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Preview: 4/10 @ Giants

We face a major-league debutant tonight, in Tyler Beede. But is that good or bad?

Kansas City Royals v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Jarrod Dyson - LF Austin Jackson - CF
Ketel Marte - 2B Brandon Belt - 1B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Andrew McCutchen - RF
A.J. Pollock - CF Buster Posey - C
Alex Avila - C Evan Longoria - 3B
Chris Owings - RF Hunter Pence - LF
Daniel Descalso - 3B Brandon Crawford - SS
Nick Ahmed - SS Kelby Tomlinson - 2B
Patrick Corbin - LHP Tyler Beede - RHP

Tyler Beede will make his major-league debut for the San Francisco Giants tonight. I therefore expect weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth in the Gameday Thread, if our hitters don’t treat him like batting practice. [See also: “Why are we making this guy look like Cy Young?” complaints, every time we face a back of the rotation starter and don’t score in the first two innings]. This conveniently forgets that even a rookie is among the couple of hundred best starting pitchers on the planet, in the top fraction of one percent at doing his job. If he were easy to hit, he wouldn’t be in the major-leagues. And he also will have the edge of unfamiliarity: few, if any, of our roster will have seen him live.

So, what does history tells up about starting pitchers making their debut against the D-backs? Beebe will be the 19th to do so, and the results are about as broad-ranging as you’d expect. The best outing - coincidentally, by tomorrow’s scheduled Giants’ starter, Johnny Cueto (though that now seems in doubt)- in April 2008, when he threw seven innings of one-hit ball, with no walks and ten strikeouts. He has made 284 starts since, and that debut is still in Cueto’s top 5% by Game Score. Others include Matt Harvey and Edwin Jackson. But people tend to forget the occasions we did indeed feast on the n00b. For instance, the time we scored seven runs in three innings against Wade Miller on his debut.

All told, the median Game Score (half above, half below) comes in at 47.5. The median Game Score across the three thousand plus games played against the D-backs since 1998 is 53, so the team has generally done a little better against first-time players. But it’s not guaranteed: four of the eighteen have still thrown a Quality Start, though this figure is still significantly lower than the 53% across all starts. The median outing over the eighteen first games is five IP, allowing five hits and two walks, striking out four and being charged with two earned runs. Bear that in mind, therefore, and anything more against Beebe tonight for the D-backs should be considered above average.