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On the seventh day of Christmas, the D-backs gave to me...

We now return to your regular scheduled programming, as we come back to SnakePit duty after the Christmas break.

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We had a tie in this round of voting. thunderpumpkin87 surged out to an early lead, only 12 minutes after noninations were opened, with "Seven uniforms un-veiling " However, later in the day, AJV19's suggestion of "Seventh Game the Clincher" was posted, and the two fought a tense duel for recs the rest of the way. Both turned Sedona Red around the same time, and it looked as if thunderpumpkin87 would take things this morning, but supporters of AJV19 rallied for a late push, and when votes were closed at 3pm, both sides has gathered six recommendations, handing the deciding ballot to the executive judging committee.

Which means it comes down to "What do I want to write about more?" To be honest, I am entirely uniformed out at this point, and will be quite happy if, the next time I see one of our jerseys of many colors, it's attached to an actual D-back at Salt River Fields. The winner of the seventh verse is thus:

Seventh Game the Clincher

The Diamondbacks have, of course, only been involved in one Game 7 in franchise history, and I'm fairly sure I don't need to remind you of that one. There have actually been more cases where it turned out to be Game 5 that was the "clincher". On the way to that World Series in 2001, both the Division Series and the Championship Series went five games, with the former being particularly tense, albeit a contest that was (arguably) unjustly overshadowed by subsequent ones. It may, in fact, be the most under-rated game, in terms of sheer excitement, the Diamondbacks have ever played.

The Cardinals staved off elimination in Game 4, beating the DIamondbacks and Albie Lopez 4-1, and Game 5 saw Curt Schilling go up against Matt Morris. A Reggie Sanders home-run, leading off the fourth, was all the D-backs would get off Morris, but Schilling was even better, allowing four singles through two outs in the top of eighth, before J.D. Drew homered to tie things up. Schilling went out for the ninth, and put up a zero, finishing with 121 pitches. Arizona looked like they might waste their chance, Midre Cummings a dead duck on a suicide squeeze after Tony Womack missed his bunt entirely, but Tony then redeemed himself with a walk-off single to move us on.

Even neutrals can appreciate this one, and it was recently ranked the #4 Division Series Game 5 ever, even ahead of the extra inning contest we lost against the Brewers in 2011 (which came in at #6). So, it's not just Game 7's that can create great drama. But getting back to those, I wondered if there was any kind of momentum in those - did teams that won Game 6 [as Arizona did in 2001] have a better chance of taking those Game 7? To answer that, I took a look at all the Game 7's which have been played, in either the Division or World Series, since the D-backs entered the league in 1998. Here's what I found.

  • 2001 World Series: D-backs took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2002 World Series: Angels took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2003 ALCS: Red Sox took Game 6, LOST Game 7
  • 2003 NLCS: Marlins took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2004 ALCS: Red Sox took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2004 NLCS: Cardinals took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2006 NLCS: Mets took Game 6, LOST Game 7
  • 2007 ALCS: Red Sox took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2008 ALCS: Red Sox took Game 6, LOST Game 7
  • 2011 World Series: Cardinals took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2012 NLCS: Giants took Game 6 AND Game 7
  • 2014 World Series: Royals took Game 6, LOST Game 7

So, of the dozen cases where we had a Game 7, in eight of those the same team won Game 6 + 7, and only four times did the team who dropped a Game 6, come back in the subsequent winner-takes-all contest. That's interesting, but eight out of 12 is not conclusive. Though in a couple of those cases, the Game 6 defeat had to have been utterly demoralizing, it's no surprise the victims dropped the next night as well. Obvious example? The 2003 NLCS, where the Cubs got Bartman'd, and gave the Marlins an eight-run eighth. 2011 too, saw the Rangers twice come within a strike of winning Game 6 and with it, the World Series.

You could also refer to the 2001 World Series, where the D-backs came back to AZ on the edge of elimination, having gone to New York 2-0 up. A pair of agonizing defeats certainly shook my confidence, and if the Yankees had scored first in Game 6, who knows what might have happened? Fortunately for history, that didn't happen. Instead, Arizona played tennis and were 15-0 up by the end of the fourth - god, that never gets old to write! As statement games go, this was one of the most emphatic ever. So, while Game 7's might get all the glamour and hype, it's worth remembering that every Game 7 has to go through a sometimes even more dramatic Game 6 to get there!

On the seventh day of Christmas, the D-backs gave to me...
Seventh game the clincher...
Six years of Greinke...
Five Goldy dingers...
Four falling chicken tenders...
Three free tacos...* [* terms and conditions apply]
Two gold gloves...
and a Corbin with a strike three!

Day 8 approaches, and with that we are finally done with birds. Eight maids a-milking is your original lyric. D-backs alternative versions in the comments as usual!