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Entries in Wrigley Field (2)

Tuesday
May082012

Home Run Recap: Jason Heyward

Jeff Samardzija vs. Jason Heyward Pitch Sequence, May 7th, 2012 (2nd inning)

In last night's great start from Cubs' starter Jeff Samardzija, the lone blip came in the second inning when the tall righthander gave up a home run to Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward

The former Notre Dame standout started Heyward out with a two-seamer and a splitter which were both low in the zone.  The third pitch ended up right in Heyward's hot spot, as you can see from the heat map above. It was a 95 MPH two-seamer that Heyward hit out over the wall in right field at Wrigley. 

Samardzija tried to keep the ball low on Heyward all day, which is odd considering Heyward generates most of his power on balls low in the zone. He was likely hoping to get Heyward to chase a few pitches down and out of the zone, and missed his spot on the HR pitch.  From the video link above, you can see that Soto was actually setting him up outside.

Given the kind of velocity Samardzija can get behind his fastball, he might do better trying to come up and in on Heyward in future meetings.

Tuesday
Apr052011

Willie Bloomquist's Wrigley Field Dinger

Arizona Diamondback Willie Bloomquist rocketed a leadoff home run off of Chicago Cubs starter Randy Wells yesterday afternoon.  It was only the 14th HR in Bloomquist's major league career; in fact, he has more triples in his career (15) than home runs.

Taking a look at Bloomquist's slugging percentage heat map, we see that while he doesn't generate a lot of power, he does hit inside pitches well.

Willie Bloomquist 2008-10
(Click to enlarge)

Randy Wells threw Bloomquist a 2-1 cutter that came up and in, usually a very tough location for a batter to turn on.  However, Bloomquist deposited it into the left field bleacher seats at Wrigley.

Willie Bloomquist vs. Randy Wells (Top 1st, 4/4/11)
(Click to enlarge)

The home run traveled 379 feet.  In 2010, Bloomquist, then a Kansas City Royal, hit a game winning home run off a 92 MPH fastball from Detroit Tigers' Alfredo Figaro, which traveled 385 feet and landed in an almost identical location in the left field seats, albeit in Comerica Park.  Where was that pitch located?

Willie Bloomquist vs. Alfredo Figaro (Top 12th, 8/25/2010)
(Click to enlarge)

Bloomquist isn't a home run threat by any means.  But pitchers should probably avoid that upper inside portion of the zone to keep it that way.