MLB Rankings: Baseball’s Greatest Hits of Week-22

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 26: Sean Rodriguez #13 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Bryce Harper #3 and Corey Dickerson #31 after hitting a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on August 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 6-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 26: Sean Rodriguez #13 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with Bryce Harper #3 and Corey Dickerson #31 after hitting a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eleventh inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citizens Bank Park on August 26, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Pirates 6-5. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

MLB Rankings: Greatest Hits in Week-22

5. Anthony Rendon, 44 percent

The parallels between Boston’s win at Anaheim and Washington’s victory over Miami are striking. Both games ended 7-6, and in both the game-winning hit didn’t actually rate as the statistically most important one.

One difference: The Nationals didn’t require extra innings; they won in a ninth-inning walk-off. That’s the hit we’re focusing on now.

The wild card leading Nats trailed 6-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, threatening a run that had seen them win six of their previous seven games. Marlins manager Don Mattingly bypassed his regular closer, Sergio Romo, in favor of Ryne Stanek, but Stanek found himself in immediate trouble.

Nationals leadoff man Howie Kendrick grounded a 2-2 pitch into right field for a base hit, and Stanek followed that by walking Trea Turner. With the potential tying and winning runs on base, Nationals manager Dave Martinez ordered Gerardo Parra to sacrifice, but Parra popped up the bunt for the game’s first out.

In other circumstances, that might have been the break the Marlins needed. But not the way things are going in Miami this season. With NL batting leader Anthony Rendon at the plate, Stanek’s pitch escaped the grasp of catcher Jorge Alfaro for a passed ball that moved both runners into scoring position.

That gave Rendon a chance to be a hero – a role he is used to – and he drove a base hit into left field. Kendrick breezed home with the tying run and the speedy Turner slid home safely with the winner.