World Series: Rays ‘Manuel Margot sent off in attempt to steal home against Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw

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Sunday night at Globe Life Field, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays continued the 2020 World Series with Game 5 (GameTracker). The Rays won a wild 4 home and away game to tie the series at two games apiece. The World Series is now a best-of-three.

Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead over Tyler Glasnow in Game 5 thanks to Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger in singles and a solo homerun from Joc Pederson. The Rays responded with two runs in the third inning against Clayton Kershaw. Yandy Diaz had a triple RBI and Randy Arozarena had a single RBI.

Tampa Bay was set to tie the game in the fourth. Manuel Margot took a first step, then stole second and advanced to third when Chris Taylor was unable to handle the throw (not a few days for Taylor’s glove, eh?). Hunter Renfroe then worked one step after falling behind in the 0-2 count. Tampa had runners in the corners without indentation.

The rally was put on life support when Joey Wendle appeared and Willy Adames was pulled. With Kevin Kiermaier on the plate, Margot came out of third place and tried to rob the house. Kershaw got off the mound, threw it home, and Austin Barnes applied the tag. Margot was ready to finish the round. Here is the part:

Home thefts are chaotic and Kershaw has done a great job without hesitation. He got off and threw it at the house. Often times you will see pitchers, even veterans like Kershaw, panic and throw the ball home, and end up hesitating. Kershaw (and Barnes) had to be perfect there and they were.

I’m sure Margot did it on her own initiative. No way it comes from the canoe. Kershaw has a slow movement because he puts his hands above his head, plus he’s left-handed and doesn’t look at third base, and Margot was trying to take advantage. If you try to rob the house, that’s when you do it. It just didn’t work.

The Rays didn’t challenge the home exit and I’m surprised. It was a play and Margot represented the race on a tie. Why not take a picture there and hope to receive the call? Teams have two playoff challenges, after all. Tampa video reviews clearly felt there was enough conclusive evidence to confirm the appeal.

According to ESPN statistics and information, it was the first time a player had attempted a home steal in the World Series since 2002, when Brad Fullmer won the front end of a double steal in Game 2. It was the first time that a player has been caught stealing home in the World Series since 1991, when Shane Mack was sent off in Game 4.

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