It wasn’t so long ago that watching Jason Heyward play baseball was one of the more thrilling experiences the game had to offer. It’s easy to say that about a guy who plays all-world defense in the outfield and knocks the crap out of the ball at the plate, but the 2016 version of Heyward is not that same guy.
At some point after signing a big contract with the Cubs in the offseason, Heyward forgot how to hit. Re-watch any of his at-bats from this season, and there is a good chance it will end with Heyward rolling over a pitch and grounding out weakly to second. Show Sisyphus a compilation of all of Heyward’s grounders to second, and he’ll tell you he’s glad that at least he doesn’t have it that bad. Damn, actually, has Jason Heyward ever not grounded out to second?
Anyway, the dude can’t hit this year. But! He can still play some damn defense, and he did just that in Game 5 and Game 6 of the World Series. Game 5 saw him making a Spider-Man catch along the foul line in right:
And last night brought two highlights, the first being a diving catch of a scorched liner:
And the second being an absurd throw from the right-field corner that erased Roberto Perez’s RBI double in the ninth-inning:
This morning, Barry described last night’s game as more intense than the score indicated, writing that even though the Indians never really threatened the lead, they were constantly threatening to threaten it. It’s defensive plays like the two Heyward made that allow for such a distinction to be made.