How this works
Here is the complete list of winners since we started these in 2006. We'll be running one category a week for the next seven weeks, which should take us into the first week of February, when it'll almost be time for pitchers and catchers to report! So, that's nice. Here is the schedule:
- Week 1: Play of the Year - winner, David Peralta steals home
- Week 2: Single-game Performance of the Year - winner, Josh Collmenter's imperfect game.
- Week 3: Game of the Year
- Week 4: Rookie of the Year
- Week 5: Unsung Hero
- Week 6: Pitcher of the Year
- Week 7: Most Valuable Player
For each, the pattern will be the same. Monday will be an open call for nominations - I'll offer some suggestions to get you going, but these are not etched in stone. So feel free to offer any suggestions in the comments - the number of "recs" received by suggestions will be a major factor in deciding which, if any, make the final list of nominees. That will then be posted on Wednsday morning, with accompanying video as appropriate. There will then be a two-day window for voting, with the winner being anointed on Friday morning. Rinse, repeat the following week, for the next category.
Game of the Year nominations
Exciting contests. First, on June 24, there was the 9-8 walk-off over the Indians, which lasted 14 innings and 5:32 hours. Cleveland blew a 5-2 lead, Arizona a 6-5 one in the ninth, both teams scored twice in the 11th before Aaron Hill sent us home happy. However, longer by innings, was a 2-1 win in 15 over Cincinnati, which included ten consecutive scoreless innings with the score tied at one, until Nick Ahmed's RBI single broke the deadlock. There's also the 1-0 win in Cincinnati, which took 12 innings and was the second game of a double-header, and the 5-4 win in 10 over the Rockies, where we trailed 4-0 after five, tied it up with two in the ninth and walked it off in the 10th.
Blowouts. Leading the way in this category has to be the 18-7 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 17, all the more remarkable because it came largely as a result of destroying their ace, and the man who'd go on to win the NL Cy Young and Most Valuable Player, Clayton Kershaw. But let's not forget this season's other double-digit margin of victory, a 14-4 pounding of the Colorado Rockies, which was highlighted by the inning that never ended. A nine-run eighth has only been surpassed once in franchise history, and the frame was capped off by a grand-slam from David Peralta.
Miscellaneous. There are a few other games which will certainly stick in my mind. Even though we lost the season opener, watching us become the first team to throw a major-league pitch in Australia was certainly something I'll treasure, even if it destroyed my sleep cycle for about a week! There was also, as reported yesterday, the season's most popular recap, the game on April 9 where Paul Goldschmidt demonstraded his continuing ownership of Tim Lincecum. And for sheer emotion, there was nothing which could beat the return of Daniel Hudson to a big-league mound on September 3.
I must confess, was actually surprised how easy it was to come up with a credible number of suggestions here. I guess that's a benefit of playing a 162-game season. No matter how sucky things were (and this season was very sucky, I'm sure you'll agree), there were still 64 times where we came out on top at the end of the night, and for a little while at least, all was right with the world. But I only mentioned eight games above, so what others stood out in your mind from the 2014 campaign?
The poll with the five or six top nominations will go up on Wednesday.