The Tampa Bay Rays, a workforce that depends on small contributions from the various fairly than giant contributions from the few, appear to uncover a brand new hero with every step alongside their path to the American League pennant. On Monday, it was Manny Margot‘s flip.
Margot was the star of Tampa Bay’s 4-2 victory in Recreation 2 of the AL Championship Series, because the Rays grabbed a 2-Zero lead within the sequence by showcasing Margot’s abilities on either side of the ball.
On the plate, Margot’s first-inning, three-run homer off Houston Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. gave the Rays a lead they by no means relinquished. Within the area, Margot’s tumbling-over-the-wall catch of a foul drive off the bat of Houston’s George Springer with two out and two runners in scoring place within the second inning snuffed an Astros rally.
“Manny, he has actually turned it on with the house run,” Rays supervisor Kevin Money stated of the outfielder. “We did not see many in the course of the common season, however I believe he is received now three large residence runs for us right here within the postseason.
“After which the play, simply to have the flexibility to know the place you are at and the hassle to say, ‘Overlook it, I am gonna hit one thing, however I am moving into,’ and nonetheless cling on to the ball was actually, actually spectacular.”
Margot’s homer binge comes on the heels of a daily season wherein he hit only one lengthy ball. It is additional proof of a membership for which every little thing appears to be coming collectively on the proper time.
“These guys are all-in for one another,” stated Rays beginning pitcher Charlie Morton, the beneficiary of Margot’s acrobatics. “[They] put their our bodies on the road. They’ve been doing that each one yr.”
Margot’s catch is bound to be a highlight-reel favourite. As Springer’s drive sliced towards the grandstand, Margot caught up with it on the warning monitor, and because the ball settled into his glove, he flipped up and over the guardrail earlier than tumbling about 6 toes to the bottom on the incorrect facet of the rail. He held his glove as much as present right-field umpire Manny Gonzalez that he held on to the ball.
“Manny is nice,” Morton stated. “He had an enormous recreation. That play was unbelievable. I am simply glad he’s OK, however that was phenomenal.”
When requested whether or not he loved the house run or the catch extra, Margot stated the reply was straightforward.
“Positively the house run,” Margot stated by way of an interpreter. “The house run did not harm, and it undoubtedly helped us acquire the lead.”
Margot was acquired by the Rays from the San Diego Padres earlier than the season in change for reliever Emilio Pagan. He spent elements of 4 seasons with San Diego, making him one of many few Rays acquainted with the ALCS venue, Petco Park. He hit .269 in the course of the season with the lone homer — after he hit 33 over his final three seasons with the Padres.
The yr has been tough for Margot, 26, in additional methods than what occurred on the sector. He was positioned on the bereavement checklist in early August after his father died within the Dominican Republic.
“My dad passing away in the course of the season — clearly that was powerful,” Margot stated. “However you have to discover a option to keep constructive, and you have to transfer on.”
Money stated that rooming with upbeat Rays shortstop Willy Adames helped Margot transition to his new membership, even because the Rays waited out the shutdown of baseball as a result of COVID-10 pandemic with the remainder of the trade. After Monday’s recreation, Adames appeared happier than anybody for Margot, marveling at a query about whether or not Margot’s catch must be enshrined on a T-shirt.
“I hope they make a T-shirt out of that,” Adames stated. “It will be dope in the event that they make a T-shirt of that. That was unbelievable — like, unimaginable, man.”
The best way issues have been going for the Rays this postseason, by the point they’re by way of, each participant goes to have a T-shirt.
“We received a gifted group of gamers, and generally that expertise does not at all times present up on the similar time,” Money stated. “However proper now, actually on the pitching and the protection, it is there. They’re taking part in with very minimal margin of error, they usually’re getting it performed.”