Sounds like a law firm. Heaney and Heim. Like one of those personal injury lawyers that advertise how they get results.
Heaney and Heim got results, all right. They carried the Rangers into the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons. They stepped up in the biggest game of the year, in the biggest moment in the game.
For Heaney, it was being the emergency starter when Jon Gray went down. If there was ever a more fortunate injury for the Rangers, it was that one, because Gray going on the I.L. meant Gray couldn’t make his scheduled start, which meant he wouldn’t be able to break out his 6.41 September ERA, which meant the Rangers weren’t going to be buried early and have to dig their way out in the most important game of the season.
Instead, Heaney was brilliant. He gave the Rangers four-plus non-Gray shutout innings, left the game in the fifth with one out, his team leading 5-0, and the Rangers allowing a hit off the bat of JP Crawford to fall in between three defenders for a cheap single that loaded the bases.
The Rangers had amassed a 5-0 lead because of one brilliant at-bat by Jonah Heim. The Rangers arrived in Seattle ahead of their offense, which had been stranded back in Anaheim. They lost the first two games of the Seattle series and were in danger of losing the division lead. They lost because they didn’t score, and when the Rangers don’t have a lead of at least four runs going into the seventh inning, they cannot win.
Marcus Semien led off the third with a walk. After Corey Seager and Robbie Grossman got out, it looked like another dead inning for the Rangers offense. But a check swing excuse me dribbler off the bat of Adolis Garcia turned into a single. And Nathanial Lowe, as he has done so often, bounced a single up the middle to score the first Rangers run. But giving the Rangers bullpen a one-run lead is like giving a hobo a dollar. It’s squandered away quickly. Texas needed more if they had any designs on winning.
Josh Jung worked a walk to load the bases. That brought Jonah Heim up.
He quickly fell behind 0-2. Then fouled off what would have been strike three and strike four and strike five, frustrating Mariners starter Luis Castillo and forcing him to throw his changeup to try to get that elusive third strike. Heim drove it into right field, scoring two.
They were the two biggest runs of the season for the Rangers. Because they gave Texas breathing room in a game they had to win. When Taveras followed up with a single, the Ranger had a 4-0 lead, and the game was now bullpen-proof.
Heaney and Heim. They get results and nowTexas is in the postseason.
Now the Rangers need one more win to wrap up the division crown.