The Tampa Bay Rays, a group that depends on small contributions from the various fairly than massive 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 2-0 lead within the sequence by showcasing his abilities on each side of the ball.
On the plate, Margot’s first-inning, three-run homer off Houston starter Lance McCullers Jr. gave the Rays a lead they by no means relinquished. Within the discipline, his 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 obtained now three enormous 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 trouble to say, ‘Neglect it, I am gonna hit one thing however I am getting in,’ and nonetheless cling onto the ball, was actually, actually spectacular.”
Margot’s homer binge comes on the heels of a daily season during which he hit only one lengthy ball. It is additional proof of a membership for which every part appears to be coming collectively at simply the precise time.
“These guys are all-in for one another,” stated Rays beginning Charlie Morton, the beneficiary of Margot’s acrobatics. “[They] put their our bodies on the road. They’ve been doing that each one 12 months.”
Margot’s catch is certain to be a highlight-reel favourite. As Springer’s drive sliced towards the grandstand, Margot caught up with it on the warning observe and because the ball settled into his glove, he flipped up and over the guardrail, earlier than tumbling about six toes to the bottom on the mistaken facet of the rail. He held his glove up for right-field umpire Manny Gonzalez to point out he had held onto 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.
“Undoubtedly the house run,” Margot stated by way of an interpreter. “The house run did not damage, and it positively helped us achieve the lead.”
Margot was acquired by the Rays from the San Diego Padres earlier than the season in trade for reliever Emilio Pagan. He spent elements of 4 seasons with San Diego, making him one of many few Rays aware of the ALCS venue, Petco Park. He hit .269 in the course of the season however with the lone homer, after he’d hit 33 over his final three seasons with the Padres.
However the 12 months has been tough for Margot, 26, in additional methods than what occurred on the sector. He was positioned on the bereavement record 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,” Margo stated. “However you have to discover a approach to keep optimistic 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 pandemic-related shutdown of baseball with the remainder of the business. After Monday’s recreation, Adames appeared happier for Margot than anybody, even marveling at a query about whether or not Margot’s catch should 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, unbelievable man.”
The best way issues have been going for the Rays in the course of the postseason, by the point they’re by way of, everybody goes to have a T-shirt.
“We obtained a gifted group of gamers and generally that expertise does not at all times present up on the identical time,” Money stated. “However proper now actually on the pitching and the protection, it is there. They’re enjoying with very minimal margin of error and so they’re getting it accomplished.”