Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Here is each team’s signature win of 2019

@paul_casella
November 30, 2019

Whether it be a dramatic walk-off victory, a dominant pitching performance or -- in the case of one team -- a World Series-clinching victory, every team has that one game each season that stands out above all the others. MLB.com beat reporters rolled out a list of each club's top

Whether it be a dramatic walk-off victory, a dominant pitching performance or -- in the case of one team -- a World Series-clinching victory, every team has that one game each season that stands out above all the others.

MLB.com beat reporters rolled out a list of each club's top five wins of the 2019 season on Wednesday, and we collected the No. 1 game for all 30 teams in one place below. Each team has a link below to the rest of its top five games this season, but here's a look at the absolute best game for every team:

AL EAST

Blue Jays: July 29 vs. Royals

When the Blue Jays arrived in Kansas City just ahead of the Trade Deadline, they brought another fresh face into the fold, as Bo Bichette made his Major League debut. The 21-year-old shortstop legged out an infield single in his first big league at-bat, kicking off an 11-game hitting streak to begin his career, including nine straight games with at least one extra-base hit. As for the July 29 contest, the Blue Jays defeated the Royals, 7-3, in a game that felt like it was ushering in a new era in Toronto thanks to an emerging core of Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio. Blue Jays top 5 »

Orioles: March 30 vs. Yankees

Brandon Hyde was facing an uphill battle when he walked into Yankee Stadium for just his second game as a big league manager. Two days after dropping his debut on Opening Day, Hyde had the added responsibility of finding a replacement for starter Alex Cobb, who was suddenly unavailable due to a groin injury. The first-year skipper decided to go with in an early-season bullpen day, rolling out six pitchers against one of the most potent offenses in baseball. The result was a 5-3 win, giving Hyde his first career managerial victory, which the Orioles celebrated by placing Hyde in a laundry cart and rolling him into a beer shower. Orioles top 5 »

Rays: Oct. 8 vs. Astros

Tampa Bay's win in Game 4 of the ALDS perfectly summed up the Rays' 2019 season. Facing elimination against Houston co-ace Justin Verlander, the Rays stuck to their original plan by countering with a bullpen game. Diego Castillo set the tone as the opener, and Tampa Bay rolled to a 4-1 win to send the series back to Houston for a winner-take-all Game 5. Six pitchers combined to limit the Astros to just one run, which came on a solo homer in the eighth inning. Rays top 5 »

Red Sox: Aug. 13 vs. Indians

One night after the Red Sox lost on a walk-off homer by Carlos Santana, Chris Sale and Rafael Devers did everything in their power to make sure Boston would bounce back in Cleveland. In what proved to be his final start of the season, Sale struck out 12 batters to become the fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach the 2,000-strikeout mark. As for the offense, Devers went 6-for-6 with four doubles, becoming the first player all-time to have at least four doubles in a six-hit game. The Red Sox needed every bit from both players, as they battled to a 7-6, 10-inning victory. Red Sox top 5 »

Yankees: July 18 vs. Rays

The outcome of the game -- a 6-2 Yankees victory in Game 1 of an eventual doubleheader sweep -- was less consequential than Aaron Boone’s outburst in the second inning. While in the process of being ejected, Boone declared his hitters were “savages in that … box” while going off on home-plate umpire Brennan Miller about what Boone believed to be an inconsistent strike zone. Within a week, Yankees players were proudly sporting T-shirts playing off the “Savages” moniker, which stuck throughout the season. Yankees top 5 »

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Sept. 4 vs. White Sox

The Indians had a two-run lead in the ninth inning, but they were on the verge of disaster for the second consecutive night when Chicago loaded the bases with only one out. Oscar Mercado, who already had a three-hit night, put the icing on an impressive all-around game when he lunged for a fly ball seemingly over his head and made a leaping snag before tumbling to the ground. It proved to be a game-saving catch in an 8-6 Cleveland win. Indians top 5 »

Royals: Sept. 29 vs. Twins

The Royals sent off manager Ned Yost in style, closing out his tenure with a 5-4 walk-off victory on the final day of the season. After tying the game in the eighth, Kansas City won on a Brett Phillips walk-off sacrifice fly in the ninth. Yost, whose 10-year run in Kansas City included a 2015 World Series title, retired following the season. Royals top 5 »

Tigers: March 28 vs. Blue Jays

Jordan Zimmermann, manager Ron Gardenhire’s surprising choice to start Opening Day, retired the first 20 batters he faced to start the season. His bid for perfection came to an end after 6 2/3 innings when he gave up an infield single to Toronto's Teoscar Hernández. Zimmermann ultimately settled for a no-decision in a game that remained scoreless until Christin Stewart hit the decisive homer in the 10th inning. Tigers top 5 »

Twins: Sept. 14 vs. Indians

Despite a rainout one day earlier forcing the Twins to turn to their bullpen for both games of a pivotal doubleheader against the Indians, Minnesota rose to the challenge at Progressive Field. Rookies Devin Smeltzer and Zack Littell set the tone with five innings in a shutout performance in Game 1 and Jorge Polanco's two-run blast off Mike Clevinger carried the Twins to a 2-0 win in the first game. As for the nightcap, Miguel Sanó crushed a go-ahead grand slam as the Twins completed the doubleheader sweep to all but end the division race. Twins top 5 »

White Sox: July 3 vs. Tigers

The White Sox completed a home doubleheader sweep of the Tigers, improving to 41-42 at the time, but not without a few Game 2 heroics. Yoán Moncada homered off of then-closer Shane Greene in the bottom of the 10th with one out to tie the game, and José Abreu delivered the walk-off, three-run blast off of Nick Ramirez with two outs in the 12th. White Sox top 5 »

AL WEST

Angels: July 12 vs. Mariners

Félix Peña and Taylor Cole combined to throw a no-hitter against the Mariners in the first home game since Tyler Skaggs’ sudden death on July 1. All Angels players wore No. 45 jerseys in honor of Skaggs, and it was a complete team effort with Mike Trout and Justin Upton both homering and rookie Matt Thaiss making a great defensive play at third base. Angels top 5 »

Astros: Oct. 19 vs. Yankees

In one of the most dramatic moments in club history, José Altuve crushed an Aroldis Chapman slider and hit a towering walk-off two-run homer in the ninth inning to score George Springer and clinch the AL pennant in a 6-4 win over the Yankees at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the best-of-seven series, 4-2, to punch their ticket to the World Series for the second time in three seasons. The homer came moments after DJ LeMahieu of the Yankees hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth. Astros top 5 »

Athletics: Sept. 25 vs. Angels

The A’s hit a franchise-record 257 home runs in 2019, but none was bigger than this one Matt Chapman swatted off Angels reliever Hansel Robles. On a night when the Rays already had tied Oakland for the top American League Wild Card spot, the A’s were in danger of falling behind in the race as they trailed the Angels by one run entering the ninth inning. Marcus Semien set the stage with a leadoff single, and with one out, Chapman delivered a go-ahead two-run shot that prevented the A’s from their first three-game losing streak since mid-July. Two days later, they clinched a spot in the postseason. Athletics top 5 »

Mariners: Sept. 15 vs. White Sox

Kyle Lewis hit his fourth homer in his first six games in the Majors, a three-run eighth-inning shot that sparked Seattle’s 11-10 win over the White Sox at T-Mobile Park. Trailing 10-5 after seven innings, Lewis led a five-run rally in the eighth to tie it before Tom Murphy drew a bases-loaded walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth. Lewis went 3-for-6 with a double in addition to his 420-foot bomb to center. Mariners top 5 »

Rangers: July 12 vs. Astros

The Rangers trailed 8-4 going into the bottom of the seventh before rallying for the victory. Ronald Guzmán tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth, and Danny Santana drove home the winning run with a walk-off single in the ninth against Astros closer Roberto Osuna. The win left the Rangers with a record of 50-42. Rangers top 5 »

NL EAST

Braves: Oct. 6 vs. Cardinals

Rookie sensation Mike Soroka dazzled over seven innings during his first postseason start in Game 3 of the NLDS, and his gem was rewarded when the Braves rallied for three ninth-inning runs in their 3-1 win at Busch Stadium. After Brian McCann was intentionally walked with two outs to put runners at first and second, Dansby Swanson laced a game-tying double, then scored when Adam Duvall followed with a game-winning two-run single. Braves top 5 »

Marlins: Aug. 10 vs. Braves

After rallying to tie it with four runs in the ninth inning, the Marlins walked off against the Braves on Martín Prado’s 10th-inning sacrifice fly. The Marlins’ 7-6 victory came in front of 29,720 fans, marking the largest crowd of the season at Marlins Park. Starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara gave up three runs over 7 2/3 innings, while Miami overcame deficits of 3-0 and 6-2. Marlins top 5 »

Mets: Aug. 9 vs. Nationals

Down three runs entering the bottom of the ninth, the Mets tied things on a Todd Frazier three-run homer, then won it on a Michael Conforto walk-off single. As Conforto ran around the infield in celebration, Pete Alonso wrapped him in a bear hug and ripped off his jersey, in what became one of the lasting images of the Mets’ season. It was the first of several uniform-ripping celebrations down the stretch for the Mets, who used their late-inning magic to remain in postseason contention late into September. Mets top 5 »

Nationals: Oct. 30 vs. Astros

No surprise here, as the Nationals' World Series-clinching victory in Game 7 not only checks in as their top game of the year, but also the best in the history of the franchise. The Nats fittingly overcame a late 2-0 deficit en route to a 6-2 win to clinch the organization's first World Series title. Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer in the seventh, and after a walk to Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick swatted a go-ahead two-run homer off the right-field foul pole. The Nationals added three more runs over the final two innings before celebrating in front of the sold-out crowd in Houston. Nationals top 5 »

Phillies: Aug. 15 vs. Cubs

The Phillies' fortune seemed to be changing following this dramatic comeback victory against the Cubs. Trailing 5-1 entering the ninth, the Phils cut the deficit to two before Bryce Harper launched a walk-off grand slam deep into the second deck in right field at Citizens Bank Park to cap off a 7-5 victory. Harper's moonshot clinched a series sweep for the Phillies and moved the club to within one game of the second NL Wild Card spot at the time. Phillies top 5 »

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Aug. 17 vs. Nationals

In one of the craziest games of the 2019 season, the Brewers outlasted the Nationals for a 15-14 victory that spanned 14 innings. The Brewers lost leads of 5-0 in the third inning and 8-5 in the sixth in a back-and-forth contest that lasted five hours and 40 minutes. Christian Yelich homered as part of a three-homer, four-run ninth inning to give the Brewers a 12-11 lead, only to see the Nationals come back to tie it against Josh Hader. Yelich homered again in the 13th to put Milwaukee back in front by a score of 13-12, but the Nats once again rallied to tie it. Finally, in the 14th, the Brewers scored twice and managed to limit Washington to just one run in the bottom half to secure a win in the instant classic. Brewers top 5 »

Cardinals: June 2 vs. Cubs

Adam Wainwright put together plenty of vintage performances this season -- including a pair of dominant outings in the postseason -- but his first in 2019 was a 126-pitch, eight-inning gem against the Cubs. He allowed just two hits and struck out eight, while his day was capped by a stellar Kolten Wong catch in shallow right field. Wainwright's start helped push the Cardinals to a series sweep of the Cubs at Busch Stadium. Cardinals top 5 »

Cubs: May 17 vs. Nationals

After battling Max Scherzer for six innings, the Cubs carried a 3-2 lead into the seventh before Kris Bryant helped Chicago's offense break out in a big way. The slugger launched three home runs -- one each in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings -- to power an 11-run onslaught over the final three frames in an eventual 14-6 victory. Cubs top 5 »

Pirates: June 19 vs. Tigers

In a vacuum, the Pirates' 8-7 win over the Tigers was simply a one-run victory against the team with the Majors’ worst record -- but it set the tone for the Pirates’ 12-5 stretch heading into the All-Star break, an inspired run that turned out to be their last gasp. The Pirates trailed by six runs entering the bottom of the third, but they worked their way back into the game before Bryan Reynolds hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth to lead Pittsburgh to its first win after trailing by six runs since July 12, 2008. Pirates top 5 »

Reds: July 13 vs. Rockies

In a game that matched their biggest comeback of the season, the Reds battled back from a 4-0 deficit on their way to a 17-9 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field. The offense erupted for season highs in both runs and hits (24), and Cincinnati had three players finish one hit shy of the cycle, including Nick Senzel and Phillip Ervin, who each needed a homer. Ervin tied a club record with six hits, and the Reds became the first team in the Modern Era (since 1900) with five triples and three home runs in a game. Reds top 5 »

NL WEST

D-backs: Sept. 24 vs. Cardinals

The D-backs trailed the Cardinals, 1-0, in the bottom of the ninth inning before Ildemaro Vargas hit a pinch-hit homer off Andrew Miller to tie the game. After St. Louis recaptured the lead, 2-1, in the 13th, another pinch-hitter -- Caleb Joseph -- delivered a game-tying single to once again extend the game. Finally, in the 19th, Vargas delivered a walk-off single to send the D-backs home with the victory. D-backs top 5 »

Dodgers: June 21 vs. Rockies

In a walk-off win over Colorado, Walker Buehler fired his first complete game and struck out 16 en route to his first 200-strikeout season. According to STATS, Buehler is the only pitcher in Dodgers history with more than 15 strikeouts and no walks in a game since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893. It was one of five games by Buehler with double-digit strikeouts and no walks, the most in the National League and second only to Justin Verlander (six) and Gerrit Cole (seven) in the Majors. Dodgers top 5 »

Giants: May 3 vs. Reds

After missing the entire 2018 season while rehabbing from major shoulder surgery, Stephen Vogt returned to the Majors and immediately helped the Giants pull off a comeback that was nearly as impressive as his own. Vogt went 3-for-3 in his debut as the Giants erased an eight-run deficit en route to a 12-11 11-inning victory over the Reds. The catcher crushed a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth to force extra innings, and Evan Longoria capped the improbable rally by launching the decisive shot in the 11th, matching the largest comeback in Giants history. Giants top 5 »

Padres: May 5 vs. Dodgers

The first series between the Dodgers and Padres this season proved to be a thriller. Manny Machado hit three homers in his first six at-bats, but Los Angeles rallied in the ninth to win each of the first two games before Hunter Renfroe flipped the script in the finale. He became just the 16th player in Major League history to hit a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam with his team trailing. Renfroe's slam capped an 8-5 victory in what held up as the most electrifying game at Petco Park in 2019. Padres top 5 »

Rockies: April 14 vs. Giants

The Rockies were off to a 3-12 start and lost eight consecutive games, including an 18-inning defeat two nights earlier, when they handed the ball to righty German Márquez for the finale of a four-game set against the Giants at AT&T Park. Márquez helped end the slide with a dominant one-hit shutout in which he struck out nine and walked zero. Rockies top 5 »

Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.