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Greatest Games of the 21st Century #4: Lucroy Slams Salty Diamondbacks

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After Kirk Gibson orders a hit from the dugout, Lucroy answers the bell

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Here's what you've got to remember. I know it's hard to believe given the state of the organization and it's current direction, but just a year and a half ago, these Milwaukee Brewers were the best team in baseball. It's June 17, 2014, and the Brewers are 42-29, having leveled off somewhat after an impossibly hot start. After the splashy signing of Matt Garza (here, too, you need to forget the past year and a half), it seems like the Brewers are on the every-three-years postseason plan.

So that's where we are on a hot night in Arizona against the hapless Diamondbacks. It wasn't the final week of the 2008 run, it wasn't the 2011 playoffs, but dangit, this game mattered.

The Diamondbacks jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning after an uncharacteristically wild start from Kyle Lohse (a third time, I beg you to forget the last 18 months). Lohse allowed four baserunners before recording an out, including a lead-off beaning of Didi Gregorious.He settled down some after that, but hit another batter before leaving after the sixth inning, nailed to a 4-2 deficit.

Outside of a pair of solo home runs -- Aramis Ramirez in the first and Jonathan Lucroy in the sixth --  the Brewers hadn't been able to put together much offense against Arizona starter Mike Bolsinger until the seventh. Jean Segura led off the frame with his second triple of the game, and scoring on an Elian Herrera sacrifice fly. When the Brewers called on Lyle Overbay to pinch hit for Lohse, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson gave Bolsinger the hook and brought in Evan Marshall.

The gambit failed. Lyle Overbay singled, and Scooter Gennett followed with a double to put runners on second and third for Ryan Braun. Let's run it back real quick to that magical 2011 NLDS: Braun, who unbeknownst to anyone at the time had just failed a drug test, is giving Diamondbacks pitchers the Daniel Murphy treatment, slashing .500/.571/.889 with five extra base hits. A pair of suspension attempts later -- one of which was successful -- Gibson was very vocal about his perception that the Diamondbacks had unfairly had to face an artificially-enhanced Braun.

The first pitch from Marshall sailed behind Braun's back. He wore the second one.

Marshall and Gibson would contend that the pitch wasn't purposeful. The preceding pitch, the standing ovation from the Chase Field crowd, and the hero's welcome Marshall received in the dugout said otherwise.

Languishing in last place, it appears that the Diamondbacks were content to play dodgeball. Lucroy marched out of the dugout to face Brad Zeigler, the Brewers trailing by one with the bases loaded, with other ideas. Before the Diamondbacks' dugout even had a chance to change their diapers after the Braun beaning, Lucroy silenced the sparse Chase Field crowd. Roll the footage.