Jordan Montgomery and Nathan Eovaldi dominating the Astros was toxic for the discourse, but beautiful for the baseball. After all, what Yankees fan in their right mind wanted the pair of ex-Yankees to fail and bolster the Astros' chances of capturing another World Series?
At least, though, there's comfort in the fact that there's one ex-Yankee remaining who hasn't been unlocked: Andrew Heaney. He's only been solved ... by the opposition.
Thursday was HeanDog Bumpday -- or, at least, it was if you managed to avoid blinking. Instead of setting his Rangers back on the winning path, he surrendered four hits to the first four batters he faced, firmly recharging the Astros' World Series momentum in the process.
Heaney didn't make it through the first inning without a Bruce Bochy hook, but it was already too late. The tone had been set. The all-too-familiar Yankees had finally arrived in October.
Former Yankees lefty Andrew Heaney gets roasted for terrible performance vs Houston Astros in ALCS Game 4
Heaney was acquired as a deadline supplement by the Yankees in 2021, and (luckily) did not get a chance to prove his postseason mettle, as Gerrit Cole put an early stop to that doomed team's October non-run.
But during his time in pinstripes, he represented a fresh variety of hell. He was the darling of every fan with ability to scroll a Savant page, eliciting screams from Matawan to Poughkeepsie about how his high-spin fastball should be so much better, so why isn't it? The Yankees, given two months to figure Heaney out, certainly did not do so; outside of a sterling one-night-only outing against the Red Sox, the lefty was abysmal, piling up a 7.32 ERA in 12 games.
New York missed hosting the Red Sox in a winner-take-all by just a single game in the standings, and while many egregious 2021 losses can be singularly held responsible, Heaney's presence might've contributed the most prominently. Those among us who are easily susceptible to being haunted will never forget the September home game against the 110-loss Orioles when Gary Sánchez saved the Yankees' bacon with a two-run shot in the sixth to build their lead back to 7-4.
Then, Heaney entered in relief (???), and went: Trey Mancini HBP, DJ Stewart single, Austin Hays single, Jahmai Jones double, Pedro Severino popout, Jorge Mateo single. Game tied, game eventually lost. No thanks for playing!
Let this be a lesson to all the FanGraphs scrollers. If someone's fastball has spent a decade underwhelming and underperforming its projections, it's probably just busted. The Dodgers -- of course they did -- got 72.2 innings of 3.10 ERA ball with 110 strikeouts out of Heaney last season, but his body couldn't hold up, and he spent more time on the IL than on the mound.
Nothing gold can stay, and nothing good can come from Heaney's left arm. When the Astros win the 2023 World Series, does he get a parade float?