The final showdown (of two teams using the team editor of a computer game from 1989 with screwy physics and AI.) The 2001 Diamondbacks vs. the 2007 Diamondbacks. Let's preview some aspects of the game:
2001 has Cy Young winner Randy Johnson on the hill, while 2007 has Brandon Webb, who probably should have won the Cy Young, but Jake Peavy got it in a time where people didn't seem to be as aware of things like Park Factors and ERA +. Dark times, all around.
2001 has Luis Gonzalez, who had a monster year (you remember this, right? I feel like I don't need to explain it but I'm never too sure.) 2007 has a bunch of hodge-podge parts, and has the .218 hitting Carlos Quentin in the lineup, due to most at bats at his position. But who knows, eh?
It may seem like 2007 is overmatched, as they seemed to be all season, but I was looking up various things about the years 2001 and 2007 and the following caught my eye:
According to the Billboard end of year 100, the best song of 2001 was Hanging by a Moment by Lifehouse, which... wow, we as a society were really lost.
So let's crack the Kenny Loggins song of your choice and get into the game!
THE GAME ITSELF
2001 was the home team, 2007 away. The venue was pixelated Yankee Stadium, as a reminder to the original tenants of that stadium who they lost to and that they should feel bad about that. (If 2007 had been the home team, Wrigley Field would have been the venue for the same reason)
The lineup for 2001
The lineup for 2007
And we begin
2007 wasted no time in the opening frame, Chris Young blasted a solo home run to left-center to make it 1-0 2007.
The lead was short lived, though. 2001 was able to get two runners on with two outs with Steve Finley up, and he drove in one with an RBI double
The tie game was short lived as well, Mark Grace added another single to make it 2-1. Webb was ineffectively wild, and walked Reggie Sanders to load the bases, but Damian Miller grounded out to stop the bleeding.
After a relatively clean 2nd for both teams, Mark Grace added on to the lead with a solo homer in the 3rd. Sources could not confirm at the time of writing whether that was "big league" or not.
2007 wasn't done yet... though it would take a few innings. With two runners on and two outs, Conor Jackson hit a single-then-advance-on-throw to center to make it 3-2 Stephen Drew couldn't come up with a tying hit.
In the bottom of the 6th, Brandon Webb got two quick outs... then it got weird. Randy Johnson, of all people, got a seeing-eye single. Tony Womack and Craig Counsell also singled to load the bases for Gonzo, who did not miss this opportunity.
Yep, a Grand Slam to make it 7-2. Webb was lifted immediately for Micah Owings, who got Matt Williams to fly out, but the damage was done. Don't worry about it, Webby, you've got lots and lots of career ahead of you.
That took the air out of 2007's sail, as Johnson cruised through the 7th and 8th. With Byung-Hyun Kim warming up just in case, he took his complete game into the 9th. 2007 decided to say "Screw it, let's hit the bar"
Fans of confirmation bias rejoice, The 2001 Diamondbacks are the best Diamondbacks team in history according to a five-week simulation run by me through an old computer game!
I'll be honest, I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a whole lot of weirdness (Like 2009 making a Final Four run or something, though I suppose 2007 beating 1999 kinda counts?) 2001 was able to be steady throughout, and it seemed like 2007 was cruising through weaker competition and luck until they hit a team that was playing way better...
Wait, maybe this simulation has more going for it than meets the eye.
Thank you all for humoring me throughout this. It was pretty fun to do all around, even when I was forgetting to do it and waiting til the last minute to get everything in.
Join us next week for "Oh crap, I have to think of original ideas again."