The 5: Best Arizona Diamondbacks home playoff games at Chase Field
Oct 6, 2017, 6:10 AM
(AP Photo/Matt York)
At a certain point in Wednesday’s National League Wild Card Game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, everyone had to realize they were watching something special at Chase Field.
The 19-run slugfest featured moment after moment, and that made those spectating wonder where it ranked among the best home playoff games in D-backs history.
We are here to help with that. Let’s take a look at some of the most memorable home games in Arizona Diamondbacks history.
1999 NLDS Game 2: D-backs vs. Mets
As we take on this journey, let’s start at the beginning.
In the D-backs’ first playoff series in franchise history, the 100-win 1999 D-backs dropped Game 1 at home to the New York Mets.
They responded well in Game 2, beating the Mets 7-1 for the team’s first playoff win.
Todd Stottlemyre picked up the win and Steve Finley had five RBI on a single, double and walk.
Arizona dropped the series in four games but established themselves as a playoff baseball team for the first time.
2001 World Series Game 6: D-backs vs. Yankees
There is another game in the World Series we have to get to later, of course, but it’s easy to forget the elimination game at Chase Field in Game 6.
Coming off two heartbreaking losses in New York — in 10 innings in Game 4 and 12 innings in Game 5 — all D-backs fans wanted was a fast start at home in order to restore the team’s momentum for the rest of the series and kill off the nerves.
The D-backs were aware, blowing out the Yankees 15-2 to force a Game 7.
They jumped all over Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte, having the 2001 ALCS MVP out of the game before the end of the third inning.
Pettitte exited in that third inning, with six earned runs to his name, but the real damage would go to Jay Witasick, who allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 1.1 innings.
The most amazing aspect of that eight-run third inning was the D-backs using only three extra-base hits during the barrage, and all of them were doubles.
While Danny Bautista finished the game with five RBI, it was a team effort, with eight other D-backs picking up an RBI, including the winning starting pitcher Randy Johnson.
2001 NLDS Game 5: D-backs vs. Cardinals
Speaking of Bautista, his slide into home for the series-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning and Tony Womack’s celebration will feature on franchise highlight videos for years to come.
The 2-1 victory for Arizona was nerve-wracking throughout, as despite having Curt Schilling on the mound, fans knew all it took was one swing of the bat from then-rookie Albert Pujols, J.D. Drew, Jim Edmonds, or Mark McGwire to give the Cardinals the edge.
Schilling was brilliant, though, pitching a complete game and allowing only one run.
His performance led to Womack’s RBI single to bring in Bautista for the walk-off win. Womack jumped up and down, pointing to the sky for his father, who had passed away earlier in the season.
2017 NL Wild Card Game: D-backs vs. Rockies
The 11-8 D-backs win had everything. Arizona had four triples, each team had an RBI bunt and D-backs reliever Andrew Chafin got the win for throwing seven pitches and recording one out in the fourth inning.
The D-backs took control early via Paul Goldschmidt’s three-run HR off Colorado starter Jon Gray after much was made of his slump and struggles against Gray.
After six unanswered runs to start the game, Colorado answered back with four in the fourth, ending Zack Greinke’s disappointing outing.
One run later, and it was 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh in front of an extremely nervy Chase Field crowd.
That comeback by the Rockies, however, led to one of the signature moments in franchise history.
Coming in to close out the seventh inning and resume his work in the eighth, reliever Archie Bradley was forced to hit in the bottom half with two outs.
Bradley, a fan favorite for his passion, ripped a triple to left-center, scoring two and leading to Bradley’s roar matching the crowd’s, the loudest the stadium had been in well over a decade.
There would be six runs combined by the teams in the last two innings, but Bradley’s triple will always be what fans remember most about the electric playoff game.
2001 World Series Game 7: D-backs vs. Yankees
FOX’s Joe Buck’s call of the last at-bat starts with “the chance of a lifetime for Luis Gonzalez,” and he was not exaggerating.
The game that features the biggest moment in franchise history and one of the biggest in the history of the sport had the highest possible drama for sports.
Closer Mariano Rivera, the best of all-time, had a one-run lead in the ninth. After a shocking error by Rivera, Tony Womack’s RBI double later in the inning made it a one-run game.
Craig Counsell was hit by a pitch on the next at-bat and the stage was set for the team’s best hitter Gonzalez to make history.
He did it, hitting the most infamous bloop single ever to score Jay Bell and win a World Series.