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Terrific taters highlight NL's best games of '17

December 22, 2017

The Dodgers came about as close as they could to bringing a World Series title home to their fans and to the National League after an amazing 2017 season. Taking the Houston Astros to Game 7 of the Fall Classic was the nearest the Dodgers have been to winning it

The Dodgers came about as close as they could to bringing a World Series title home to their fans and to the National League after an amazing 2017 season. Taking the Houston Astros to Game 7 of the Fall Classic was the nearest the Dodgers have been to winning it all since 1988.
Still, the Dodgers and the other 14 teams in the Senior Circuit each enjoyed their own Game of the Year in 2017. In consultation with the beat reporters for every team, here are the best individual games for each NL club during another incredible year in Major League Baseball:
Braves: 11-10 win on June 12 at Washington
MLB had a record home run total in 2017, and the Braves helped in that regard with five homers during a comeback win at Nationals Park. Tyler Flowers launched a go-ahead, three-run shot off Matt Albers with one out in the top of the ninth inning, as the Braves stormed back to stun the Nats. Matt Adams went deep twice for Atlanta, including a solo shot in the eighth, while Nick Markakis and Matt Kemp also homered. Full recap >

Brewers: 4-3 win on Sept. 23 vs. Cubs
With a sellout crowd and playoff atmosphere at Miller Park late in the season, the Brewers pulled off one of their most stunning victories of the year. Orlando Arcia tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a leadoff homer, and Travis Shaw hit a walk-off two-run shot in the 10th as the Brewers twice rallied against Cubs closer Wade Davis. Milwaukee kept its postseason hopes alive with the improbable victory, which snapped a streak of 69 consecutive losses when the team trailed after eight innings. Full recap >

Cardinals: 8-5 win on Aug. 10 vs. Royals
Yadier Molina hit a go-ahead grand slam, and the Cardinals got a little help from a stray cat in a wildly entertaining win over their cross-state rivals. Molina's grand slam brought the Cardinals back from a 5-4 deficit after it appeared Royals reliever Peter Moylan would escape a sixth-inning jam. Following a first-pitch sinker to Molina, a feral cat raced onto the field at Busch Stadium. It took several minutes before the cat was captured. After the delay, Molina pounced on the first pitch he saw and sent a rocket into the left-field seats to put the Cardinals in front for good. Full recap >

Cubs: 9-8 win on Oct. 12 at Washington in Game 5 of NL Division Series
In a game Joe Maddon called "one of the most incredible victories" he's ever been part of, the Cubs prevailed in a wild winner-take-all NLDS matchup that extended into the wee hours of Friday the 13th.
The Cubs rallied to take the lead in a bizarre fifth inning that checked nearly every item in the box score, and held off a furious comeback attempt by the Nats, which ended with a huge pickoff at first base that was overturned upon review for the final out of the eighth inning.
All told, the once-in-a-lifetime game saw each team use seven pitchers, with starters coming on in relief and closers working extended innings, including a gutsy 44-pitch performance by Davis to shut the door. Full recap >

D-backs: 11-8 win on Oct. 4 vs. Rockies in NL Wild Card Game
In front of an electric crowd at Chase Field, the D-backs won the NL Wild Card Game behind a three-run homer from Paul Goldschmidt in the first inning and four triples, including one from Archie Bradley. The pitcher's two-run triple in the seventh was the first three-bagger by a reliever in MLB postseason history. With two runners on, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo let Bradley hit, not wanting to take his setup man out of the game, and Bradley rewarded his manager's decision with a clutch knock that helped Arizona advance to the NLDS. Full recap >

Dodgers: 4-1 win on Oct. 15 vs. Cubs in Game 2 of NLCS
Justin Turner etched his name in Dodgers lore with an epic walk-off three-run homer in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the NLCS. Turner's heroics sent Los Angeles to a 4-1 win and 2-0 advantage over the Cubs in the best-of-seven series. Dodger Stadium shook as Turner rounded the bases, much like it did when Kirk Gibson hit a walk-off homer in Game 1 of the World Series 29 years earlier to the day. After the game, Turner told the story of one of his earliest baseball memories: Watching Gibson's iconic homer from his grandmother's Los Angeles-area residence. Full recap >

Giants: 5-4 win on July 19 vs. Indians
Buster Posey came to the rescue and helped the Giants to one of their most satisfying wins of the season -- a come-from-behind triumph over the defending American League champions. Posey came off the bench with two outs in the eighth inning, and he came through with a pinch-hit two-run double to deep left field on a full-count offering from Bryan Shaw. Posey's clutch hit capped a three-run Giants rally that erased a 4-2 deficit. Full recap >

Marlins: 3-0 win on June 3 vs. D-backs
Edinson Volquez tossed the only Major League no-hitter of 2017, striking out 10 in a dominant performance over the D-backs at Marlins Park. After the game, Volquez dedicated the no-no to the memories of fallen pitchers Yordano Ventura and Jose Fernandez, both former teammates. Ventura would have turned 26 that day. Volquez was efficient, needing only 98 pitches to finish the sixth no-hitter in Marlins history. Full recap >

Mets: 7-6 win on Aug. 11 at Philadelphia
The Mets offered a promising glimpse of the future on a summer night in Philadelphia. On the day that the organization's No. 2 prospect, Dominic Smith, debuted, it was No. 1 prospect Amed Rosario who stole the show. Just minutes after the Phillies tied the game in the eighth inning, Rosario hit his first career homer in the top of the ninth to propel New York to victory. Following a month of trades and rumors surrounding the Mets, it was an indication that at least part of the club's future had arrived. Full recap >

Nationals: 5-0 win on Oct. 11 vs. Cubs in Game 4 of NLDS
With the Nats on the road at Wrigley Field and their season on the line, Stephen Strasburg pushed through an illness and delivered a dominant pitching performance to help beat the Cubs and tie the NLDS at 2-2. Strasburg fired seven scoreless innings and fanned 12, striking out the side in his final frame. Trea Turner scored on an error in the bottom of the third, and Michael A. Taylor hit a two-out grand slam in the eighth to seal the win. Full recap >

Padres: 5-2 win on April 30 at San Francisco
William Myers put the finishing touches on a scorching-hot April with a go-ahead three-run homer in the 12th inning to lead the Padres over the Giants. It was the second three-run shot for Myers in as many games, and he ended the month with 35 hits, including 16 for extra bases. The Padres tied the game in the ninth on a pinch-hit two-run homer by former Giants catcher Hector Sanchez. Myers was 0-for-5 in the game when he stepped to the plate in the 12th, but he smashed a fastball to left field to give the Padres a thrilling road win. Full recap >

Phillies: 9-8 win on Sept. 12 vs. Marlins
Two of the Phils' best young players helped cap a thrilling walk-off win over the Marlins in 15 innings. The Phillies trailed, 7-2, after six innings, then rallied to tie the game with runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth. After the Marlins scored in the top of the 10th, Rhys Hoskins hit a game-tying homer in the bottom of the frame. Soon after midnight, Nick Williams delivered a walk-off double in the 15th. Full recap >

Pirates: 1-0 win on Aug. 23 vs. Dodgers
In the blink of an eye, the Pirates erased a no-hitter and beat the mighty Dodgers on a walk-off homer by Josh Harrison in the 10th inning. Rich Hill had a perfect game against the Pirates through eight innings and a no-hitter through nine, but the Bucs sent the left-hander home with a loss. The Pirates ended Hill's perfect game when Jody Mercer reached on an error in the ninth. Harrison's homer was Pittsburgh's only hit. Meanwhile, starter Trevor Williams stranded 10 Dodgers on base in eight shutout innings, holding them to 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Full recap >

Reds: 13-1 win on June 6 vs. Cardinals
Scooter Gennett enjoyed the game of his life, making history along the way in a four-homer performance at Great American Ball Park. A waiver claim at the end of Spring Training, Gennett set a Reds record for homers in a game and tied a team record with 10 RBIs. He went 5-for-5 with 17 total bases in a rout of the Cardinals, becoming the 17th player in MLB history to have a four-homer game. Full recap >

Rockies: 7-5 win on June 18 vs. Giants
Nolan Arenado was serenaded with chants of "M-V-P" after he completed an improbable cycle with a walk-off homer against Giants closer Mark Melancon on Father's Day at Coors Field. Arenado's three-run shot in the bottom of the ninth secured the eighth cycle in Rockies history, and it kept Colorado in first place in the NL West with the team's fifth straight win. Full recap >

Austin Laymance is a reporter for based in Los Angeles.