82-85 mph.
Beachy was touched up for three runs in the third inning, allowing a leadoff single to pitcher Taylor Jungmann after five foul balls and two outs later, long doubles to the left-field wall that Andre Ethier got near but couldn’t glove. (On the first, the ball ricocheted off the wall, then Ethier’s knee, then into the stands, and was ruled a ground-rule double.)
Watching Beachy, the one thing that was hard not to notice was how few swinging strikes he had. In those 78 pitches, Brewer batters swung and missed at three, taking 10 for called strikes, compared with 19 fouls and 14 put in play. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful step forward for a pitcher who has certainly put in countless hours toward making it back.
Update: Beachy was mostly unhappy with how he pitched, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com …
“I was really excited to get out there and I’m really disappointed now,” said Beachy. “It’s not the way I pictured it for 23 months, but it is what it is. It took me way too long to get settled in. I’ve just got to be better than that.
“I fought to get the ball today and didn’t back that up the way I wanted. That’s where my disappointment is.”
Said Don Mattingly: “A little bit rusty for me. But you can also see what’s there, if he gets his command where he needs it. You see the stuff there.”