We know the Tampa Bay Rays are bold and try some interesting things on the baseball diamond — but we didn’t know quite how bold until Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night, when they tried a straight steal of home.
Down 3-2 in the fifth with Manny Margot on third base and one out, the Rays tried something in the World Series that hadn’t been attempted in 18 years — since the 2002 World Series when Brad Fullmer of the Angels did. Margot took off running toward the plate, hoping to catch Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers sleeping.
This was one time when the Rays being bold didn’t quite work. Kershaw stepped off, threw home and Austin Barnes got the tag down on Margot. It was close. Margot bargained for a review to overturn the call, but he was out.
— Yahoo Sports MLB (@MLByahoosports) October 26, 2020
Manuel Margot is the first player to try and steal home in a World Series Game since 2002. pic.twitter.com/j3mgv7gEXQ
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 26, 2020
WAS MARGOT ACTUALLY SAFE?
Rays fans will probably try to convince you Margot was safe too. Even MLB pitcher Trevor Bauer seemed to think Margot got his hand in there.
Did anyone else have Margot safe there?? I didn’t see a tag. Anyone have a screenshot?
— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) October 26, 2020
This L.A. Times photo seems to show that Margot was indeed out.
Staff photographer @rgaut999 captures just how close the Rays were from tying the game with that failed attempt at stealing home.
Follow along for more #WorldSeries live updates: https://t.co/ktGFnSS7ma pic.twitter.com/LvEQBFgD9p
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) October 26, 2020
HOW RARE IS STEALING HOME IN THE WORLD SERIES?
Good baseball teams are loath to give away outs on the basepaths — especially at home plate. That goes double in the World Series. Fullmer was the last player to try it in the 2002 World Series (and was safe) as part of a double steal.
Before that, Shane Mack was the previous steal attempt in the 1991 World Series for the Minnesota Twins. He was out, but in a bit of a coincidence John Smoltz — who was calling Sunday night’s game for FOX — was on the mound for the Braves during that steal attempt.
Margot’s steal attempt will be remembered with a little extra regret as the Dodgers’ Max Muncy came up in the next half inning and hit a monster homer to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
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