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A look back at the 10 best games of 2017

MLB.com @DougMillerMLB

The Astros were the last team standing in 2017 after a year that had it all: Incredible personal achievements, home runs galore, hard-throwing pitchers reaching milestones and an October filled with drama that went down to the last game.

Picking the 10 best games of the season was a daunting task, but thanks to our friends at MLB Network we came up with an exemplary list that represents what makes games great: The stakes, the memorable moments and the rare feats that fans remember the most.

The Astros were the last team standing in 2017 after a year that had it all: Incredible personal achievements, home runs galore, hard-throwing pitchers reaching milestones and an October filled with drama that went down to the last game.

Picking the 10 best games of the season was a daunting task, but thanks to our friends at MLB Network we came up with an exemplary list that represents what makes games great: The stakes, the memorable moments and the rare feats that fans remember the most.

Here is a look at the 10 best games of 2017:

1. Oct. 29, World Series Game 5: Astros 13, Dodgers 12
What made it special: This unforgettable classic that immediately landed in the annals of all-time great Fall Classic games featured one serious roller-coaster ride of huge home runs and momentum swings. In the end, Alex Bregman's walk-off single in the 10th inning, after 5 hours and 17 minutes, won it for Houston, helping clear the way for its eventual seven-game triumph.

How it happened: The Astros fell behind at several points, by scores of 4-0, 7-4 and 8-7, but each time they hit home runs to tie the game. Los Angeles later pulled its own trick, facing a 12-9 deficit in the ninth inning, but getting a Yasiel Puig two-run homer and a Chris Taylor RBI single to tie the game at 12. Then, Bregman worked his magic, singling to left off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to score pinch-runner Derek Fisher and end the second-longest game in World Series history, sending an emotionally-drained Minute Maid Park crowd into the night's final frenzy.

"It's an unbelievable moment," Bregman said. "You dream about it as a little kid. To be living a dream, one win away from the World Series, is really special."

2. Aug. 1: Red Sox 12, Indians 10
What made it special: This back-and-forth epic featured two eventual American League division winners in the packed, always-special environment of Fenway Park, and was highlighted by one of the best defensive plays in the Major Leagues all season -- Austin Jackson's wild, flip-over-the-bullpen-wall-and-rob-a-sure-homer catch -- plus a walk-off dinger as the cherry on top.

How it happened: The Indians took a 3-0 lead in the first and added two in the second, but Boston tied it with five runs in the second. Cleveland added two in the fifth and kept the lead, temporarily at least, thanks to Jackson, who made best-of-2017 highlight reels with his astonishing grab against Hanley Ramirez, who connected to deep center against Tribe reliever Dan Otero. The ball was headed for the Red Sox bullpen, but Jackson sprinted toward the short wall, made the leaping catch and then flipped over the wall.

"That was one of the best catches I think I've ever seen," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I mean, I've been in the game a long time. That's a hard wall out there, and a lot of guys run away from it. Austin went up and over. That was one of the most exciting plays I've seen in a long, long time."

The game got more exciting for the home crowd when Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez ended it with a three-run homer to left-center off Indians closer Cody Allen.

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 2 - CLE@BOS

3. Oct. 25, World Series Game 2: Astros 7, Dodgers 6
What made it special: Only two games in, this World Series matchup had already put the "Classic" in Fall Classic with what would fast become a theme: Two stacked and relentless offenses playing a seemingly endless game of one-upsmanship until there weren't any outs left to record, buoyed by a barrage of homers. This game set a Series record with eight long balls, and George Springer's tie-breaker in the 11th was the biggest.

How it happened: The Dodgers had a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning after Corey Seager hit a two-run homer, but the game and the dinger hitting were far from over. A taut battle became historic when Astros slugger Marwin Gonzalez tied the game at 3 off Jansen in the ninth, and then Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa homered in the 10th to put the Astros ahead, 5-3, and become the first pair of players to hit back-to-back homers in extra innings in the World Series.

Los Angeles wouldn't give up, of course, and got a homer by Puig and a huge RBI single by Enrique Hernandez to tie the game at 5 in the bottom of the 10th. Then, eventual World Series Most Valuable Player Springer belted the game-winner, going deep off Brandon McCarthy in the 11th for a two-run blast that gave Houston enough to stave off one final rally from the Dodgers in the bottom of the frame.

"That's an incredible game on so many levels, so many ranges of emotion," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "If you like October baseball, if you like any kind of baseball, that's one of the most incredible games you'll ever be a part of."

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 3 - WS Gm2 HOU@LAD

4. Oct. 6, AL Division Series Game 2: Indians 9, Yankees 8
What made it special: One might think that having AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber knocked out early and losing Edwin Encarnacion to an ankle injury in the first inning would stop the Indians, but this was a team that won 22 games in a row in the regular season, and they didn't stop playing on this night, either. Francisco Lindor's dramatic grand slam in the sixth cut into a huge deficit, Jay Bruce's solo blast in the eighth tied it and Yan Gomes' unforgettable RBI single won it in the 13th for the Progressive Field faithful.

How it happened: As was the case for most of the season, the Indians didn't give up. And the Yankees didn't either. The signature moment of the game came in the sixth, with the Indians trailing, 8-3, and the ballpark near Lake Erie eerily silent. The Indians loaded the bases and Lindor emptied them with a blast to right field that electrified the crowd and set the tone for the histrionics that ensued. By the time Gomes lined a ball down the left-field line in the 13th to score Jackson for the winning run, Cleveland was delirious in celebration of yet another improbable win.

"The fight that this team has is unreal," Jackson said. "It just seemed like when we were down, it wasn't a down moment. The crowd was still into it, and that definitely pumped us up a lot."

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 4 - ALDS Gm2 NYY@CLE

5. Oct. 15, National League Championship Series Game 2, Dodgers 4, Cubs 1
What made it special: It wasn't just a walk-off homer in Dodger Stadium during the postseason, which will always bring back memories of Kirk Gibson's monumental blast in Game 1 of the World Series in 1988. It was a walk-off homer -- this one by Justin Turner -- in Dodger Stadium during the postseason on the exact day of the 29th anniversary of Gibson's blast.

How it happened: The setup for Turner was so storybook perfect that you'd be hard-pressed to write it in advance, even on a hilltop not too far from Hollywood itself. But with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and two runners on, with the score knotted at 1 following several hours of nail-biting NL baseball, Turner turned on a John Lackey fastball and drove it over the fence and into baseball lore. He didn't pump his fist a la Gibson while rounding the bases, but the long ball did have significant personal meaning to him, making it even more special.

"One of my earliest baseball memories was being at my grandma's house and watching that game and watching Gibby hit that homer," Turner said.

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 5 - NLCS Gm2 CHC@LAD

6. June 18: Rockies 7, Giants 5
What made it special: Walk-off homers are rare enough. Cycles are even harder to come by. But a walk-off homer to complete a cycle? That's darn-near impossible to pull off, yet that's exactly what Colorado's perennial MVP candidate, third baseman Nolan Arenado, managed to accomplish at Coors Field in this unforgettable game.

How it happened: Arenado got the always-tough triple out of the way in the first inning, singled in the fourth, doubled in a run in the sixth and then got up to bat with a one-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth against Giants closer Mark Melancon with two runners on. He hit a fly ball that cleared the left-field wall and the party began in downtown Denver.

"It's getting loud here -- that's the loudest it's ever been," Arenado said. "I think the fans and people in general are starting to get the hint that we are for real."

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 6 - SF@COL

7. Oct. 17, ALCS Game 4: Yankees 6, Astros 4
What made it special: The Yankees had lost the first two games of the series in Houston, but won Game 3, so they needed this one to tie it up and start a brand-new, best-of-three conclusion. They got it, courtesy of two of their youngest and most exciting players, the heart of the "Baby Bombers" revolution that is only beginning in the Bronx. Aaron Judge tied the game in the eighth and Gary Sanchez hit a go-ahead double, and the Yankees' four-run inning was too much for the Astros to overcome.

How it happened: With the Yankees trailing, 4-3, Judge, who had already homered in the seventh, tied the game in the eighth with a run-scoring double, setting up Sanchez to follow with a two-run double of his own that capped the four-run frame. That added up to six unanswered runs and new life for the Yankees, who otherwise would have been facing elimination in Game 5 against a personal nemesis, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel. Instead, they tied the series, which would eventually be settled in Houston in seven games.

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 7 - ALCS Gm4 HOU@NYY

8. Sept. 14: Indians 3, Royals 2
What made it special: Twenty consecutive wins is unheard of, but the 2017 Indians tied the 2002 A's by pulling it off. Twenty-one consecutive wins is an absurdity that the '17 Indians also figured out how to secure. Twenty-two wins? Hogwash, right? Delusional. Except when the 2017 Indians did that, too, by beating the Royals in typically ridiculous fashion on this night at Progressive Field in what would be the final victory in their remarkable streak.

How it happened: Things were awfully quiet in Cleveland in a tight game between these AL Central rivals, but the Tribe stuck with it and kept it close, tying the game with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning on Lindor's clutch double off the left-field wall. That opened things up for Bruce, who hit a run-scoring double in the bottom of the 10th that once again sent the Tribe off as winners.

"It's safe to say we're in uncharted territory," Bruce said. "You can't draw this stuff up, man. You really can't."

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 8 - KC@CLE

9. Aug. 23: Pirates 1, Dodgers 0
What made it special: Los Angeles left-hander Rich Hill had a perfect game through eight innings at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. He had a no-hitter after nine. He entered the game in the 10th inning on the verge of history, only to have the no-no and the game taken away from him in one home run swing off the bat of Pirates super-utility man Josh Harrison. The game also featured a spectacular defensive play by Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley to keep the perfecto alive.

How it happened: As great as Hill was on the mound all night, the Pirates' pitchers kept the game scoreless, which allowed Harrison's clutch theatrics to happen. Harrison's homer, which snuck over the left-field wall and set off a wild celebration among the Pittsburgh faithful, was the first walk-off blast to break up a no-hitter in extra innings in Major League history, and it made Hill only the second player to lose a no-hitter on a walk-off hit.

"It's a fantastic game," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "It just shows the beauty of the game and the things you can't draw up beforehand."

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 9 - LAD@PIT

10. Sept. 21: Cubs 5, Brewers 3
What made it special: Two clubs that were battling for postseason spots in a tough NL Central went at it in a late-September battle, and the game was back-and-forth the whole way. Then, late-inning dramatics were traded, and the Cubs walked away with a crucial victory on enemy turf in Miller Park.

How it happened: Javier Baez tied the game in the ninth inning with a clutch, two-out RBI single, but it wasn't over yet. The Brewers threatened in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases, until Cubs closer Wade Davis came up big and pitched out of it. Then, in the 10th, Cubs slugger Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer that decided it.

Video: MLB Network's Top 10 Games: No. 10 - CHC@MIL

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.