Tommy Pham got things started for the Rays with a HR off of Justin Verlander in the 1st. He stole the momentum, he took the energy, he gave the prizefighter a shot to the ribs and another to the chin, and from that point on the Rays had the Astros on the ropes ready to even this series.
Pham is hurting, and he’d probably have hit the IL had this team not been in a playoff chase. That’s not stopping him from going out and giving everything he has each and every at bat, every play, and every chance he can.
After the game, Pham was interviewed and gave a truly special and refreshingly honest and earnest answer to a classic question. An answer that is a fantastic message to kids and anybody else watching: believe in yourself, be your own champion.
Pham is the beating heart of this club. He brings the intensity each and every day. He’s worked extremely hard to get where he is today. Pham deserves to be damn proud. And each and every Rays fan out there can be just as proud with the way Pham represents himself, this team, and this region.