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 Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits in Week-17

7. Ben Gamel, 49 percent

The Milwaukee Brewers won the first two games of their weekend series with the Chicago Cubs because they were able to take advantage of Chicago’s dysfunctional bullpen. Ben Gamel set the tone.

The Cubs clung to a 2-1 lead when Gamel came to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night. Kyle Hendricks had shut out the Brewers through five innings, but Joe Maddon elected to lift him for a pinch hitter and trust the game to his problematic pen. That pen allowed one Brewers run and then loaded the bases with two out when Gamel came to bat. As he stood in, Milwaukee’s victory prospects measured only 37 percent.

The Brewers outfielder took a first-pitch ball and then lined a solid base hit between center and right. Keston Hiura and Eric Thames both easily scored the runs that gave Milwaukee its first lead.

When Josh Hader retired the Cubs in the top of the ninth, Gamel’s hit turned a likely defeat into a victory.

It proved to be both a  victory and a foreshadowing. One evening later, the entire event reprised. Maddon lifted starter Jon Lester working on a 2-0 shutout,  then bullpen surrendered that lead, and Milwaukee came away with a  late victory.