So many games turn on one at-bat. The difference between a good team and a struggling team is what that team does with that one game-deciding at-bat.
For the Rangers, that at-bat was in the seventh inning.
After taking a 3-0 lead over the White Sox, the Rangers gave up back-to-back two-out solo homers in the bottom of the sixth to make it 3-2. Chicago was very much back in the game.
But it was the Rangers ability to make productive outs that lead to the do-or-die moment in the top of the seventh.
Marcus Semien led off the inning with a single. Seager moved him over with a ground out to third. Jung moved him to third with a ground out to first.
That brought up Adolis Garcia. Chicago decided to walk him. It wasn’t intentional but they didn’t want Garcia to beat them so they gave him four pitches out of the strike zone. They wanted to take their chances with Lowe. But four pitches out of the strike zone killed that strategy. Now bases were loaded. Jonah Heim was up.
This was The At-Bat. This was the moment of truth. Get him out and the White Sox momentum, combined with the Rangers bullpen, would be the turning point of the game.
This was a true game on the line moment. And Heim rose to the occasion. He singled to right, scoring Semien and Garcia, giving the Rangers a 5-2 lead. Most important, it gave them breathing room.
The White Sox had their At-Bat in the bottom of the ninth. After Rangers closer Will Smith walked the first batter and gave up a single to the second batter, it was time for the White Sox to have their game changing at-bat. Rookie Zach Remillard was up. He was 3-for-7 in his big league career.
A wild pitch moved runners to second and third. Smith took him to 3-2.
He struck him out swinging. Then he got a line out and a ground out and the Rangers won 5-2. The bullpen held. The offense came through.
And the one deciding at-bat went Texas’s way instead of Chicago’s.
Games often come down to that one at-bat. Last night, Heim came through when the Rangers really it.