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Game of the Year nominees

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Having polled to determine the Diamondbacks' players of the year, thought it might be fun to also toss one up there to determine what we thought was the Game of the Year. It may not have been that memorable a season in its totality, but there was, as I found out, no shortage of memorable contests. I found twelve worthy of mention, and whittled those down to the ten which are listed below. Half of these will make it onto the final ballot, so please nominate the five you think are most deserving.

It's entirely up to you what the criteria should be. Best-played? Most exciting? Most memorable? All seem like reasonable elements, and who am I to say which deserves the most weight. To aid your recall, the link goes to the post-game report on the appropriate contest, which will open in a new window. Some fun reading there, and it's nice to remember the good times from 2006! [Am tempted to do a quick scan of the worst games too, but I think Grimsleygate trumps anything that happened on the field...] So, the envelope, please:

April 18: Giants 10, Diamondbacks 9
The Giants take a 7-0 lead after three innings, but Arizona claw their way back into the game, showing remarkable resolve. Eric Byrnes hit his first homer in a Diamondbacks jersey, and a three-run shot from Gonzo makes it 9-7 to AZ. However, Valverde allowed a two-run homer with two outs in the eighth, and the Giants score again in the ninth.

April 25: Diamondbacks 7, Padres 0
On the road, against Jake Peavy; no-one gave us much of a chance, as Claudio Vargas had allowed six runs and not escaped the third in his previous start. But he threw seven innings of four-hit shutout ball, and Conor Jackson had the best game to that point of his young career, driving in four runs on three hits.

May 3: Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 10
The comeback kings finally make it stick, AZ rallying to win after falling six runs behind, for the first time since Sept. 15, 1998. We score seven times in the fifth to overturn a 6-0 LA lead, including Tracy's first career grand-slam. The Dodgers tie it up in the seventh, but AZ go ahead once more on RBI singles by Counsell and Byrnes.

May 20: Braves 0, Diamondbacks 13
Webb goes to 7-0 on a complete game four-hitter, with eight K's and a walk, even clearing the bases himself after a double off Villarreal in the 7th - it's the largest AZ margin of victory since April 2001. Byrnes falls a triple short of the cycle, five others have two hits and our defense sets a franchise record with the eleventh straight game converting a double-play.

June 4: Diamondbacks 9, Braves 4
We complete a four-game sweep in Atlanta - the last team to do that were the 1995 Phillies. Tony Clark hits two homers, and Easley follows up a three-homer game the previous day with another bomb, as Batista runs his record to 6-2. Arizona's record is 34-22, trailing only the Cardinals in the NL, and we go 2.5 games clear at the top of the NL West.

July 2: Diamondbacks 3, A's 1
After a woeful June, Arizona bounce back by sweeping Oakland on the road. Brandon Webb out-duels Barry Zito in the finale, striking out seven on a four-hitter, with four balls to Gonzo the only outs past the infield. A bases-loaded, ninth-inning walk to Shawn Green brings home the go-ahead run in a 1-1 game, and Hudson adds a sacrifice fly.

July 31: Diamondbacks 15, Cubs 4
A 94-degree day in Chi-town didn't bother Arizona, who pounded out a season-high runs total, including a team-record six homers: Hudson hit one from each side of the plate, the left-handed blast a grand-slam, part of a six-RBI outing. Stephen Drew has the first HR of his career, while Shawn Green, Tracy and Byrnes also went deep.

August 15: Diamondbacks 2, Rockies 1
The longest game in Rockies franchise history - eighteen innings, 514 pitches and 15 pitchers - ends at twenty-five past midnight, after five hours, 21 minutes, with an RBI single by Gonzo, who previously had been 0-for-7. Our bullpen pitches 12 shutout frames, with 13 K's and six hits, including three hitless innings by winner Brandon Medders.

September 8: Cardinals 1, Diamondbacks 13
The future World Series champs get a real drubbing. It's the first time the roof is open since June 10, and came after a pre-game presentation to honour Gonzo's climb up the doubles list; he scored three runs and had three hits; Quentin had four hits; Jackson and Byrnes drove in four runs each. Hernandez v2.0 allowed two hits in seven innings for the win.

September 9: Cardinals 0, Diamondbacks 3
Brandon Webb produces arguably his best performance ever, allowing only one hit - a double to Scott Rolen - and no walks, in a 96-pitch, 1:54 gem. Webb fans five and faces three hitters over the minimum, with our ace using his sinker and fastball to shut the Cardinals offense down even tighter than the previous night. Quentin homers for Arizona.