Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Manuel Margot told reporters after Sunday's Game 5 loss that his attempted steal of home in the fourth inning was his decision.
"It was 100 per cent my decision," Margot said through an interpreter. "I thought it was a good idea at the time. I had a pretty good chance of being safe.
“From the first pitch to [Kevin Kiermaier], I knew they weren't paying too much attention to me, so I thought I had a chance. Obviously it didn't work out that way."
Kiermaier, a left-handed hitter, was facing Dodgers' starter Clayton Kershaw with two out and two runners on. Sensing an opportunity with Kershaw not paying attention to Margot at third base, the speedy outfielder took off toward home plate and slid in face-fist. While Margot was called out and Tampa Bay elected not to challenge, the 26-year-old felt he may have beaten the tag from catcher Austin Barnes.
"I thought I was really close," Margot told reporters. "I really didn't know where they touched me. They didn't challenge."
A successful steal would have evened the game 3-3. Instead, it resulted in the third out of the inning. The Rays did not score again en route to a 4-2 loss and 3-2 series deficit.
"It was a gutsy move and it didn't work out that time. Manny is a great baserunner. He's not afraid to take risks. I didn't have a problem with it," Kiermaier said after the game.
Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters he didn't have an issue with the move either because he has confidence in Margot's base running.
According to ESPN, the last time a player attempted a straight steal of the plate in a World Series game was 1982. The last successful steal of home was Jackie Robinson in 1955.
Game 6 will go Tuesday night from Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Tony Gonsolin is expected to start for L.A. while the Rays will counter with 2018 Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell.