MLB Rankings: Baseball’s Greatest Hits of Week-21

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21: Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy (13) hits a walk-off solo home run to win the game 2-1 over Toronto at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. (Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 21: Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Max Muncy (13) hits a walk-off solo home run to win the game 2-1 over Toronto at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Wednesday, August 21, 2019. (Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /

MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits in Week-21

2. Ji-Man Choi, 45 percent

As enmeshed as the Tampa Bay Rays are in a heated wild card battle, they can’t afford any defeats at the hands of lower-tied clubs like the Detroit Tigers. That’s what made their situation Sunday so sensitive.

The Rays trailed the Tigers 4-1 through seven innings, and the two runs they got on Tommy Pham’s eighth-inning home run – while helpful—still left them a run short heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Against Tiger closer Joe Jimenez, Travis d’Arnaud opened the ninth with a ground ball in the hole between short and third. Tiger shortstop Gordon Beckham got there, but could not field the ball cleanly, and his throw was late. Tiger manager Ron Gardenhire challenged the call of ‘safe’ at first, but it was upheld and Beckham was charged with an error.

It was a break the Rays needed, and they seized it. Willy Adames walked, and one out later Mike Brousseau shot another unplayable grounder between short and third. This one was ruled a hit, loading the bases for Choi.

On the 1-1 pitch, Choi slapped a round ball past Jimenez and up the middle for a clean single. D’Arnaud scored easily, and when pinch-runner Kevin Kiermaier beat the throw home the Rays had their comeback 5-4 win that kept them in the center of their three-way fight with Oakland and Cleveland for the American League’s two wild-card spots.