Patience key for Beeter's success; RailRiders PPD on Friday

MOOSIC — The more Clayton Beeter threw on Wednesday morning, the more he waited.

Waited for a ball in play.

Waited for something to happen.

Waited, mostly, for a swing.

Rochester hitters swing at just one of the first 18 pitches the RailRiders right-hander threw in his last start Wednesday morning against the Red Wings. But in what turned into a walk-off 5-3 win for the RailRiders, the longer stretches of patience from opponents hardly seemed like an annoyance for Beeter. He's kind of used to it, actually.

"It kind of happens a lot in Triple-A here, because of the auto zone," Beeter said with a shrug, referring to the automated balls and strikes system in use throughout Triple-A. "I mean, you've got to just show them that you're throwing strikes until that changes."

Beeter's long first inning in that outing — he threw 26 pitches and walked two batters — highlighted the one statistic that perhaps is the best indicator of his success.

When he is consistently in the strike zone,

After that first inning, 42 of his final 64 pitches were in the zone, and he was able to work around a pair of two-on, nobody out jams in the first and fourth innings. In all, Beeter allowed just two runs on two hits, walking three and striking out six, in five innings.

"It probably wasn't his best stuff of the year, but he made it through five innings only giving up two runs," RailRiders manager Shelley Duncan said. "I think you could say it was a team approach, on their part. They were extremely patient. They weren't going to give in to Beet. He earned every single out he got."

Beeter didn't relent, but he also didn't take any special feeling away from how successfully he battled. It's always better, he says, when a pitcher has his dominant stuff, and he'd know.

In the two outings for the RailRiders this season in which he didn't walk a batter, Beeter is 2-0 and allowed just two runs on seven hits over 10 innings, striking out 16 batters.

He made it look easy in those outings against Norfolk on April 13 and Durham on April 25, while Wednesday was anything but smooth sailing. However, figuring it out as he went and still keeping his team in the game taught valuable lessons for what happens on the inevitable occasions when he isn't in his most dominant form.

"I felt like I kind of had to just pitch, read the situations, kind of feel for when to try to get some weak contact and when to really go for a strikeout," he said. "I feel like when I got in those situations, I was able to do it."

Doubleheader Saturday

The RailRiders' scheduled 6:35 p.m. game Friday night against the Red Wings was postponed by the steady rain that engulfed the region.

They teams plan to continue their six-game series Saturday with a single-admission doubleheader starting at 2:05 p.m. Gates open at 1:30, and the RailRiders and Red Wings will play two seven-inning games. The first 1,000 fans through the gate Saturday will receive a RailRiders pickleball paddle.

Tickets for Friday's game can be exchanged for any remaining home game during the 2024 season, with the exception of May 22 and July 4.

Off the Rails

The RailRiders did make a roster move despite the rainout, placing left-hander Tanner Tully on the development list. The 29-year-old is 0-2 with a 5.85 ERA in seven games (four starts) this season. ... Reliever Nick Burdi was returned to the Yankees off his rehab assignment with the RailRiders. The Yankees sent right-hander Ron Marinaccio to Triple-A on Thursday to clear a big-league roster spot for Burdi. ... Friday marked the RailRiders' first postponed game since April 3 against Syracuse at PNC Field.