The 5 best single games by D-backs pitchers

January 18th, 2021

There has been no shortage of outstanding pitching performances in D-backs history, which isn't surprising given that Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling and Brandon Webb spent time pitching in the desert.

But what were the Top 5 regular-season pitching games of all-time? Here's my take:

1. : perfect game on May 18, 2004
It’s hard to argue with perfection, and that’s what Johnson was that night against the Braves at Turner Field. At age 40, Johnson became the oldest author of a perfect game as he dominated Atlanta, throwing 117 pitches, 87 for strikes. He went to three balls on just one batter while striking out 13. The closest the Braves came to reaching base that night was in the sixth, when shortstop Alex Cintron made a do-or-die play on Mike Hampton’s grounder. The final out came when pinch-hitter Eddie Perez swung and missed at a 98-mph fastball.

“I don't think my stuff has been any better than it was today,” Johnson said that night.

2. Randy Johnson: 20-K no-decision on May 8, 2001
Johnson tied the record for the most strikeouts in a nine-inning performance with 20 and walked away with a no-decision, thanks to a lack of offensive support. He allowed three hits and did not walk a batter with the Reds scratching across a run on a Ruben Rivera RBI single in the fifth inning. The D-backs could do little with Cincinnati starter Chris Reitsma, scoring just once in the sixth. The Reds scored a pair of runs in the 11th inning, but Arizona answered with three in the bottom half to win a wild, historic game, 4-3.

3. Randy Johnson: 17-K complete game vs. Rockies on April 21, 2002
Johnson had dominant stuff against the Rockies with only outfielder Juan Pierre able to figure him out. Pierre led off the game with a single, advanced to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on another passed ball. That unearned run was the only one given up by Johnson, who allowed two hits, walked one and struck out 17.

"He was outstanding," Rockies manager Buddy Bell said. "That's as good as it gets. You've got to tip your hat to him. It doesn't matter who he was facing today, he would have been dominant against anyone. He could have been facing an All-Star lineup. It's as good as I've ever seen him."

4. : 'Maddux' vs. Cards on on Sept. 9, 2006
When he warmed up in the bullpen prior to facing the Cardinals, Webb didn't feel like he had his best stuff. Boy, was he wrong! The right-hander allowed just one hit -- a Scott Rolen double in the fourth -- and did not walk a batter while striking out five and throwing just 96 pitches. "Pitching a Maddux" -- named after Hall of Famer Greg Maddux -- refers to when a pitcher tosses a complete-game shutout while throwing fewer than 100 pitches. Webb made quick work of the Cards as well, completing the game in 1 hour, 54 minutes. The game helped solidify Webb's bid for the National League Cy Young Award, which he ended up winning.

5. : no-hitter vs. Rays on June 25, 2010
This game is not on here because it was a thing of beauty; it was actually quite ugly. But the fact that Jackson managed to throw a no-hitter while walking eight batters -- well, that has to somehow qualify for this list. Jackson walked seven batters in the first three innings and with the high pitch count -- 149 pitches is still the highest single-game total since 2005, no-hitter or not -- it wasn't at all certain that Jackson would finish the game.

"I didn't pay attention to the pitch count at the end," Jackson said. "I didn't want it on my mind."