MLB: The greatest hits of week 18

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 03: Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) celebrates at home plate with his teammates after hitting the game winning home run during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers on August 03, 2019 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 03: Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor (12) celebrates at home plate with his teammates after hitting the game winning home run during the game between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers on August 03, 2019 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

4. Neil Walker, 44 percent

Harold Ramirez’ 12th inning home run settled the Marlins-Twins game Thursday. But Ramirez never would have gotten the chance if not for some earlier substantial heroics by Walker.

The Marlins trailed the Twins 4-1 heading into the bottom of the ninth, and Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli sent closer Sam Dyson out for the kill. When a team carries a three-run lead into the final inning, its victory rate is 97 percent so turnarounds, while possible, are rare.

They are, however, improved when the closer doesn’t throw strikes, which Dyson didn’t in walking leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson. Martin Prado cracked a line single to center, and when Dyson followed Jon Berti’s run-producing double by walking Brian Anderson Baldelli decided he didn’t like the vibe. He lifted Dyson in favor of Taylor Rogers.

Tasked with protecting a 4-2 lead threatened by the presence of the tying and potential winning runs on base, Rogers faced Walker as his first challenge. The veteran worked a 3-1 count, then slipped a base hit up the middle that sent both Prado and Berti across with the tying runs.

In that new situation – tie game, runners at first and third, no outs, the wonder is that the Marlins didn’t complete the comeback in the ninth. But they didn’t, Rogers striking out three of the next four hitters to send the game into extra innings.

Eventually, however, the Marlins did get their win thanks to Ramirez.