SAN DIEGO -- After Jason Heyward homered in each of the final three games of this past weekend's series in San Francisco, some fans wondered why manager Fredi Gonzalez had left Heyward out of the lineup for Thursday's series opener.
Looking to give Heyward a chance to rest, Gonzalez opted to do so when the Giants were starting left-hander Barry Zito. Other than the fact that the strong outfielder homered against another left-hander in Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, it seemed to be the best time to rest Heyward.
Heyward entered Tuesday night having batted .307 with 18 home runs and a .933 OPS in the 76 games he had played dating back to June 2.
In 165 at-bats against right-handed pitchers during this span, he has batted .358 with 14 home runs, a .422 on-base percentage and .703 slugging percentage. In 125 at-bats against left-handed pitchers, he has batted .240 with four home runs, a .294 on-base percentage and a .384 slugging percentage.
While Heyward certainly has some room to improve against left-handed pitching, he has already made some strides since the beginning of the season. In the 62 at-bats he compiled against southpaws through June 1, he batted .194 with two home runs, a .265 on-base percentage and a .323 slugging percentage.