In baseball, sometimes the smallest plays can have a significant impact on the game. In this breakdown, we’ll delve into how Andrew Heaney’s pitch mix transformation turned his career around and made him a formidable force on the mound. We’ll explore how his new slider pitch has revolutionized his game and discuss the science behind its effectiveness.
The Lucky Break and Run-Scoring Triple
It all starts with a curious play involving the New York Mets’ Nimmo at the plate. With a 2-2 count, Nimmo hits a foul ball that ends up becoming a run-scoring triple. At first glance, this may seem like a stroke of luck, but let’s break it down.
– Heaney’s Throwaway: The ball was initially heading foul, but Heaney decided to play it, and his throw ended up turning the foul ball into a triple.
– Fielder’s Touch Matters: In baseball, it only matters where the ball is when the fielder touches it. Freeman, the first baseman, was signaling to let the ball go, as it would have likely gone foul if left untouched.
– Mets Take the Lead: This play led to a run for the Mets, showcasing how a seemingly insignificant decision can have a considerable impact on the game’s outcome.
Lindor and Alonso’s Battle
Next, we witness an intriguing battle between Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso at the plate. Lindor advises Alonso to expect a slider, and after a few pitches, Alonso gets the pitch he’s been waiting for. Unfortunately, he misses it, leading to an exciting sequence of events.
Heaney’s Pitch Mix Transformation
Now, let’s focus on the main highlight: Andrew Heaney’s pitch mix transformation, which has significantly improved his performance. Here’s how it evolved over time:
– 2022: Curveball (22%), Changeup (18%), Slider (Introduced at the end of the season).
– Current: Slider (33%), Curveball (None), Changeup (Reduced).
Heaney worked on perfecting his slider during the offseason, and it has now become his primary weapon on the mound.
The Impact of His Slider
So, what makes Heaney’s slider so effective? It all comes down to \”tunneling\” – the art of keeping the pitches on the same plane until the last moment, making it difficult for batters to identify the pitch type.
– 2021 Curveball vs. Fastball: The curveball separated early from the fastball, making it easy for batters to differentiate the two.
– Current Slider vs. Fastball: The slider and fastball remain together for a longer duration, creating a deceptive blur that confuses batters.
Andrew Heaney’s pitch mix transformation is a testament to the power of hard work and adaptation in baseball. By mastering the art of tunneling with his slider, he has become a more formidable pitcher, leading to a remarkable improvement in his performance on the mound. This serves as a reminder that even the smallest adjustments can have a profound impact on a player’s career.
This breakdown is sponsored by DraftKings, and we thank them for their support in bringing you this analysis. As the baseball season unfolds, let’s keep an eye on players like Heaney, who continue to evolve and elevate their game to new heights.