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2023 SnakePit Awards: Games of the Year

Relive the greatest games of the year with us.

Chicago Cubs v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Regular season: 9/16, 7-6 (13) vs. Cubs - The Longest Day

Picking up 53% of the votes, the longest regular season game of the year in the major leagues proved to be the best of the front 162 for the Diamondbacks. It was part of a fierce battle for the last NL wild-card spot. Going into play, the D-backs were tied with the Reds, half a game ahead of the Marlins, and 1.5 back of the Cubs. So every contest mattered, going into the Saturday night contest at Chase Field, in front of a crowd of 35,193. Zach Davies started for Arizona, and Kyle Hendricks for Chicago, and they traded zeroes for the first three innings.

RBI off the bats of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Christian Walker gave the D-backs a lead in the fourth, but the Cubs chased Davies and scored three in the fifth. Gurriel's second RBI tied things up in the sixth, and that was all the scoring in regulation. Into extra innings we went, with the Manfred Man in effect, seeking to speed things up. Things looked grim in the 10th, as Andrew Saalfrank allowed that man to score and had a runner on third with no outs. But he escaped further damage, and Corbin Carroll's single leveled the score back up at 4-4.

The pattern repeated in the 11th inning, first Chicago and then Arizona scoring their free runner, but no more, Gurriel notching another RBI. The 12th saw Joe Mantiply take over, and he stranded the runner, but the D-backs couldn't score after loading the bases with one out, a Ketel Marte K being especially rough. In the 13th, the Cubs edged ahead 6-5, and despite a walk to Evan Longoria, the D-backs were down their last strike. But first Emmanuel Rivera, then Gabriel Moreno delivered two-strike run-scoring singles to deliver a key walk-off win, on the eventual road to the World Series.

SnakePit recap. "The Arizona Diamondbacks have won the longest game by time in the 2023 season brining them within a half game of the second wild card in the National League. It wasn’t too long ago that these four hour marathons were more common now that pace of play changes have brought game times back closer to the two and a half hour mark. Four lead changes in extra innings will do that to you. I’m glad that I ran to the store to grab a thirty pack just prior to first pitch because it definitely was needed."

Previous winners

Post-season: NLCS Game 7, 10/24 ‐ 4-2 @ Phillies

In this section, you had to rank the ten post-season wins for Arizona, and interestingly, there was no clear outcome. The average rank for all ten games could have been from 1 to 10, but a span of four covered them all. There was a tie at the top between Game 7 in the NL Championship Series against Philadelphia and the opener of the Division Series in Los Angeles. In the end, I exercised my executive privilege to cast the tiebreaker, and went for the game which sent the Diamondbacks to the World Series for the first time in twenty-two years.

Arizona had fought back to force a Game 7 by ending the Phillies 100% hone record the previous night. They got out to an early lead here, a Christian Walker ground-out giving them a 1-0 lead in the first. Brandon Pfaadt had been the hero in Game 3 and kept his team in it once again. He did allow the tying run in the second and the go-ahead run in the fourth, but that was all. The Arizona bullpen took over, and was absolute nails, throwing five scoreless innings of one-hit baseball. Kevin Ginkel stood out, retiring all five batters faced, three by strikeout.

Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks broke through against Ranger Suarez in the fifth. Rivera's lead-off single came in to score the tying run on a Carroll single. He then stole second, and gave Arizona a 3-2 lead when Moreno singled him home. Carroll provided a very welcome insurance run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning, to make it 4-2. That meant it was time for Paul Sewald to pitch, and he closed out the game with an entirely drama-free ninth. He retired the Phillies in order, getting Jake Cave to fly put to Carroll in right, and giving the D-backs the second National League pennant in franchise history.

SnakePit recap: OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG. Is that enough? No? Ok. Fair. This game. Good lord. The team came to play. And they played their way. The Arizona Diamondbacks delivered by embracing the chaos rather than trying to power their way through. Pfaadt had another amazing outing. Carroll finally broke out in the NLCS with 3 hits and 2 stolen bases. Perdomo continued to be a sparkplug against new pitchers. Ginkel, Thompson and Sewald pitched phenomenally. It was as complete a game as we’ve seen this season.

The full ranking

  1. [NLCS #7: 4-2 @ PHI] - 3.79
  2. [NLDS #1: 11-2 @ LAD] - 3.79
  3. [NLCS #4: 6-5 vs. PHI] - 4.00
  4. [NLCS #3: 2-1 vs. PHI] - 4.11
  5. [NLDS #3: 4-2 vs. LAD] - 4.53
  6. [WS #2: 9-1 @ TEX] - 5.58
  7. [NLCS #6: 5-1 @ PHI] - 6.74
  8. [NLDS #2: 4-2 @ LAD] - 7.21
  9. [NLWC #1: 6-3 @ MIL] - 7.53
  10. [NLWC #2: 5-2 @ MIL] - 7.74