MLB Rankings: Baseball’s Greatest Hits of Week-17

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 23: A teammate pours ice on Aaron Hicks #31 of the New York Yankees after the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 23, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Yankees defeated the Twins 14-12 in ten innings (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 23: A teammate pours ice on Aaron Hicks #31 of the New York Yankees after the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 23, 2019 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Yankees defeated the Twins 14-12 in ten innings (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits in Week-17
(Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits in Week-17

10. Justin Smoak, 47 percent

As hot as the Cleveland Indians have been, they couldn’t beat Justin Smoak Tuesday night.

Trevor Bauer shut out the Jays into the eighth inning, leaving with a tenuous 1-0 advantage. Oliver Perez struck out Eric Sogard and then turned that 1-0 lead over to Indians closer  Brad Hand starting the ninth.

But Hand couldn’t handle Smoak, who drove a one-out pitch over the wall in center field for a game-tying home run.  That lone hit shifted the chances of a Jays win from a mere 13 percent to 58 percent.

On the scoreboard, of course, it only tied the game. But Smoak wasn’t through yet. After Adam Cimber bailed hand out of a subsequent ninth-inning jam and Jays closer Ken Giles escaped his own jam in the top of the 10th, Smoak got a second chance to influence the game’s outcome in the bottom of the 10th.

After Cimber retired the first two Blue Jays batters, Jays manager Charlie Montoyo made the classic error of fixing something that wasn’t broken. He lifted Cimber in favor of Tyler Olson. The new reliever proceeded to walk Sogard, wild pitch him to second, and allow a Freddie Galvis infield hit that sent Sogard to third.

That brought up Smoak for a second decisive moment, and again he delivered. His infield hit between short and third sent Sogard home with the winning run in Toronto’s 2-1 victory.