With spot on 50% of the votes at the time of writing, Jake Lamb’s go-ahead grand-slam against the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 8 is the winner of our first 2017 ‘Pittie, taking home the award for Play of the Year. It came in the seventh inning of Arizona’s first game against Los Angeles, since a heart-breaking sweep against them in Dodger Stadium, where we lost all three games by one run, including blowing a ninth-inning lead in the finale. The D-backs were trailing in this one two, having falled behind 3-1 during the sixth, but had pulled to within a run in the bottom-half, Lamb having homered to lead off the frame.
Chris Iannetta singled, Adam Rosales got hit, and a David Peralta groundout advanced both runners. With two outs, an open base and lefty Tony Watson on the mound, the Dodgers made the easy decision to walk A.J. Pollock intentionally, and pitch to Lamb. With Jake batting .143 against left-handers to that point, it was a sensible enough decision. Except, what do we say to the god of southpaws, Jake? Not today. On a 1-2 pitch, Watson delivered a cement-mixer. The pitcher said, “It was a hanging slider. It was the second one of the AB. He let me slide on the first one. He is not going to let me get by on two of them. He’s going to make me pay.”
"Offensively, what can you say about Jake Lamb? Two home runs, and nothing bigger than the grand slam off a very tough pitcher that traditionally has been very tough throughout the league. But Jake did a great job of digging out some pitches and fighting through his entire at-bat and basically won us a ballgame."
-- Torey Lovullo
Worth remembering: this was a game that entered D-backs lore for another reason. It was also the one where Archie Bradley, after getting out of the eighth inning, came off the field yelling, “This is OUR house!”
- 2007: Brandon Lyon covers third-base, 6/5 vs. SFG
- 2008: Alex Romero, game-saving catch, 7/29 vs. SDP
- 2009: Triple-play, 5/4 vs. LAD
- 2010: Brandon Allen’s come from behind grand-slam, 9/1 vs. SDP
- 2011: Ryan Roberts’ walk-off grand-slam, 9/27 vs. LAD
- 2012: Adam Eaton double-play, 9/9 vs. SDP
- 2013: Gerardo Parra's bare-hand force, 6/9 vs. SFG
- 2014: David Peralta steals home, 8/8 vs. COL
- 2015: A.J. Pollock catch at wall, 9/18 vs. SFG
- 2016: Archie Bradley fields comebacker, 10/1 vs. SDP
Lamb’s slam becomes the first hit to make the list since Ryan Roberts completed probably the most unlikely comeback in Diamondbacks history in 2011. It’s worth noting that all three hits to have won in this category have been the same kind - come-from-behind grand-slams that gave Arizona the lead. In the time we’ve been doing this award there have been ten of those, so 30% of them went on to become the Play of the Year. Also worth noting, this is the eleventh consecutive season where Play of the Year came in a game against a divisional rival. So it’s clearly not just what you do that matters, who you do it against counts as well.