Rangers' opener loss due to disputed foul tip not reviewable. Heim corrects mistake

Arlington, Texas  — While blocking a low pitch, Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim heard the ball tip off the bat and change course. Home plate umpire Chad Fairchild didn't hear or see the same thing in the ninth inning of the World Series winners' season opener, and the Chicago Cubs grabbed the lead on that disputed play before Texas recovered to win 4-3 on Heim's game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning Thursday night

When the ball rolled behind the plate, Heim held his glove back expecting another ball from the umpire before discovering it wasn't foul.

After pleading with the umpire, the All-Star and Gold Glove-winning catcher brought the ball back, and pitcher José Leclerc was late covering the plate, Michael Busch scored from second base for a 3-2 Cubs lead.

If I tell you what I yelled out there, I'll get in trouble, but I blocked it, heard it hit the bat, and changed directions. Clearly loud. Very loud, fans rocking. Heim admitted allowing the run, saying Fairchild didn't hear it. “Just finish the play.”

After the game, Fairchild told a pool reporter it was a swinging strike. Fairchild said he had seen a replay but wouldn't discuss anything. “Well, I’m just going to stick with what I did on the field,” the umpire stated. If you have questions about it, I

Tipped balls cannot be reviewed, but slow-motion replays showed pinch-hitter Miles Mastrobuoni making slight contact with his swing. Leclerc, who walked Busch, was charged with wild pitch. Heim was cited with a throwing error that got by Leclerc and allowed another runner to reach third base.

Bruce Bochy, a former major league catcher, said Heim can't presume the umpire saw or heard the foul tip. It's loud outside. We didn't see a foul tip, so Bochy believed he couldn't hear it. “Jonah, we discussed it. He says that's my responsibility. His major hit came after he put it behind him.”

After pinch-hitter Travis Jankowski tied the game in the ninth with a homer, Heim finished it in the 10th with a two-out liner into right-center with the bases loaded. Heim's teammates rushed him on the field as the 42,130-person audience celebrated the stunning opening win.

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