A 20-year-old rookie. Jason Heyward got his rudest awakening yet during Friday’s extra-inning 5-4 loss to the Giants, going 0-for-5 with four strikeouts and a walk.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the San Jose Mercury news that they intended to pitch the rookie phenom “under the ground,” and they did just that, getting him to strike out four times swinging, three of them on pitches in the dirt. After Friday’s action, Heyward is hitless in his last 11 at-bats. He has an 8-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his first 17 major league at-bats.
According to what he told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Heyward understands that it’s all about adjustments from here on out:
“A game like this, if you don’t learn from it, you don’t do anyone a
favor,” said Heyward, 20. “That’s what baseball’s about. That’s what
life’s about. Adjustments. Learn from it. Be more patient. Get a feel
for the strike zone.”
Friday’s starter Jonathan Sanchez told the Chronicle that he saw a similar pattern emerge after Pablo Sandoval’s initial success:
“It’s what happened to Pablo (Sandoval) in the beginning. They were
throwing it in the dirt, and he was swinging at everything. He made
Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:
CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta
Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.
RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole
Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.