We are on Day 4 with no sports other than bowling, WWE, and MMA. For most people in the world, this means more time to catch up on Breaking Bad or whatever, but if you’re someone like me that only turns on his TV to watch sports, your sports dehydration is starting to get really bad. And you can’t exactly go outside and play sports yourself because…that’s not exactly the smart thing to do.
Never fear, the Diamond Digest crew is here to provide you with some random MLB games to fill your hunger. And when I say random, I mean random. Anyone can recommend watching Game 5 of the 2017 World Series or the Nationals winning the World Series 600 times over the next month, or so. Those games will probably be zipped through within the next week. All of the games mentioned here are of random selection; unless you are a diehard fan of the team, you are probably not going to remember any of these games by heart.
For those that do not know, most, if not all full games from 2009 to 2018, are on MLB’s YouTube channel. To find games, you just have to search on YouTube “(Away Team) AT (Home Team)”. If you are looking for games on a specific date or year, add “- (Month Day, Year)”. So for example, if you wanted to find a Marlins-Yankees game from 2015, you would type MIA AT NYA – 2015.
This list is a selection from a multitude of DD authors, also currently in sports dehydration. So, while there’s nothing to do, kick back, relax, and watch the most RANDOM games I can think of. Also, free advertisement money for MLB so they can pay minor leaguers!
(On a serious note, please be smart over the next month during this pandemic. Wash your hands, practice social distancing, don’t be with a large group of people, etc. Our lives are being affected by this, yes, but the faster we begin to practice these things, control this disease, and “flatten the curve”, the sooner we can return to our normal lives.)
First, let’s warm up with some less random and obscure games:
CIN AT PIT (NL Wild Card Game) – October 1, 2013
Both of these teams were under tremendous postseason pressure. The Reds were trying to move on to the NLDS to save Dusty Baker‘s reputation as a postseason choker. The Pirates had made the postseason for the first time since 1992 and were looking for their first postseason win since then.
In the bottom of the second inning, the Pittsburgh crowd, which ranked 19th in baseball that year but had 40,000 fans that day, got so loud that Johnny Cueto dropped the ball from the mound. The Pirates’ offense, led by a Russell Martin home run on the very next pitch, went off after that…
DET AT BAL (2014 ALDS Game 2) – October 3, 2014
The first of many comeback games on this list. After getting demolished in Game 1 of the series (or just the eighth inning), the Tigers took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning. But then, with the score 6-4, former Tiger and postseason threat Delmon Young came up to the plate…
By the way, this is the year where the Tigers had Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, David Price, Anibal Sanchez, and good Rick Porcello in the same rotation and won a grand total of zero postseason games.
SF AT NYM – June 9, 2015
The Giants had a pitcher throw a no-hitter in four consecutive years from 2012 to 2015.
- Matt Cain (perfect game) in 2012
- Tim Lincecum in 2013
- Tim Lincecum again in 2014
- …Chris Heston in 2015?!
Yes, Chris Heston, a 27-year old rookie making his 13th career start, threw the first of seven 2015 MLB no-hitters. It also would not be the first time the NL Champion Mets were no-hit that season, but that was by a much more seasoned pitcher in Max Scherzer.
After a relatively strong 2015, Heston made a grand total of seven appearances in 2016 and 2017 (mainly due to injuries), and his last stint in professional baseball was a return to the Giants’ minor league system. I would say that this is the most random no-hitter this century, but then I would remind myself of Phillip Humber’s perfect game.
LAD AT PIT – August 23, 2017
By this time in 2017, the Dodgers had all but clinched a postseason spot. Coming into this game, they were 89-36, and pretty much on their way to becoming the best team of all-time.
They were supposed to get even closer to that in this one. In fact, starter/jump Papi Rich Hill had no-hit the Pirates through nine. The only problem: the Dodgers had scored a grand total of ZERO runs and left 11 men on base against the powerful trio of Trevor Williams, Felipe Rivero, and Juan Nicasio in ten innings. Hill came out for the tenth inning to try and send his no-hitter (and the game) into the 11th inning and…
Fun fact: The Dodgers would lose 16 of their next 19 games after this one, and watched a 21 game advantage in the NL West slip to as little as 8.5.
Also, Joe Davis!
CHC AT COL – July 31, 2010
Couple of things to note in this game:
- Carlos Gonzalez came into this game hitting .314/.345/.533 on the season, including three homers and a 1.496 OPS in his five games.
- CarGo and Troy Tulowitzki hitting back to back in a lineup sounds like pure hell for pitchers.
- Dexter Fowler is a Rockie.
- The old MLB on FOX intro still exists.
Only that first bullet point matters, because CarGo certainly continued to be hot in this game.
SEA AT LAA – July 8, 2011
On this day, a young, 19-year old outfield top prospect named Michael Trout made his big league debut with the Angels. It wasn’t a great one, he went 0-for-3, but his veteran teammates picked him up. Wonder what that kid is doing nowadays?
Also, a rare sighting of Vernon Wells doing something good for the Angels!
DET AT MIN – October 6, 2009
This game does not need an introduction. Just watch.
Now, let’s move on to some lesser-known, more obscure games.
HOU AT TEX – September 17, 2015
Before the Astros turned the American League West into their personal drum kit (figuratively and literally), they were in a fierce battle for the American League West. The Rangers had won the first two games of a four-game series to take a 0.5 game advantage over the Astros in the division. The Angels weren’t far behind in the race either.
With eventual Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel on the mound for the Astros and pitcher that you probably forgot existed until I mentioned his name Martin Perez for the Rangers, you would probably think that the Rangers win easily. Well, that’s not how baseball works…
However, the race was not done after sweeping the Astros. After this stretch of games below, the Rangers were suddenly only two games up with two games left to play…
LAA AT TEX – October 3rd, 2015
I have a very strange feeling that if the final play’s call wasn’t on every “Matt Vasgersian getting excited” highlight reel, nobody would know this game exists.
Let me set up the scenario. The Astros are two games back on the Rangers in the division, the Angels are one game behind the Astros in the Wild Card. The surprising Twins are two games behind the Astros in the Wild Card. Meanwhile, the Yankees are only two games ahead of the Astros for home-field advantage in the wild card game. Suddenly, there is a chance that there is a three-way tie for the wild card. In other words, baseball.
On October 3rd, 2015, a slugfest of a game happened in Arlington and got us closer to the crazy tiebreaker scenario (by the way, Angels lost (therefore the Rangers clinched the division and eliminated the Angels from postseason contention), so the crazy didn’t happen).
HOU AT PHI – August 24, 2010
Ah yes, one of those long, tense, and somewhat confusing games. The Phillies had quite a few chances to win the game but failed to score the winning run. After Ryan Howard was ejected from the game in the 14th, the Phillies, down to pitchers on the bench, had to make some wild decision choices on the field.
The Phillies would be swept by the Astros, but a 23-7 September/October secured them the division anyway.
BOS AT SEA – August 2, 2016
If a team’s win probability chart looked like this heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, you would probably suppose that the team on top won the game, right?
The team on top was the Boston Red Sox, up 4-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning after a brilliant start by David Price. But the bottom of the eighth inning changed everything…
That’s not the only exciting game the Mariners played in 2016…
OAK AT SEA – October 1, 2016
As much as we may like to make fun of the Mariners for not making the postseason since 2001, if they had their way, they should’ve had at least three appearances this decade. In 2014, they couldn’t control their own destiny, winning their final four games to at least set up a Game 163, but the A’s took care of business against the Rangers to clinch the final wild-card spot. In 2018, they went 89-73, the problem is that the American League decided to pick that year to be top-heavy (reminder: the 100-win New York Yankees and 97-win Oakland A’s were the wild card teams that year).
In 2016, the Mariners were pretty much out of it before an 18-9 September put them just one game out of the second wild-card spot. All they had to do was win two more games against the last-place A’s and they would, at the very least, lock up a chance at a tiebreaker. Things were looking bleak late into this one, and then some magic happened…
OAK AT NYY – August 25, 2011
This game was weird to start with. There was a good, long rain delay before the game could even get started. Phil Hughes did not have a good start, and it was 7-1 before the third inning could end. But the Yankees came back (by a lot) with a little bit of grand history involved.
Oh, and Jorge Posada played second!
OAK AT NYY – September 22, 2012
In case you’re wondering why this game sounds so familiar, it’s because I wrote about it before a year and a half ago.
Rather than explain the entire game all over again (unless you want me to), I’ll just link you to the game so you can watch it in its entirety.
For whatever reason, this video is no longer embedding, so I’m just going to give this to you in link form (click the image below).
BAL AT MIA – May 23, 2015
No, I cannot give you an answer as to why this was a national television game, but I can tell you this: if you love slugfests, this is not the one for you. Both teams were scoreless through 12 innings before the eventual winning run(s) came in to score in the 13th.
This was also hop step-Papi Carter Capps‘ best relief appearance of the year and happened to be the game where Brian Matusz was caught with a foreign substance on his arm, the second pitcher to be caught with an illegal substance that week.
Also, Dan Jennings is the manager of the Marlins.
Also, Joe Davis!
NYM AT NYY – August 13, 2018
If you thought I was lying when I said random, this is about as random as we’re gonna get. This was a game between one New York team that was slipping and falling after getting swept by their rivals (that’s the Yankees) and another team that was still freefalling after starting 11-1.
But this game is on this list for a multitude of reasons:
- Noted sports journalist, turned political broadcaster, turned sports broadcaster Keith Olbermann was doing play-by-play.
- This Monday Night game was an ESPN exclusive because it was a make-up of a rained out game that was supposed to be on Sunday Night Baseball.
- In case you’re wondering why Olbermann was doing the game, Karl Ravech was on vacation, and the usual Sunday Night Baseball crew was still recovering their voices from this.
- Luis Severino was in a pure downward spiral from AL Cy Young Award favorite at this point.
- No Aaron Judge, Neil Walker is playing right field.
- Jose Bautista is a Met!
- The first two innings were very (very) long for no good reason.
- Noah Syndergaard interview!
- Olbermann and Tim Kurkjian argue about the value of the pitcher’s win.
So if you want to take a seat and laugh/not laugh/cringe/vomit/contemplate life/etc. at a baseball game, this one is for you.
LAA AT DET – May 30, 2018
This game was one of those that just makes you love the game of baseball. The first few innings saw a little bit of rain, then enough rain to bring out the tarp, then pouring rain to bring out the tarp again. During that second delay, a wild, feathery animal got onto the field, and during the literal wild goose chase, flew juuuuuuuust a bit low.
Whether by luck or because Cam Bedrosian didn’t have it, the Tigers would score five runs in the bottom of that inning. Of course, the Rally Goose became a small thing, as the Tigers won their next three games to get to two games under .500.
PUR AT DOM (2013 WBC Final) – March 19, 2013
No, this isn’t an MLB game, but it’s a game that involves a lot of Major League players. Also, it’s baseball.
Anyway, the Dominican Republic was 8-0 on their World Baseball Classic run and were one win away from a flawless WBC run and their first championship. Let’s see if they get it…
CWS AT BAL – April 29, 2015
The circumstances surrounding the death of Freddie Gray in 2015 led to civil unrest in the city of Baltimore. The first two games of this series were postponed, but there was no way to make up the later game. So the final game was played with no fans in attendance, the first time such an occurrence happened in major league history.
The experience, players, reporters, and Camden Yards staff at the game, was “surreal”. Many fans that didn’t stay home watched from outside the stadium or from their high-rise hotels. At various points, including both Orioles’ home runs in the game, Gary Thorne’s booming voice bled over to the White Sox’ television broadcast of the game.
It is very likely that when—if—baseball returns this year, they will be played in front of empty stands. Well…this is what a crowd-less game is like.
Game 162 – September 28, 2011
There are not enough words to describe this day of baseball, so I’m just going to leave the four games that determined wild card positioning here:
(Yes, I am very aware that this is now 23 games and not 20.)
BONUS: TEN AT CAL (2012 LLWS US Championship Game) – August 25, 2012
This might be the greatest baseball game that I have ever watched and that includes Major League Baseball games. You’ll see why.
Follow Payton Ellison on Twitter (@realpmelli14).