MLB Rankings: Baseball’s Greatest Hits of Week-20

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 11: Baltimore Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz (14) is doused with liquid after hitting a game winning two run home run against the Houston Astros on August 9, 2019, at Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 11: Baltimore Orioles third baseman Rio Ruiz (14) is doused with liquid after hitting a game winning two run home run against the Houston Astros on August 9, 2019, at Orioles Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits in Week-20

6. Kris Bryant, 48 percent

By the seventh inning of their Sunday game in Cincinnati, the Chicago Cubs needed a hero. One of baseball’s worst road teams, the Cubs had lost two of the series’ first three games – and although they didn’t know it at the time they were about to embark on a stretch of four more road losses.

They trailed the Reds 3-1 and were having trouble coping with Cincinnati’s young ace, Luis Castillo. For such moments, the Cubs have Kris Bryant.

Ian Happ actually got things moving with a double high off the wall that umpires reviewed before holding Happ up at second. Tony Kemp’s groundout got Happ home, but when Jason Heyward touched Castillo for a base hit Reds manager David Bell removed Castillo in favor of Michael Lorenzen.

The first batter Lorenzen faced was Nick Castellanos, who lined a single of his own between left and center. That brought up Bryant, and the Cubs slugger didn’t waste any time looking Lorenzen over. Bryant rammed his first fastball into the left-field seats for a three-run home that put Chicago ahead 5-3.

It was Chicago’s first lead since jumping in front 1-0 in the first inning of an eventual 5-1 loss two days earlier. It also enabled the Cubs to escape Cincinnati with a split of the four-game series, That in itself was something of an accomplishment for these non-road warriors, who were 0-9-1 in their 10 most recent road series.