It has been a season full of ups and downs, both literally and figuratively, for Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Chris Heisey. After being acquired by the Dodgers during the offseason, Heisey struggled to make an impact with the club and was eventually released on Aug. 7.
Five days later the Toronto Blue Jays signed Heisey as a free agent, only to send him back to the Dodgers less than one month later.
In 17 games with the Dodgers prior to being released, the 30 year old slashed .154/.353/.192, while striking out nine times. Upon rejoining the Dodgers organization, Heisey was placed back in Triple-A Oklahoma City.
He was recalled to the Majors Sept. 6 and on Thursday, had his best moment with the club. Heisey’s grand slam in the fifth inning gave the Dodgers a decided lead, and put Clayton Kershaw in line to earn a win after throwing only five innings. “We had been struggling with runners in scoring position,” Heisey said of the hit.
“I had a big spot earlier in the game and I didn’t come through. I was really frustrated about it.” Entering Thursday’s game, Heisey had four hits and six walks over 31 plate appearances since being called up. The grand slam brought the thin, but still boisterous Dodger Stadium crowd to its feet, which culminated with a curtain call for Heisey.
“I didn’t even realize they were doing it until Turner told me, ‘Go out there and give the fans what they want.’ That’s special,” Heisey said. “It was nice to feel like I’ve contributed.” With the season coming to an end manager Don Mattingly will soon face the difficult task of deciding who to carry on the 25-man National League Division Series roster.
The odds don’t appear to be in Heisey’s favor, though injuries to several players has muddied the outlook. Nonetheless, his contribution in Thursday’s win wasn’t lost on Mattingly. “Heisey has had a tough year with the back and forths and one day here, one day there,” the fifth-year manager said.
“He’s hung in and always been a good teammate. Always handled everything very professionally. He’s a guy that the guys all respect and I’m sure they’re really happy for him.” Heisey wasn’t ready to call the grand slam the biggest hit of his career, but acknowledged it ranks among his top moments.