The Rangers lost last night 8-2 to the Astros to even up this series. They lost Jon Gray after he took a line drive off his forearm. They then truly lost this game in the seventh inning when the Astros put up five runs on the board and were up 8-2 going to the eighth inning. One other thing they lost in the seventh was manager Bruce Bochy. He was ejected by the home plate umpire Erich Bacchus after criticizing his ball-strike calls. It was Bochy's 78th time in his long career that he was ejected. After the game, Bochy laughed it off with Bally Sports Southwest reporter Leslie McCaslin saying that the ump may have been right about a couple of the calls. I firmly believe that there is also a real reason why he got ejected. He wanted to protect Jonah Heim and make sure that he was able to stay in the game
Jonah Heim is still a young catcher. It may seem like he has been in Texas for a while now, but he is still just in his fourth season. Tonight, he was not only upset, but he was letting it show toward the home plate umpire on multiple occasions tonight. It was very clear Heim did not agree with the zone the ump was calling last night. Heim is known as one of the best pitch framers and last night he was not getting the calls he normally gets and he was letting the ump know about it.
Bruce Bochy is an experienced manager. This is his 26th season as a manager. He has managed over 4,000 games in his career. He knows that the players on the field are to be protected from themselves at all costs. Any great manager knows that given the choice it is better for them to be ejected rather than their player. If a player loses it and inadvertently makes contact with the umpire then not only is he ejected from that game, but he is also then likely suspended. If a manager is ejected then normally it is just that game.
Managers also know that a player getting ejected will just upset an umpire as he will feel as if he has been disrespected. If a manager does it then it might serve as notice to the umpiring crew to reexamine some of their calls in the future. Managers like Bochy, Buck Showalter, and Dusty Baker know that ejections sometimes do serve a purpose. The ejection last night did nothing to help the Rangers win that game, but it might help them win tonight's game.
Bochy is a former catcher himself back when he played. I am sure he saw Heim getting close to boiling over in the seventh inning. Heim was upset about the ball call that allowed Alvarez to walk in a run. He stood up and had a discussion after that call. He angrily stormed the mound on a mound visit with Ian Kennedy talking to the ump on his way to the mound. Then his shoulders visibly fell when a ball was called on a 1-1 count to Kyle Tucker that was clearly a strike. Bochy can be heard saying that was terrible with another word attached to that. He kept talking after the warning from the ump and then the ump ejected him.
After the ejection there was no miraculous rally. Rafel Montero did walk two batters in the ninth to load the bases. I am not saying that happened because Bochy was ejected but prior to that the Rangers only had one walk the entire game and worked two walks that inning. In baseball as with any sport players come first. They are the ones on the field, they are the ones executing the game plan, they are the ones that will decide who wins and loses. If a manager has to be ejected to make sure his player is not then that is what has to happen. Bochy made sure last night that if someone was going to be ejected it would be him.