LAWRENCEVILLE -- Smiling says it all.
After his first start since soreness derailed his comeback from offseason Tommy John surgery, Brandon Beachy appeared, at the very least, content with his three innings.
"(I wanted to) go out there and try to throw some strikes and just get comfortable out there on the mound again and I felt like I did that after the first batter," Beachy said. "But I am pretty happy, I am feeling good and healthy. That's the goal."
Over the three innings, Beachy allowed two runs off of three hits. Beachy bookended his night with his only walk and strikeout and threw 29 of his 45 pitches for strikes. He didn't know how high his velocity climbed.
"I felt (my velocity) was OK, I threw a couple by guys," Beachy said, "but most of that is if I am hitting spots I probably get a few more of those."
Pitching for the first time since June 13, Beachy walked the first batter he faced. He threw four pitches to Cedar Grove graduate Xavier Avery each progressively more out of the strike zone for the game-opening walk.
"The first batter, you just kind of get a little amped up," Beachy said. "You can't really simulate that in the bullpen. I just have to be out there on the mound to get used to that and overcome it and get through that first inning."
He threw his first strike to L.J. Hoes as Avery stole second. Hoes grounded out and then trouble hit. Henry Urrutia doubled on a hard liner off the center field wall and Danny Valencia followed with the second RBI double of the inning, this one down the left field line. Beachy retired the next two batters, one a line-out to second, the other on a soft ground ball to first, to end his first inning without any more damage. He threw 13 of his 23 pitches for strikes.
"After the first batter, I gave up a couple of doubles, but those were pitches that I was happy with," Beachy said. "They were in decent spots and I did pretty much what I wanted them to do and they hit the ball hard."
Beachy's control returned in the second inning. The right-hander threw 11 of his 14 pitches for strikes and retired the Tides in order. He did get some help on a runner's interference call for the first out on a ground ball to third by Yamaico Navarro. The out call drew the ire of Norfolk manager Ron Johnson, who argued for a few minutes on the field. The final two batters flew out gently to the outfield.
Beachy gave up a single to Avery to start his third inning of work and Avery again stole second but was called out after he over-slid second base. With the bases empty, Beachy retired the next two batters on a soft fly ball to right and his only strikeout of the outing, baffling Urrutia with a breaking ball.
But Beachy, who last pitched in the major leagues June 16, 2012, smiled afterward because of how he felt: Healthy. What the future holds, he'll wait and see.
"We'll see how I feel tomorrow and we'll go from there and hopefully for the best," Beachy said. "To wake up tomorrow and feel good. That's the goal. I am going to wake up tomorrow and see how I feel. (The Braves) will let me know after that."