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2023 SnakePit Awards: Game of the Year nominations

Wins! Get yer pipin’ hot wins here!

MLB: Houston Astros at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Regular season

Three games were nominated in the thread, and no additional candidates were put forward, so I’ve added two on using my executive decision-making power. For each of the five, we have a highlight video, an explanation of why it deserves your consideration, and a quote from the SnakePit game recap. The full recap is linked if you want to read more!

April 21, 9-0 vs Padres - Beating Sad Diego

For your consideration. The pundits had the Padres as potentially favorites for the division coming in, but this game showed that the D-backs were not going to be taken lightly. Of the six April games against San Diego, only one was decided by more than two runs, and it was this glorious blowout victory for Arizona. Zac Gallen was at his masterful best, tossing seven shutout inning of two-hit ball, with no walks and eleven strikeouts. The D-backs then blew the game open with a seven-run eighth inning, sending eleven men to the plate. Recap quote: “This game was an absolute pleasure, from start to finish. Top-notch pitching, enough offense in the early going, and then an absolutely hilarious bottom of the eighth”

June 12, 9-8 vs. Phillies - Comeback kings reach 16 over .500.

For your consideration: The D-backs came in 312 up in the division, but odds of increasing it seemed slim as the Phillies jumped 5-1 ahead in the third, and Torey Lovullo got ejected. However, the Answerbacks did their thing, responding with two runs, then two more in the fourth to tie. A three-run homer by Evan Longoria in a four-run sixth pushed them ahead, and they held on. Recap quote: “One final bit of drama, which feels possibly unique in my time watching the Diamondbacks. A Castro sinker was cranked down the first-base line and 1B umpire Jerry Layne initially signaled a two-run homer, That would have given the Phillies a 10-9 lead. But turns out, it was actually foul by three feet or so... Just a long, loud strike.”

July 18, 16-13 @ Braves - Madness in Atlanta

For your consideration: The Braves came in with the best record in the majors, but it was the D-backs who prevailed in the resulting 29-run slugfest. Arizona set a new franchise records for runs allowed in a victory, allowing thirteen runs through the first six innings, at which point the D-backs trailed 13-12. But the offense was better down the stretch, tying things up in the eighth, before a three-run ninth brought them the victory, as Tyler Gilbert, Miguel Castro and Kevin Ginkel combined for the last three shutout innings. Recap quote: “This one was daunting to write up, honestly, but also a lot of fun. We traded body blows with the best team in the Major Leagues today, and we came out on top.”

September 8, 1-0 @ Cubs - Gallen and Carroll deliver

For your consideration: If the above was a day the offense bailed out the pitching, this was the complete opposite. Arizona had gone over 600 games since their last 1-0 win, late in 2019, but Zac Gallen pitched the team’s only complete-game shutout of the year, which already won our Regular Season Performance of the Year. Meanwhile, Corbin Carroll drove in the game’s only run, on a hit initially ruled an outfield catch, before being overturned on review. Truly, this was a game decided by the smallest of margins. Recap quote: “It was a veritable parade for both teams of batters coming to the plate, batters making outs, batters going and sitting down again.”

September 16, 7-6 (13) vs. Cubs - The Longest Day

For your consideration: The recent rule changes have basically killed the marathon. This one ran four hours and twenty-four minutes, and was the longest regular season game in the majors this year, by almost a quarter of an hour. As recently as 2022, it wouldn’t even have made the top twenty-five. In 2019, fifty-two were longer. But this was an enthralling game, tied at three after nine, but still needed four more frames even with the Manfred Man to separate the teams, with fifteen pitchers being used and the teams combined for 24 hits and 11 walks. Recap quote: “I’m glad that I ran to the store to grab a thirty pack just prior to first pitch because it definitely was needed.”

Post-season

There’s no such thing as a bad or underwhelming post-season win. They’re all awesome. That’s why I didn’t bother having a discussion to filter down Arizona’s playoff victories. While there were 84 in the regular season, making a listing of them all slightly unwieldy, there were just 10 in the post-season. Picking a favorite seems like picking a favorite child. So, I decided I would simply list all ten on the form, and ask you to put them in order of preference. So, on the form below, while the regular season section is the traditional “pick one,” on the playoff category, it’s a grid. #1 is your favorite, #2 your second favorite, and so on down to #10 for your least-favorite win.

The form

It’s below, or linked here if you need that. Note that there is going to be a quicker than usual turnaround on this one. I’m off to Las Vegas with Mrs. S to see Depeche Mode on Friday, so in order to get the Saturday winner’s announcement posted, votes will be accepted up until 6 pm (AZ time) on Thursday. You are therefore cordially suggested to get your skates on with picking your winner!