What a game.
It matches the drama and improbability of opening day when the Rangers fell behind 5-0 to the Phillies, with their ace Aaron Nola holding the Rangers hitless. Then they exploded for nine runs and stunned the Phillies.
The Rangers had a lead, lost a lead, had a lead, lost a lead, had a lead, lost a lead, fell behind, tied it, then, on the last swing of the game, won.
Jonah Heim stepped up with two outs and two on in a newly tied game in the bottom of the tenth and crushed a Scott Barlow fastball deep into the outfield seats for the Rangers first walk off win of the year. It was a beautiful thing.
But heroes need help. And Heim’s heroics wouldn’t have happened if Adolis Garcia hadn’t delivered the game-saving two-out single to tie it 5-5 just moments before to give Heim the opportunity.
Lost in the euphoria was Jose Leclerc’s blown save meltdown, where he was unable to find the plate and gave up the tying run in the top of the ninth, and Jonathan Hernandez’s near blown save meltdown in the eighth when he loaded the bases with no outs after allowing a run to score.
But, good teams pick one another up, erase mistakes, and create opportunities. If the Rangers make the playoffs this year, they can look back at last night’s game as the catalyst. A team needs a never-say-die attitude. And that’s forged by not allowing themselves to get beat.
There’s a long way to go to get to dousing yourself with Champagne in November. But dousing yourself with Gatorade in April is the first step.