MLB's 50 Greatest Moments of 2013

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2013

MLB's 50 Greatest Moments of 2013

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    We'll ring in the New Year this Wednesday, putting behind us another memorable year across Major League Baseball in the process.

    The Red Sox hoisted the World Series trophy in 2013, completing an impressive worst-to-first turnaround thanks to some great work by the front office.

    There were no shortage of great moments throughout the season, though; from Clayton Kershaw dominating on Opening Day to Henderson Alvarez throwing a bizarre no-hitter for the Marlins on the final day of the regular season.

    So, as we get ready to begin 2014, here is a look at at the 50 greatest moments in the MLB from 2013. It should be noted that the moments are ordered chronologically, not ranked in any way.

     

    *All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference, unless otherwise noted. All videos courtesy of MLB.com.

Clayton Kershaw Throws Shutout, Hits Home Run on Opening Day

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    Date: April 1

     

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    Entering the 2013 season, Clayton Kershaw was squarely in the argument for the title of best pitcher in baseball. By the time the season wrapped up, there was no question that he was the best in the business, and he could become baseball's first $300 million man once the Dodgers extend him.

    He started out his brilliant 2013 campaign with a gem, throwing a complete game shutout and breaking a 0-0 tie with his first career home run in the eighth inning. 

Yu Darvish Nearly Perfect in First Start of the Season

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    Date: April 2

     

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    Yu Darvish turned in a solid rookie season in 2012, going 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA to finish third in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Despite that solid debut, he still managed to take a big step forward in his second season, joining the ranks of the game's elite starters.

    In his first start of the season against the Houston Astros, Darvish threw 8.2 perfect innings, before Marwin Gonzalez singled up the middle to spoil things.

    Still, it was a brilliant start to what was a great season for Darvish, and his 14 strikeouts in that game would be his first of 12 starts with double-digit punchouts on the year.

Boston Strong

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    Date: April 20

     

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    The Boston Marathon bombings rocked the sports worldand the country in generaland the outpouring of support for the Red Sox that came from all around the baseball world was truly impressive to see.

    In their first game back at Fenway Park following the bombings, the Red Sox came away with the dramatic victory. A three-run homer from Daniel Nava gave them the lead in the eighth inning, and behind eight strong innings for Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox topped the Royals 4-3.

Upton Brothers Go Back-to-Back

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    Date: April 23

     

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    It was a relatively disappointing first season together in Atlanta for the Upton brothers; B.J. struggled to a .184/.268/.289 line and dealt with some injuries, and Justin was more productive but struggled with consistency.

    They did share a nice moment at the beginning of the season, though, as they became just the second set of brothers to hit back-to-back home runs. They joined Lloyd and Paul Waner, who accomplished the feat back on Sept. 15, 1938.

Anibal Sanchez Tallies 17 Strikeouts

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    Date: April 26

     

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    By all accounts, it was a great first full season in Detroit for Anibal Sanchez. After signing a five-year, $80 million contract in the offseason, the right-hander went 14-8 with an AL-best 2.57 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 182 innings of work.

    He turned in a particularly dominant start early on in the season against the Braves, tossing eight shutout innings. In the process, he struck out 17 batters, the highest mark of any pitcher during the 2013 season and a Detroit Tigers franchise record.

Brandon Moss Hits Walk-off HR in 19th Inning

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    Date: April 29

     

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    As with any season, there was no shortage walk-off hits and home runs across the MLB.

    It's always extra special when a marathon extra-inning game is ended with a walk-off home run, and Brandon Moss delivered one for the A's in the 19th inning of their game against the Los Angeles Angels.

    The game spanned roughly 6.5 hours and saw both teams actually score a run in the 15th inning before the blast from Moss off of reliever Barry Enright gave the A's a 10-8 victory. Moss finished the game 3-for-8, as he also homered in the sixth inning off of starter Tommy Hanson.

Thunder Scares Red Sox and Yankees

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    Date: May 2

     

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    There's something about seeing a dugout full of grown men frightened like small children by a boom of thunder that really makes you remember that these guys, who are making millions of dollars and being revered and idolized, are still just people, too.

    Also, it's just genuinely funny to watch.

Matt Harvey Dominates in One-Hitter

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    Date: May 7

     

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    Mets second-year starter Matt Harvey turned in a number of memorable outings during the 2013 season, including starting the All-Star Game for the National League in front of the home fans at Citi Field.

    His best outing came in early May, though, fresh off of a month of April that saw him go 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA over six starts. Facing the White Sox, Harvey struck out 12 and walked none in a complete game, one-hit shutout. An infield single to Alex Rios with two outs in the seventh was all the White Sox managed.

    Harvey came away with a no decision, however, as the Mets didn't break into the scoring column themselves until the bottom of the 10th.

Shelby Miller Retires 27 Straight After Leadoff Single

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    Date: May 10

     

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    Three days after Matt Harvey twirled his one-hit gem, Cardinals rookie right-hander Shelby Miller turned in a dominant outing of his own against the Colorado Rockies.

    The game got off to an inauspicious start, as Eric Young led off the game for the Rockies with a single and then stole second base. However, Miller would work out of trouble in the first and go on to retire 27 straight batters to finish things up with a one-hit shutout. He struck out 13, and the Cardinals came away with a 3-0 victory.

Mike Trout Hits for the Cycle

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    Date: May 21

     

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    On a game-in and game-out basis, there may be no player in baseball more likely to hit for the cycle than Mike Trout, as his rare mix of power, speed and aggressiveness make him a prime candidate to accomplish the feat only few players do each season.

    He officially did it for the first time in his career on May 21, as the Angels took on the Seattle Mariners. Trout struck out to start the game, hitting out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup. From there, he had an infield single in the third, an RBI triple in the fourth,  a three-run double in the sixth, and he capped it off with a solo home run in the eighth.

Jose Bautista Statistically Wins Game All by Himself

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    Date: May 22

     

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    One advanced statistic that does not get very much attention is WPA, or Win Probability Added. Along the same lines as WAR, it is used to calculate how many wins a player is worth. The only difference is, it can be done on a full season, game-by-game or even single-play basis.

    With that in mind, a 1.0 WPA for a single game would essentially mean that a player was worth one win all by himself. During the 2013 season, there was only one game in which a player posted a WPA over 1.0, and it was Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, with a 1.062 WPA against the Rays on May 22.

    Bautista was 4-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI, and he gave the Blue Jays a walk-off win with an RBI single off of Kyle Farnsworth in the bottom of the 10th. Perhaps not the most impressive single-game performance of the year, but this was still a fun statistical game for the sabermetrics crowd.

Angel Pagan Hits Walk-Off, Inside-the-Park HR

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    Date: May 25

     

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    The walk-off home run is a relatively common occurrence during the course of an MLB season. An inside-the-park home run is somewhat more rare, but it still happens a handful of times each season.

    Then there's the walk-off, inside-the-park home runan achievement that not only features an outrageous number of hyphens but is also incredibly rare.

    Angel Pagan pulled it off in May, and he did it with the Giants trailing the Rockies 5-4 in the bottom of the 10th inning. It was the first time it had happened since Rey Sanchez did it while playing for the Devil Rays back in 2004.

    Unfortunately for Pagan, he actually injured himself on the play and wound up missing 84 games with a strained hamstring.

Munenori Kawasaki Postgame Interview Following Walk-off Double

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    Date: May 26

     

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    On the surface, the season that 32-year-old Munenori Kawasaki put together in 2013 was nothing special. The utility man was pushed into extended action following the Jose Reyes injury, and in 240 at-bats, he hit .229/.326/.308 with one home run and 24 RBI for a 1.3 rWAR.

    However, his enthusiasm and all-out hustle made him an immediate favorite of a Blue Jays fan base that was incredibly disappointed by the play of their team. Kawasaki gave Toronto a walk-off win with an RBI double on May 26, and the subsequent interview gave us one of the better moments of 2013.

Jean Segura Records Six-Hit Game

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    Date: May 28

     

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    Acquired from the Angels in the Zack Greinke trade that went down at the 2012 deadline, Jean Segura enjoyed a breakout season for the Brewers this past year. The 23-year-old hit .294/.329/.423 with 20 doubles, 10 triples, 12 home runs and 44 steals. And though his production dropped off in the second half, it was a terrific all-around year for him regardless.

    The highlight of his season came on May 28 in a game against the Minnesota Twins. The Brewers would eventually lose the game 6-5 in 14 innings, but Segura managed to go 6-for-7 at the plate with all six hits being singles. He raised his average at the time from .347 to .365.

Jacoby Ellsbury Steals Five Bases

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    Date: May 30

     

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    He didn't regain the impressive power stroke he showed in 2011, but after a disappointing all-around season in 2012, Jacoby Ellsbury returned to being an impact player atop the Red Sox lineup this past season. His 52 stolen bases led all of baseball, and five of those thefts came in one May game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Backup Erik Kratz was behind the dish for the Phillies, and Ellsbury made the most of a 3-for-4 day at the plate that also included a walk. He swiped second base four times, and he even stole third once, which was in the top of the seventh inning.

    Kratz finished the season just 9-for-42 on catching would-be base stealers.

Yasiel Puig Shines in MLB Debut

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    Date: June 3

     

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    With the Los Angeles Dodgers limping along at just 23-32 on the season, top prospect Yasiel Puig was called up from Double-A Chattanooga on June 3. The 22-year-old had turned in an impressive spring training and was hitting .313/.383/.599 over 147 Double-A at-bats, and he made an impact in L.A. from Day 1.

    Hitting out of the leadoff spot, Puig recorded his first big league hit on the first pitch he saw from Eric Stults for a single to center field in the bottom of the first inning. He finished the game 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, but it was his rocket throw to double Chris Denorfia off of second base and end the game that really had everyone talking.

    The talking would continue all season, as Puig quickly became one of the most exciting and polarizing players in all of baseball.

Boy Throws out First Pitch from 1,800 Miles Away

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    Date: June 12

     

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    In easily the coolest fan-related moment of the 2013 season, 13-year-old Nick LeGrande was able to throw out the first pitch at an Oakland A's game from 1,800 miles away in Kansas City.

    LeGrande suffers from severe aplastic anemia, leaving him with a very weak immune system, so he was no longer able to attend games in-person.

    Technology is a wonderful thing, though, and thanks to a robot constructed by Google Fiber, a pitch thrown by LeGrande halfway across the country was duplicated off the mound at the Oakland Coliseum.

Homer Bailey Throws No-Hitter

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    Date: July 2

     

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    A year after a whopping seven no-hitters were thrown, we had to wait until July 2 to see our first no-hitter of the 2013 season. Coincidentally, it was the same pitcher who threw the seventh and final one of the 2012 season that pulled it off again in 2013: Reds' right-hander Homer Bailey.

    After struggling to find his footing early-on in his big league career, Bailey has quietly emerged as one of the better starters in the NL, going 24-22 with a 3.58 ERA over the past two seasons. He dominated the Giants on July 2, walking only one while striking out nine and needing just 109 pitches to finish off the no-no.

Manny Machado Shows off His Rocket Arm

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    Date: July 7

     

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    Manny Machado was originally drafted as a shortstop, and he played a grand total of two games at third base in 2012 before being called up by the Orioles and plugged in as the everyday third baseman for the rest of the season.

    With J.J. Hardy still blocking his path at shortstop, Machado spent the entire 2013 season at the hot corner, and he wound up earning Gold Glove and Platinum Glove honors for his defensive prowess.

    The signature play of his season came against the Yankees on July 7, when he briefly booted a backhand play before showing off his cannon arm from outside of the coaches box to nail Luis Cruz at first base.

Carlos Gomez Robs Home Run to End Game

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    Date: July 8

     

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    Just one day after Manny Machado made a ridiculous throw from foul territory, we saw Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez pull off the only other defensive play that could make a legitimate claim for the best defensive play of the year.

    Robbing a home run is always awesome, but when you do it to preserve a lead and end the game, it becomes that much more awesome.

    It was an all-around great year for Gomez, and robbing Joey Votto to save a Brewers victory on July 8 ranks as one of the top highlights of his season and the 2013 season as a whole.

Alex Rios Records Six-Hit Game

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    Date: July 9

     

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    Alex Rios became the second player to record a six-hit game in 2013, doing so against the Detroit Tigers in early July. However, he gets added credit for accomplishing the feat over the course of a regular nine-inning game, whereas it took Jean Segura 14 innings to pull off his six-hit game.

    Rios was 6-for-6 in the contest with a triple and two stolen bases, and four of the six hits came off of Tigers starter Justin Verlander. The six hits tied a franchise and American League record for a nine-inning game.

David Ortiz Sets Record for Hits as a Designated Hitter

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    Date: July 10

     

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    Already arguably the greatest DH in the history of the game, David Ortiz reached a milestone on July 10, when he recorded his 1,689 hit as a designated hitter, passing Harold Baines for the top spot at the position.

    The record hit came in the bottom of the second inning, when Ortiz doubled off of Mariners starter Aaron Harang. He also homered off of Harang in the third inning, as the Red Sox came away with a big 11-4 victory.

Tim Lincecum Throws No-Hitter

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    Date: July 13

     

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    It took a ridiculous 148 pitches to pull off, but for one game at least, Tim Lincecum was on top of the baseball world once again, as he no-hit the San Diego Padres.

    Lincecum walked four and hit a batter while striking out 13 in the game, and after his offense staked him an 8-0 lead after five innings, all he had to do was focus on the task at hand.

    The no-hitter was a rare highlight in what was another tough season for the former Cy Young winner, as he finished the year 10-14 with a 4.37 ERA.

Mariano Rivera Gets Huge All-Star Game Ovation

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    Date: July 16

     

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    In his 13th and final All-Star Game, Mariano Rivera entered in the eighth inning of a 3-0 game, with Tigers manager Jim Leyland opting to bring him in an inning early to ensure that he did get to make the one final appearance that everyone was waiting for.

    The legendary closer came out of the outfield bullpen to thunderous applause and received a standing ovation from fans and the players of both teams before taking his warm-up pitches. He then threw a scoreless inning, inducing a pair of groundouts and a lineout to take home MVP honors.

Brandon Barnes Hits for Cycle

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    Date: July 19

     

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    It was another rough season for the Astros, as they finished 51-111, but thus is life for a team in the midst of a full-scale rebuild.

    The year was not without a handful of highlights, though, including the emergence of Jason Castro as one of the better catchers in the league. As far as single-game highlights go, however, outfielder Brandon Barnes delivered the top moment.

    Barnes was one of just three players to hit for the cycle in 2013, going 5-for-5 as the team's No. 7 hitter while facing off against the Seattle Mariners. Barnes homered off of starter Joe Saunders in the second, tripled in the fourth, singled in the sixth, doubled in the eighth and then threw in another single in the ninth for good measure.

Edwin Encarnacion Launches Two Home Runs in One Inning

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    Date: July 26

     

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    After spending the first seven seasons of his big league career as a middling everyday player with moderate power, Edwin Encarnacion has emerged as one of the most dangerous sluggers in all of baseball over the past two years.

    That power was on full display in the seventh inning of the team's July 26 game against the Houston Astros. Trailing 6-4 heading into the seventh, the Blue Jays exploded for eight runs to take the lead. Encarnacion got the inning started with a solo home run. He then came up again with two outs and the bases loaded in the same frame and launched a grand slam.

Yasiel Puig Hits Walk-off HR in 11th, Slides into Home Plate

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    Date: July 28

     

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    A matchup of No. 5 starters Tony Cingrani and Chris Capuano turned into an unlikely pitcher's duel between the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers. The two teams combined for just six hits and no runs through nine innings, as the game went to extra innings.

    After a scoreless top of the 10th from the Reds, Yasiel Puig delivered a walk-off bomb for the Dodgers in the bottom of the inning. He immediately threw his hands in the air and admired the blast before making his way around the bases and sliding into home plate.

    That showy move rubbed some people the wrong way, as Puig found himself at the center of some controversy once again. But at the end of the day, he got the Dodgers the win.

Chad Qualls Trips

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    Date: July 30

     

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    Each season has a handful of memorable bloopers that stand out above the rest, and Chad Qualls taking a tumble while walking off the mound and pumping his fist in celebration of getting the last out certainly ranks up there among the best of 2013.

    For what it's worth, Qualls played it off well and recovered quickly. The journeyman reliever now takes his talents back to the Houston Astros team that he began his career with after signing a two-year, $6 million deal this offseason.

Ichiro Suzuki Tallies 4,000th Professional Hit

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    Date: Aug. 21

     

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    As Ichiro Suzuki puts the finishing touches on what will almost certainly be a Hall of Fame career, one can't help but wonder where he'd rank statistically had he spent his entire career in the States. He didn't come to the Mariners until he was 27 years old, having spent nine years playing in Japan first.

    Even with that late start to his career, the 40-year-old has racked up 2,742 career hits in 13 big league seasons. That combined with the 1,278 hits he had while playing with the Orix BlueWave makes him one of just three players with 4,000 professional hits.

    He reached the 4,000-hit mark this past August, singling off of R.A. Dickey in the first inning. His teammates joined him on the field to celebrate the milestone, as the Yankee Stadium crowd chanted his name.

Yusmeiro Petit Is Nearly Perfect

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    Date: Sept. 6

     

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    A former prospect in the Mets organization, Yusmeiro Petit was perhaps best known entering the season for being one of the players that New York sent to the Marlins to acquire slugger Carlos Delgado prior to the 2006 season.

    The right-hander spent most of the past four seasons in the minors, but he got a chance to start for the Giants this past season when injury struck. He pitched well over seven starts and threw a gem against the Diamondbacks on Sept. 6.

    Perfect through 8.2 innings, Petit surrendered a single to pinch-hitter Eric Chavez before getting A.J. Pollock to ground out. He struck out seven in the game and needed just 95 pitches to earn the impressive complete game shutout.

Evan Gattis Hits the Longest HR of 2013

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    Date: Sept. 8

     

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    It was a memorable season for Braves slugger Evan Gattis, as he completed his unlikely comeback story with a solid rookie season. He delivered a number of clutch hits while filling in for Brian McCann early on and finished the season with 21 home runs in just 354 at-bats.

    One home run in particular stands out: a 486-foot blast off of Cole Hamels that ranks as the longest home run of the season, according to ESPN Home Run Tracker.

    Gattis also hit a 403-footer off of Hamels in the seventh inning, and on the season, his home runs averaged an impressive 408.3 feet.

The Butt Tag

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    Date: Sept. 17

     

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    For months, SportsCenter fans were treated to Mark Sanchez and the "butt fumble" as the undisputed "Worst of the Worst" winner, but Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar gave us his own version of a butt-gaffe in September, during what quickly became known as the "butt tag."

    The speedy Villar tried to stretch a single into a double, but was out by a good amount. And with Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips forced to make a nifty between the legs tag, Villar wound up sliding face first right into the backside of Phillips.

Raul Ibanez Hits 300th Career HR, Ties Ted Williams for Most HR by 41-Year-Old

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    Date: Sept. 21

     

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    After signing a one-year, $2.75 million deal to join the Seattle Mariners last offseason, Raul Ibanez entered the All-Star break with more home runs than any other offseason free-agent signing. In 277 first half at-bats, he hit .267/.314/.578 with 24 home runs and 56 RBI.

    He cooled considerably in the second half, hitting just .203/.295/.345 with five home runs and nine RBI, but he did deliver a significant long ball near the end of the year. His final home run of the season gave him 300 for his career, and it also tied him with Ted Williams for the most home runs in a single season by someone 41 or older.

Alex Rios Hits for the Cycle

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    Date: Sept. 23

     

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    Alex Rios already cracked this list once for delivering a six-hit game while playing for the Chicago White Sox, and he's on here once again, but this time as a member of the Texas Rangers. The rebuilding White Sox dealt Rios to the Rangers on Aug. 9 for Leury Garcia.

    The Rangers wound up missing the playoffs after a late-season collapse, but Rios still managed to deliver a memorable moment by becoming the third player to hit for the cycle in 2013. Facing the Astros, he doubled in the first, singled in the third, homered in the fourth and tripled in the sixth. He was pulled after the seventh inning, as the game was a 12-0 blowout at that point.

Pittsburgh Pirates Clinch Playoff Spot for First Time Since 1992

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    Date: Sept. 23

     

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    After back-to-back second-half collapses, the Pittsburgh Pirates finally broke through in 2013, making the playoffs for the first time since 1992. They clinched a spot following a win against the Cubs on Sept. 23, and they eventually ended up reaching the NLDS and taking the St. Louis Cardinals to five games before being eliminated.

    Andrew McCutchen delivered an MVP season in the middle of the lineup, Francisco Liriano proved to be the steal of free agency as the ace of the staff, and the bullpen was a dominant force.

    With so much homegrown talent and more youngsters on the way, the Pirates appear to be in a good position for a sustained run of success.

Jason Giambi Becomes Oldest Player to Hit Walk-off HR

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    Date: Sept. 24

     

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    A lot went right for the Cleveland Indians in 2013, as they went 92-70 to earn the first wild-card spot in the American League after entering the season with few expecting them to be anything more than a .500 team.

    A handful of solid veteran additions last offseason certainly played a part in their surprise run to the postseason, and 42-year-old slugger Jason Giambi was among those additions. After interviewing for the Rockies vacant manager job and eventually losing out to Walt Weiss, Giambi went on to hit nine home runs in 186 at-bats for the Indians.

    None was bigger than his pinch-hit, walk-off blast during the team's stretch run, as he took White Sox closer Addison Reed deep for a two-run blast with two outs and the team trailing by a run. In the process, he became the oldest player to deliver a walk-off home run, breaking his own record that he had set in July.

Michael Wacha Throws 8.2 No-Hit Innings

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    Date: Sept. 24

     

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    For as big of a part as Michael Wacha would go on to play in the St. Louis Cardinals' run to the World Series, he may very well have been passed over for a postseason rotation spot in favor of Shelby Miller had it not been for a dominant final outing.

    Wacha didn't join the rotation full-time until September, and he was roughed up in his second-to-last start of the regular season, when he allowed 12 hits and four runs in 4.2 innings of work against the Colorado Rockies.

    He bounced back in a big way against the Nationals to close out the season, though, no-hitting them through 8.2 innings with just two walks allowed before Ryan Zimmerman legged out an infield single to spoil things. However, that was enough to earn Wacha a postseason rotation spot, and he went on to dazzle in October.

Todd Helton Doubles, Homers in Final Game at Coors Field

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    Date: Sept. 25

     

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    It's rare these days that a player spends his entire career with one team, but that's exactly what Todd Helton did, spending 17 seasons with the Colorado Rockies. Over that span, he hit .316/.414/.539 with 2,519 hits, 369 home runs and 1,406 RBI as one of the best first basemen of his era.

    In his final game at Coors Field, Helton turned in a memorable performance, hitting a home run in his first at-bat and finishing 2-for-3 with a double, sac fly and three RBI. He goes down as arguably the greatest player in franchise history, and it was a fitting end to his time in Colorado.

Exit Sandman

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    Date: Sept. 26

     

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    The ovation Mariano Rivera got from fans and peers at the All-Star Game was a great moment, but it pales in comparison to his final appearance at Yankee Stadium. Rivera is one of the most universally liked and respected players in the history of any sport, and it was an emotional end to his storied career.

    Yankees manager Joe Girardi sent Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte out to make the pitching change, two guys that have been there every step of the way with Rivera, and it was just the perfect ending to his phenomenal career.

    For what it's worth, these moments aren't ranked, but this would get my pick for No. 1 moment of the 2013 season.

Henderson Alvarez Throws No-Hitter

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    Date: September 29

     

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    Only the 2013 Miami Marlins could make a no-hitter look difficult, and that's exactly what they did in what was a bizarre final game of the regular season.

    Left-hander Henderson Alvarez took the ball for the Marlins and pitched brilliantly, out-dueling a hot Justin Verlander and eventually no-hitting the Tigers through nine innings. However, to that point, the Marlins had yet to plate a run of their own, and things stood at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth.

    Back-to-back one-out singles from Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison gave the Marlins a pair of baserunners, and they both moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. A walk to Chris Coghlan loaded the bases with two outs before Luke Putkonen uncorked his second wild pitch of the inning, scoring Stanton. That gave the Marlins a strange walk-off win and sealed the no-hitter for Alvarez.

Stephen Vogt Hits Walk-off Single in ALDS Game 2

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    Date: Oct. 5

     

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    The Oakland A's captured their second straight AL West title in 2013 but were eliminated by the Detroit Tigers in five games in the ALDS. It was a hard-fought series, and the A's found an unlikely hero in Stephen Vogt during their Game 2 victory.

    In a classic pitcher's duel, Justin Verlander struck out 11 in seven scoreless innings for the Tigers, and Sonny Gray went eight scoreless innings for the A's. With things still scoreless heading into the bottom of the ninth, Al Alburquerque loaded the bases with nobody out, and then Vogt delivered a walk-off RBI single, knotting the series at 1-1.

Juan Uribe Hits Game-Winning HR in NLDS Game 4

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    Date: Oct. 7

     

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    After hitting just .199/.262/.289 with six home runs in 432 at-bats during his first two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Juan Uribe turned things around with a solid year this past season. The veteran hit .278/.331/.438 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI while playing stellar defense at third base.

    He then delivered the decisive blow for the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLDS, taking David Carpenter deep in the eighth inning. The two-run shot put the Dodgers up 4-3 and made many wonder why the Braves didn't turn to all-world closer Craig Kimbrel with the season hanging in the balance. 

Jose Lobaton Hits Walk-off HR in ALDS Game 3

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    Date: Oct. 7

     

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    From July 9 until the end of the season, Koji Uehara was essentially untouchable out of the Red Sox bullpen, going 16-of-16 on save chances with a 0.24 ERA and just 10 hits allowed in 37 innings of work.

    After picking up the save in Game 2 of the team's ALDS matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays, he came on again in Game 3 looking to protect a 4-4 tie, as the Red Sox had just tied things up in the top of the ninth.

    He recorded two quick outs before backup catcher Jose Lobaton, who had entered the game in the ninth inning, took him deep to center field for the unlikeliest of walk-off winners. The Red Sox wrapped up the series the following game, but it was a memorable blast nonetheless.

Carlos Beltran Makes Game-Saving Throw, Hits Walk-off Single in NLCS Game 1

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    Date: Oct. 11

     

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    Few players have the postseason resume that Carlos Beltran does, and he did it all in Game 1 of the St. Louis Cardinals NLCS matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    A two-run double of the wall in center field tied things up at 2-2 in the fifth inning, and it would stay that way through nine innings. Mark Ellis tripled with one out in the top of the 10th, and a Michael Young fly ball to right-center field looked like it would be deep enough to score him. Beltran had other ideas, though, as he called off center fielder Jon Jay and threw a strike to the plate to nail Ellis and keep things tied.

    The game wound up going all the way to the 13th inning, when none other than Beltran delivered a walk-off RBI single off of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to take the early 1-0 series lead.

Torii Hunter Flips into the Bullpen Trying to Make Catch in ALCS Game 2

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    Date: Oct. 13

     

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    With a shot at his first trip to the World Series at stake, Torii Hunter was understandably playing all-out for the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS this past season. That mentality helped to create one of the most memorable moments and lasting images of the 2013 postseason.

    The Tigers led 5-1 heading into the eighth inning and looked ready to take control of the series 2-0, before the Red Sox mounted a comeback. David Ortiz stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and lofted one to right field. Hunter went after the ball full speed, and when he met the right field wall, he flipped into the Red Sox bullpen.

    The image of just his legs visible in the air and the "bullpen cop" at Fenway Park raising his hands in the air alongside him made for a great picture. As for the game itself, the Ortiz grand slam set things up for our next memorable moment, and it kick-started the entire series for the Red Sox.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia Hits Walk-off Single in ALCS Game 2

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    Date: Oct. 13

     

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    After David Ortiz tied things up in the eighth with his grand slam, Rick Porcello came on to pitch the ninth inning for the Detroit Tigers.

    Jonny Gomes led off the inning with a single and advanced to second base on a throwing error. He then moved around to third base on a wild pitch by Porcello before Jarrod Saltalamacchia flared single out to left field, completing the impressive comeback and giving the Red Sox a walk-off win.

Scott Van Slyke vs. Joe Kelly Foul Line Standoff

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    Date: Oct. 18

     

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    There was no better reminder that baseball is meant to be fun than the pre-game showdown between the Los Angeles Dodgers Scott Van Slyke and St. Louis Cardinals Joe Kelly before Game 6 of the NLCS.

    Before what was the most important game of the season for both teams up to that point, both sides were still willing to have some fun, as neither player would back down and be the first to enter their dugout following the National Anthem.

    This went on throughout warm ups and didn't end until the home plate umpire motioned for both players to get off the field prior to the first pitch.

Cardinals Win World Series Game 3 on Obstruction Call

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    Date: Oct. 26

     

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    After splitting the first two games of the World Series in somewhat unexciting fashion, Game 3 provided far more dramatics, as the Red Sox and Cardinals headed into the ninth inning with the score tied 4-4.

    Trevor Rosenthal threw a scoreless top of the ninth for the Cardinals, and Brandon Workman got a quick first out in the bottom of the inning before giving up a single to Yadier Molina. Koji Uehara then came on to face pinch-hitter Allen Craig, who promptly doubled to left, giving the Cardinals runners on second and third with one out.

    Molina broke on contact when Jon Jay hit a grounder to second base, and he was out by a good amount at home. A hobbled Craig attempted to take third on the play, and a bad throw by Jarrod Saltalamacchia skipped into left field. As Craig got up to make his way home, he tripped over a laid-out Will Middlebrooks and was awarded home on an interference call, giving the Cardinals a strange walk-off win.

Red Sox Win World Series Game 4 on Pickoff

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    Date: Oct. 27

     

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    A night after an interference call gave the Cardinals a victory, Game 4 of the World Series wrapped up oddly as well, with pinch-runner Kolten Wong picked off of first base to end the game.

    With the Cardinals trailing 4-2, pinch-hitter Allen Craig delivered a one-out, pinch-hit single, and the Cardinals turned to Wong as a pinch runner. Matt Carpenter popped up to second for the second out of the inning before Red Sox closer Koji Uehara caught Wong leaning and picked him off at first to end the game.

Red Sox Complete Worst-to-First Turnaround

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    Date: Oct. 31

     

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    With the series all knotted up at 2-2 following the strange finishes to Game 3 and Game 4, the two teams entered a pivotal Game 5 in St. Louis. Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester turned in a solid pitcher's duel in that game, and a two-run seventh inning that included RBI from David Ross and Jacoby Ellsbury proved to be the difference for Boston in a 3-1 victory.

    From there, the series shifted back to Boston, and the Red Sox took care of business in front of the home crowd. Shane Victorino hit a three-run double in the third inning, and the team scored three more runs in the fourth on their way to a 6-1 win.

    Just a year removed from a disastrous season that saw them lose 93 games and finish last in the AL East, the Red Sox were World Series champions once again.