I don't think it is an exaggeration to say that the Rangers were upset Tuesday night at how that game was decided. It came down to a call at home being overturned by the instant replay umpire in New York. The replay ump in New York said Jonah Heim committed a violation by blocking the plate and not giving Elvis Andrus a lane to get to home plate. This was the explanation given to the media Wednesday morning.
That was not a satisfactory explanation. It was a play that has been discussed and debated across various MLB social media sites, Youtube channels, and by reporters that cover the game. The Rangers came into the game Wednesday night with that call still on their mind.
Martin Perez got the start for the Rangers against Michael Kopech of the White Sox. Perez has struggled so mightily on the road this year. His ERA is over 6 on the road compared under 2 at home. Wednesday night was much better though. Perez was working quick, locating his pitches well, and got 11 ground ball outs. He ended the night with seven innings pitched, three runs allowed, and two strikeouts to two walks.
Jonah Heim's on-field response to what happened Tuesday night
The story of the night though was the offense and specifically Jonah Heim. One night after having that call overturned the focus was on Heim to see how he would respond. He was clearly upset in the moment Tuesday night. Bochy put him back in the lineup Wednesday night hitting sixth once again.
Heim got things started in the fourth with a single to left field. He then came around to score on Ezequiel Duran's two-run home run to give the Rangers the lead 3-1. His big moment came in the very next inning. Nathaniel Lowe had walked, and was moved over to third on an Adolis Garcia single. Following a Josh Jung strikeout, Heim came up with two outs and did this.
He belted that out to right field to give the Rangers a 6-1 lead and it ended up the difference in the game as the White Sox put two more runs on the board. It was a great moment for the Rangers' catcher. That picture of him motioning for the umps to replay that has been seen on Twitter by close to a million people.
That kind of exposure will only help Heim as today is the last day to vote for players in phase one of All-Star voting. Heim is locked in a close battle with Salvador Perez of the Royals. He is slightly behind Perez and this could the push he needs to lock in a place against Adley Rutschman in phase two of the voting.
Where the Texas Rangers stand on their last off-day before the All-Star Break
The Rangers picked up the win 6-3. Perez got the win his seventh of the season. The Rangers improved to 46-28 on the season. They are now 5.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros and 6.0 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels. They now have their last off-day before the All-Star break before they start playing the New York Yankees on Friday night.
The Rangers played 13 games in 13 days and finished 6-7. That included series against the Tampa Bay Rays, Angels, Toronto, and the White Sox. Two series at home and two on the road. They now finish up the first half with 17 games in 17 days. They play the Yankees on the road, Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros at home, and finish off the half with an East Coast road trip to Boston and Washington.
Rangers' fans enjoy the off-day. There will not be another one till Home-Run derby day. Use this day to get chores done around the house, maybe watch the NBA draft, and take a break from baseball.