Remember that brief, shining night in Andrew Heaney's Yankees career when it seemed like everything might just be alright after all? That one game where he changed speeds, whirred fastballs, and avoided the heart of the plate against the Boston Red Sox, allowing two hits, one run, and striking out four in seven remarkably efficient innings?
Coming off his implosion against the White Sox in the Field of Dreams Game, it felt like his Yanks tenure finally had legs. Then, suddenly, it didn't; he wrapped the 2021 season as potentially the Yankees' worst acquisition of the past decade, and that same season also included the Joey Gallo trade. Heaney's 7.32 ERA in 35.2 innings didn't scream "unlocked," but that didn't stop the Dodgers from trying the same gambit last year.
Sunday night against the Houston Astros, though, he bottled that single start against Boston, shook it up, and popped the cork all over a lineup full of villains. It was better. It was better than better. Heaney's command was generational, baffling the Astros to the point of absurdity.
Now with the Texas Rangers, Heaney's third start of the season proved that the tools are all still in there, as he tantalized both the Yankees and Dodgers' decision-makers with the most breathtakingly perfect pitch plot you could imagine.
Former Yankees starter Andrew Heaney looked insane vs Houston Astros
Hey, as long as he's beating the Astros, it's tough to care what uniform he's doing it in.
It's objectively hilarious, though, that the Yankees swung a midseason trade for Heaney and tried an on-the-fly reboot, only to see it fail. Undeterred, the Dodgers outbid the competition to try for themselves the next winter, watching Heaney's season dissolve in a sea of injury and inconsistency yet again. Months after acquiring him, they, too, tried a midstream Gallo rehabilitation, which also didn't work out in Los Angeles.
And now, the Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins might both be hitting paydirt where the Yanks and Dodgers swung and missed. Sunday night certainly wasn't Heaney's only noteworthy start of the young season; his record-tying Whiff Fest also deserves recognition.
And no, by "Whiff Fest," we don't mean Frank Ocean's headlining set at Coachella.
Maybe it's the Texan attitude. Maybe it's comfort, being close to his collegiate home with the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Maybe it's sharing a locker room with Jacob deGrom, something Matt Blake and Mark Prior couldn't replicate.
No matter what's finally unlocked Heaney, we're all lucky he used his talents for good against the 'Stros.