One of the joys of baseball is that, in any game, you may see something which has never happened before. Such was the case at Chase Field tonight, where the Diamondbacks squeaked out a 1-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. According to Elias Sports, Arizona are the first team to win a regulation length game in the modern era (since at least the 19th century), with just a single base-runner. Nick Ahmed’s hustle triple - to left-field, a rarity in itself - proved to be the difference maker, as he came home with the game’s only run, on a Jarrod Dyson sacrifice fly.
But it was certainly not the first 1-0 win in Arizona history. There have 21 of those previously, so let’s take a look at some of the most remarkable in team history. Links go to the individual game box-scores at Baseball Reference, and here is the full list:
The first was towards the end of the 1998 season. Arizona’s only run came in the sixth inning. After a pair of walks, Matt Williams hit an infield single to short, there was a defensive miscue and Tony Batista motored all the way around from second for the game’s only run. Brian Anderson tossed a complete-game shutout on 102 pitches, holding Pittsburgh to three hits. The game was completed in a crisp two hours, our quickest 1-0 win.
The same could not be said for this one, a 1-0 win which took seven minutes short of SIX HOURS to complete. That’s because it required 18 innings to separate the teams, still the longest in franchise history. The teams had their chances, combining to go 1-for-25 with runners in scoring position - and that hit didn’t even score the run. That instead came on Erubiel Durazo’s 18th-inning double, bringing Steve Finley all the way around from first.
I was actually at this game, along with Jack Sommers, and got to enjoy Chad Tracy hitting a walk-off home-run with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning. It’s the only 1-0 walk-off win in extras the Diamondbacks have ever had. Doug Davis went seven scoreless, and starting for the Royals that day was some guy called Zack Greinke. I wonder whatever happened to him? It was also a Friday the 13th game, rather than a Saturday the 14th one!
This was the infamous and quite insane Edwin Jackson no-hitter, where he threw an astonishing 149 pitches, walking eight batters and hitting another one. Through three innings, he had seven walks and taken 70 pitches. No pitcher since 2005 has thrown as many pitches in a game as Jackson did: indeed, only one has gone past 137. An Adam LaRoche home-run in the second inning was all the offense Arizona would get or need.
Before tonight, this was the only Diamondbacks victory where they managed just a solitary hit. It was a Stephen Drew double leading off the second: he should have been picked off, but an error on Chad Billingsley instead moved Drew to third, from where he scored on a Melvin Mora sacrifice fly. Meanwhile, Josh Collmenter and three Arizona relievers combined to four-hit the Dodgers, J.J. Putz closing out the game with a double-play.
The other walk-off 1-0 win in franchise history will likely have you shaking your head from a contemporary viewpoint. Because, in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run on second in the shape of A.J. Pollock, the Dodgers intentionally walked Miguel Montero, in order to pitch to... Paul Goldschmidt. Yeah, guess how that worked out: an RBI single. Trevor Cahill tossed 7.1 scoreless innings for a very tough no-decision.
This one is remarkable, not for how it finished, but how it began. Gerardo Parra homered, leading off the top of the first, on the opening pitch from Tom Koehler. It was the only scoring for either side, the first time that had happened in almost 20 years, since Sep 13, 1993, when the Pirates did it - also against the Marlins. Brandon McCarthy pitched a three-hitter, getting his first W since being hit in the head by a line drive the previous September.
The most recent example was the seventh and most recent case of our starter tossing a complete game shutout in a 1-0 win. In this case, it was Patrick Corbin, who tossed a one-hitter, taking the no-hitter into the eighth inning, when Brandon Belt singled with two outs. However, a David Peralta RBI single in the bottom half got him the W. Corbin walked one and struck out eight. The resulting Game Score of 92 is the highest by a D-back in a 1-0 win.