The Los Angeles Dodgers continued their road trip with an 8-2 win over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a four-game series at Oracle Park. Andrew Heaney didn’t have his best stuff in a second start off the 15-day injured list but still was effective.
The left-hander limited the Giants to just one run over four innings despite throwing 27 pitches in the bottom of the first. He collected seven strikeouts but exited due to being on a pitch count that’s expected to be in place for the remainder of the season.
Heaney threw 74 pitches, which was in the range that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts previously suggested the team would keep him in for each outing.
Heaney admitted he isn’t a fan of the pitch count but understands why the Dodgers are being cautious with him, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I mean you always want to be competitive. I know what it is. I know this season hasn’t started the way I wanted it to, so we obviously want to be smart about that. I told Doc, ‘I don’t have to like it but I understand it.’ I get it. I think those extra innings and those pitches have got to be earned. Right now, I’m just not quite getting over that hump. I’ll get there.”
With not much room for error, Heaney noted he needs to be more efficient to maximize his starts:
“I guess you’re always sort of on some kind of limit. The days of just going until the game is over are gone. Any time you have a 30-pitch first inning, it’s probably not going to be a super long night. Like I said, I need to be better about being more efficient with pitches and being a little bit cleaner.”
Heaney is 1-0 with a minuscule 0.77 ERA, 2.30 FIP and 0.99 WHIP in five starts this season. He has been limited to just 23.1 innings due to multiple stints on the injured list because of left shoulder inflammation.
However, the small sample size of success is a testament to the hard work Heaney has put in and explains why the Dodgers gave him a one-year, $8.5 million contract last offseason.
Heaney hoping to establish rhythm
With two months remaining in the regular season, Heaney is hoping to find some consistency on the mound. “I need to just get myself in a routine and get into it,” he said last week. “I haven’t pitched more than two games in a row this year, so just want to get into that flow.”
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