Time to open up the categories for our next award of the decade. Much as with the Play of the Decade categories, I think the likely winner is probably going to come from one of a couple of candidates, so they will pre-qualify for the final poll. In this case, there are three performances which get a bye past the first round, those being:
- Edwin Jackson, June 25, 2010 - No-hitter vs. Tampa Bay
- Josh Collmenter, May 29, 2014 - Imperfect game vs. Cincinnati
- J.D. Martinez, Septembet 4, 2017 - Four homers vs. Los Angeles
But we still need some others to fill out the field, and who knows, perhaps a dark horse will emerge to beat them all? Below, you can find some possible contenders, measured by various metrics. But feel free to nominate your own.
|Patrick Corbin||2018-04-17||SFG||W 1-0||9||1||0||0||1||8||92|
|Ian Kennedy||2011-09-19||PIT||W 1-0||8||1||0||0||1||12||91|
|Ian Kennedy||2011-04-25||PHI||W 4-0||9||3||0||0||0||10||91|
|Alex Young||2019-09-07||CIN||W 2-0||8||2||0||0||1||12||89|
|Robbie Ray||2017-05-30||PIT||W 3-0||9||4||0||0||0||10||89|
|Robbie Ray||2017-09-04||LAD||W 13-0||7.2||3||0||0||0||14||87|
|Zack Greinke||2017-05-11||PIT||W 2-1||8||1||1||1||1||11||86|
|Brandon McCarthy||2013-05-18||MIA||W 1-0||9||3||0||0||2||5||84|
The above candidates are largely based on Game Score, with a couple of exceptions. Ray’s start qualifies due to the 14 strikeouts, which was the most posted by a D-backs pitcher in the decade - that he also walked none is a plus. Greinke’s outing was. I think, the deepest an Arizona pitcher has taken a no-hitter into a game since Jackson’s effort. And McCarthy qualifies on the basis of Win Probability. His WP of +79.9% in that game was beaten only by the Jackson no-hitter (+81.5%).
For bullpen work, Win Probability is perhaps the best mark, rewarding a combination of length and leverage. The two best scores of the decade were both four-inning scoreless outings in extras, by Jon Duplantier and T.J. McFarland respectively. But third was a Daniel Hudson outing which took a mere seven pitches. He came in to the eighth inning, trying to protect a one-run lead with the bases loaded and no outs. Three infield popups later, he was at +55.2% of WP. We should also include Josh Collmenter’s six innings of one-hit relief, after Trevor Cahill was hit by a pitch and had to leave the game. So, possible candidates from this category include:
- Josh Collmenter, June 19, 2013: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 81 pitches
- Daniel Hudson: August 20, 2016: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 7 pitches, +55.2% WP
- T.J. McFarland, July 8, 2018: 4 IP. 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO, +56.7% WP
- Jon Duplantier, April 28, 2019: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, +57.6% WP
When it comes to performances at the plate, it’s perhaps a bit harder to come up with candidates, since there are a few different ways in which things can be measured. Total bases? Win probability? RBI? These are all potential factors which could arguably be included, though the weight you give to each of these objective numbers is going to be largely a subjective decision. But here are a few which stand out, for one reason or another.
- Kelly Johnson, May 30, 2011: 4-for-6, two HR, TPL, DBL, 13 bases
- Aaron Hll, June 29, 2012: second cycle in a month
- Ryan Roberts, June 8, 2012: 3-for-5, HR, two DBL, three RBI, +95.8 WP
- Paul Goldschmidt, May 31, 2015: 3-for-4, HR, RBI, four BB, seven times on base
- Paul Goldschmidt, August 3, 2017: 3-for-4, three HR, six RBI, +74.5% WP [the Cubs’ rain game]
Interestingly, Roberts’ top WP of the decade was NOT his walk-off grand-slam against the Dodgers, but came courtesy of a walk-off, three-run homer against the A’s. The grand-slam game, TatMan was “only” worth +69.1%, having gone 0-for-4 and -22% previous to his game-ending homer. There are also a couple of other three home-run games potentially worth consideration. Jason Kubel had one on July 21, 2012, as did A.J. Pollock on April 30, 2018. Though I think Pollock may have burned his chances of many here voting for him, for anything, ever again...
The nomination process
- If you see a performance mentioned in the comments you think should be one of the nominees, you should rec that comment.
- If you do not see a performance mentioned which you think should be a nominee, you should write a new comment with an outline of that performance as the subject (like the pre-qualifiers above). You can then explain in the body of the comment your reasons why.
- You can also nominate any other performances that were not listed above, and explain why.
- If you want to nominate multiple candidates, please do so - just use one comment for each, so they can be individually rec’d.
- Duplicate comments for the same performance will be removed.
- The three comments with the most recs will probably become the nominees in the final ballot for performance of the decade, joining Jackson, Collmenter and Martinez. I say “probably” because as ever, the judging panel are omnipotent and omniscient.