The old saying alleges that defense wins championships. That might not always best the case in the game of baseball, but it sure went a long, long way for the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday afternoon as they held off the Houston Astros in Game 2 of the ALCS. With their 4-2 victory, they are now up 2-0 on the defending ALCS champs, but it could not have been for timely defense.
One man, in particular, has to be singled out. And that was right fielder Manuel Margot, who made a death-defying catch that saw him fall hard over the wall at one stage. Oh, and that came after he had hit a three-run homer (his third of the postseason after he’d hit just one in the regular season) had given his team the lead. The left side of the infield was also a big part of the win, using excellent range to stop Houston from sure-fire base hits. The Rays are one of the more underpaid teams in the entire league, but it just goes to show that with solid pitching and defense that you can do a lot. Houston now have a problem as they head to Game 3 on Tuesday.