The Tampa Bay Rays, a team that relies on small contributions from many, not large contributions from a few, seem to reveal a new hero with each step on its way to the American League. It was Manny Margot’s turn on Monday.
Margo was the star of Tampa Bay’s 4-2 victory in Game 2 of the AL Championship Series, as Reyes won 2-0 in the series, demonstrating Margo’s skills on both sides of the ball.
On the plate, Margo’s first inning, a three-time homer from Houston starter Astros Lance McCullers Jr. gave Reyes an advance they never gave up. In the field, Margo’s wall-grabbing catch from a foul thrown by George Springer’s bat from Houston with two outs and two runners in a resultant position in the second inning suffocated the Astros rally.
“Manny, he really included him with the home team,”
“And then the play, just to have the ability to know where you are and the effort to say, ‘Forget it, I’m going to hit something, but I’m coming in,’ and still hanging on to the ball was really, really impressive. “
Margo’s Margo homer comes on the heels of a regular season in which he hits only one long ball. This is another proof of a club for which everything seems to be coming together at the right time.
“These guys are all-in for each other,” Reyes said, starting the pitcher Charlie Morton, the beneficiary of Margo’s acrobatics. “[They] put their bodies on the line. They do this all year round. “
Margo’s catch will surely be a favorite of the highlights. As Springer’s drive slammed into the stands, Margo caught up with him on the warning track, and as the ball settled into his glove, he turned up and over the guardrail before sliding about 6 feet to the ground on the wrong side of the rail. He raised his glove to show right-handed referee Manny Gonzalez holding the ball.
“Manny is great,” Morton said. “He had a great game. This game was amazing. I’m just glad it’s good, but it was phenomenal.”
Asked if he preferred the household or the catch, Margo said the answer was simple.
“Definitely the household,” Margo said through an interpreter. “The household didn’t hurt and it definitely helped us gain the lead.”
Margo was acquired by Reis from the San Diego Padres before the season in exchange for the facilitator Emilio Pagan. He spent parts of four seasons in San Diego, making him one of the few rays familiar with ALCS ‘location, Petco Park. He hit .269 this season with the lonely Homer – after hitting 33 in his last three seasons with the Padres.
The year was 26 years for Margo in many ways than what happened on the field. He was included in the loss list in early August after his father died in the Dominican Republic.
“My father died during the season – obviously it was difficult,” Margo said. “But you have to find a way to stay positive and you have to move on.”
Cash said the flight with Rey’s optimistic shortlist Willy Adames helped Margo move to her new club, even as Reiss waited for baseball to stop because of the COVID-10 pandemic with the rest of the industry. After Monday’s game, Adams seemed happier than anyone for Margo, wondering if Margo’s catch should be recorded on a T-shirt.
“I hope they make a T-shirt out of this,” Adames said. “It would be silly to make a T-shirt out of it. It was amazing – like, amazing, man.”
The way things are going for Reis this season, as they go, each player will have a T-shirt.
“We have a talented group of players and sometimes that talent doesn’t always show up at the same time,” said Cash. “But right now, certainly in boarding and defense, that’s there. They’re playing with very little error and they’re doing it.”