He has the memory and the ball, although at least one of them already is fading just a bit.
“I think it was off a guy named Hill or Hall,” Andrew Heaney said. “It was a four-letter name. I remember that much.”
Taylor Hill, that’s who gave up a single to Heaney on Sept. 26, 2014, the only hit of Heaney’s big league career in 15 at-bats — until Saturday.
The Angels starting pitcher singled off, literally, Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood in the second inning at Dodger Stadium, the ball ricocheting into foul territory between first base and home.
This game marked a somewhat reluctant return to the batter’s box for Heaney, who would have been perfectly comfortable avoiding the place
“I don’t love it,” the left-hander said of hitting. “I’m not very good at it.”
Heaney explained that, while growing up, he lacked the proper physique to be a good hitter. He was too scrawny, too much of a kid to dream about being “The Kid.”
He said he entered Oklahoma State as a freshman at 6 feet and 147 pounds.
Heaney’s previous hit came when he was playing for Miami, against Washington, on a day when the Marlins finished with 22 hits in a 15-7 victory.
Heaney did drive the ball — straight into the ground.
“I bounced it right off the plate,” he said. “It went like 50 feet in the air. There was a pile of people waiting for it to come down. They tried to throw me out and I beat it out.”
That means Heaney is now two for 18 and neither of his hits advanced beyond the pitcher.
Over the previous five seasons, Angels pitchers as hitters were 10 for 110 for a .090 average.
Manager Mike Scioscia, describing himself as “a traditionalist,” said he has embraced the designated-hitter role but likes seeing pitchers bat.
He downplayed the injury risk of having American League pitchers hit in games played in National League parks.
“It’s not like they’re going out there,” Scioscia said, “and we’re telling them to ice skate.”
Still, his starter Saturday would have been fine sticking to just pitching.
Hill, by the way, ended up having only a nine-game career and, certainly by coincidence, was out of the majors for good nine months later.