• Doug Haller, Greg Moore on D-Backs' NLDS Game 3 loss

    Doug Haller, Greg Moore on D-Backs’ NLDS Game 3 loss

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' Game 3 loss to Dodgers

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ Game 3 loss to Dodgers

  • Diamondbacks swept by Dodgers after 3-1 loss in Game 3

    Diamondbacks swept by Dodgers after 3-1 loss in Game 3

  • Diamondbacks Dodgers NLDS Game 3: What to watch for

    Diamondbacks Dodgers NLDS Game 3: What to watch for

  • Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Game 3 of NLDS

    Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo on Game 3 of NLDS

  • Dan Bickley wraps up another bad start in D-Backs' Game 2 loss

    Dan Bickley wraps up another bad start in D-Backs’ Game 2 loss

  • Robbie Ray after D-Backs' Game 2 loss

    Robbie Ray after D-Backs’ Game 2 loss

  • Piecoro, Bickley preview NLDS Game 2, D-Backs' lineup changes

    Piecoro, Bickley preview NLDS Game 2, D-Backs’ lineup changes

  • Dan Bickley wraps up D-Backs' Game 1 loss to Dodgers

    Dan Bickley wraps up D-Backs’ Game 1 loss to Dodgers

  • Nick Piecoro, Dan Bickley preview NLDS Game 1 from LA

    Nick Piecoro, Dan Bickley preview NLDS Game 1 from LA

  • Shot Clock: D-Day for Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers

    Shot Clock: D-Day for Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers

  • Shot Clock: Lovullo's decisions work for D-Backs

    Shot Clock: Lovullo’s decisions work for D-Backs

  • Reaction to Archie Bradley's triple

    Reaction to Archie Bradley’s triple

  • Who starts against the Dodgers?

    Who starts against the Dodgers?

  • Diamondbacks win wild one over Rockies

    Diamondbacks win wild one over Rockies

  • What happened in that Diamondbacks Rockies wild-card game? Everything

    What happened in that Diamondbacks Rockies wild-card game? Everything

  • Shot Clock: D-Backs vs. Rockies in wild card

    Shot Clock: D-Backs vs. Rockies in wild card

  • Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez share insights on each other

    Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez share insights on each other

  • Greinke looks ahead to his wild-card start

    Greinke looks ahead to his wild-card start

  • Lovullo discusses the wild-card game against the Rockies

    Lovullo discusses the wild-card game against the Rockies

  • Shot Clock: Zack's comfort dog? Wild-card preview

    Shot Clock: Zack’s comfort dog? Wild-card preview

  • Piecoro, Moore on D-Backs' preparations ahead of wild-card game

    Piecoro, Moore on D-Backs’ preparations ahead of wild-card game

  • Lovullo on Martinez: 'As good a hitter ... that I've been around'

    Lovullo on Martinez: ‘As good a hitter … that I’ve been around’

  • D-Backs' Pollock on facing Rockies starter Jon Gray

    D-Backs’ Pollock on facing Rockies starter Jon Gray

  • Torey Lovullo on Paul Goldschmidt's stats, focus

    Torey Lovullo on Paul Goldschmidt’s stats, focus

  • D-Backs' Pollock on security concerns for wild-card game

    D-Backs’ Pollock on security concerns for wild-card game

  • D-Backs' manager Torey Lovullo on Walker, Bradley vs. Royals

    D-Backs’ manager Torey Lovullo on Walker, Bradley vs. Royals

  • Archie Bradley after loss to Royals

    Archie Bradley after loss to Royals

  • Torey Lovullo after Greinke's loss vs. Royals

    Torey Lovullo after Greinke’s loss vs. Royals

  • Zack Greinke on his outing vs. Royals

    Zack Greinke on his outing vs. Royals

  • J.D. Martinez's on his record-tying home run

    J.D. Martinez’s on his record-tying home run

  • David Peralta on his walk-off walk, J.D. Martinez's hitting

    David Peralta on his walk-off walk, J.D. Martinez’s hitting

  • J.D. Martinez on his hot streak, D-Backs' win over Giants

    J.D. Martinez on his hot streak, D-Backs’ win over Giants

  • Paul Goldschmidt after D-Backs clinch wild card spot

    Paul Goldschmidt after D-Backs clinch wild card spot

  • Diamondbacks celebrate playoff berth

    Diamondbacks celebrate playoff berth

  • Fernando Rodney on his 300th career save

    Fernando Rodney on his 300th career save

  • Chris Iannetta on his 8-RBI night in D-Backs' win

    Chris Iannetta on his 8-RBI night in D-Backs’ win

  • Archie Bradley answers questions from reporters – and J.D. Martinez

    Archie Bradley answers questions from reporters – and J.D. Martinez

  • Torey Lovullo after D-Backs avoid sweep in San Diego

    Torey Lovullo after D-Backs avoid sweep in San Diego

  • A.J. Pollock on his two-homer game vs. Padres

    A.J. Pollock on his two-homer game vs. Padres

  • Taijuan Walker on shaky outing vs. Giants

    Taijuan Walker on shaky outing vs. Giants

  • Zack Greinke after 2-0 win over Giants

    Zack Greinke after 2-0 win over Giants

  • Torey Lovullo on Greinke's dominant start vs. Giants

    Torey Lovullo on Greinke’s dominant start vs. Giants

  • Robbie Ray after 10-strikeout game vs. Giants

    Robbie Ray after 10-strikeout game vs. Giants

  • Archie Bradley on baseball and beards

    Archie Bradley on baseball and beards

  • Torey Lovullo on Pollock's two-run double, Ray's outing

    Torey Lovullo on Pollock’s two-run double, Ray’s outing

  • Zack Godley on his outing against the Rockies

    Zack Godley on his outing against the Rockies

  • Torey Lovullo on big win over Rockies

    Torey Lovullo on big win over Rockies

  • Paul Goldschmidt downplays his 1,000th career hit

    Paul Goldschmidt downplays his 1,000th career hit

  • Lovullo discusses his team's win over the Rockies

    Lovullo discusses his team’s win over the Rockies

  • D-Backs' A.J. Pollock on his three-hit night

    D-Backs’ A.J. Pollock on his three-hit night

  • Coyotes take batting practice at Chase Field

    Coyotes take batting practice at Chase Field

  • Torey Lovullo on the end of the D-Backs' win streak

    Torey Lovullo on the end of the D-Backs’ win streak

  • Paul Goldschmidt says his elbow is structurally sound

    Paul Goldschmidt says his elbow is structurally sound

Paul Goldschmidt swung and missed, hung his head and walked off the field. The Diamondbacks’ season was over, ending with barely a whimper. Their lineup was silenced. Their ace was beaten. And the Dodgers celebrated, first on the field, then in the visitors’ clubhouse.

With a 3-1 win on Monday night, the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep in the National League Division Series. The Diamondbacks, who entered the year with low expectations but went on to win 93 games, were finished.

They were the upstart team that knocked the Dodgers around in a pair of late-season series. They were the club many believed the Dodgers wanted to face the least. And yet they never stood a chance in these three games.

The Diamondbacks’ pitchers could not tame a deep and patient Dodgers lineup. Their hitters could not manufacture the sort of baton-passing innings they were known for during the regular season. The Dodgers, who finished with the most wins in the majors, were the clearly superior club.

On Monday night, right-hander Yu Darvish was masterful into the sixth inning. The Dodgers bullpen was even better. Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes launched solo homers. The Dodgers never trailed in their Game 3 victory.

“There’s a lot of reasons we can look back on why we didn’t win any of these games, but I think the bottom line is they were just a better team,” Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley said. “They came out and they beat us.

“It’s a tough one to swallow. It’s going to sit with us for a while this offseason.”

Some 10 minutes after the game, the Diamondbacks clubhouse was a sea of handshakes and hugs. As is always the case in the postseason, the end came quickly and unexpectedly for the losing team.

“It stings, honestly,” center fielder A.J. Pollock said. “I know we went down two games, but we felt really good about (Game 3). We felt good coming in here.”

Said second baseman Daniel Descalso: “You never plan for it to end. Once you get in, you envision yourself holding up that World Series trophy.”

Instead, the clubhouse was filled with farewells, including from slugger J.D. Martinez, the club’s key midseason pickup who might have played his final game with the Diamondbacks. An impending free agent, Martinez is likely to command a monster contract; it seems unlikely the Diamondbacks will be able to afford him.

“Obviously, I would love to come back, but I don’t know what the future holds or where God wants me to go,” Martinez said. “I hope it’s here. But if it’s not, Arizona will always hold a special place in my heart.”

The Dodgers battered the Diamondbacks pitching staff for two days in Los Angeles. On Monday night, they didn’t so much knock around Zack Greinke as they did suffocate him. He issued five walks, elicited only five swings-and-misses and lasted only one batter into the sixth inning. He came away more impressed with the Dodgers than frustrated with his performance.

“Going through that first time through the order, I don’t think they swung at one pitch out of the zone,” Greinke said. “They’re really tough to beat when they’re not chasing anything or anything close.”

The Dodgers wasted little time jumping ahead. Chris Taylor roped Greinke’s sixth pitch of the game into the left-field corner for a leadoff double and scored three batters later on a Bellinger ground out.

Greinke seemed to be on the ropes the rest of his outing, and he had to work to avoid a knockout. He threw 54 pitches in the first two innings, and he was at 87 after four, though the Diamondbacks still trailed just 1-0.

Bellinger came to the plate with two out in the fifth and Greinke, who had retired him twice by feeding him only change-ups, went back to the well again on a 3-1 pitch. In retrospect, Greinke thought it was the best of the change-ups he’d thrown him. But Bellinger clobbered it, launching an opposite-field homer. That made it 2-0. Chase Field had grown silent.

Darvish was a big part of that. Mixing sliders, cutters and mid-90s fastballs, Darvish kept Diamondbacks hitters looking off-balance throughout the night. They had perhaps two hard-hit balls off him – one of which briefly got them back in the game.

With two out in the fifth, Daniel Descalso hooked a 2-2 slider from Darvish and sent it into the right-field seats. Chase Field came back to life. The Diamondbacks had pulled within 2-1.

The sensation was fleeting. Greinke was at 103 pitches as he came off after the fifth, and after Descalso’s homer, slugger Christian Walker moved into the on-deck circle to hit for Greinke before Jeff Mathis recorded the final out of the inning. But Greinke then reemerged from the home dugout for the top of the sixth.

“That was what he (manager Torey Lovullo) wanted and what I wanted,” Greinke said. “I thought it was going to work out good.”

It didn’t. Barnes smoked the second pitch he saw into the left-field seats. Just like with Bellinger, Barnes punished a pitch he had struggled with earlier in the game. Greinke had retired Barnes on inside fastballs in each of his first two at-bats; he went back it in the sixth and Barnes clobbered it.

“I threw it really good,” Greinke said, “but he was ready for it.”

Said Lovullo: “We just wanted one more batter (out of Greinke). It was going to be Barnes, and then we were going to start to match up and bridge it to Archie. … We just needed that one inning to get through, and unfortunately it didn’t happen.”

The Dodgers’ lead was back to two. It would stay there thanks to the Dodgers bullpen. Lefty Tony Cingrani entered one batter into the sixth and induced a double-play ball. Brandon Morrow and Kenta Maeda combined to retire the next seven batters before closer Kenley Jansen entered in the ninth.

Jansen gave up a one-out single to David Peralta but retired the next two hitters, the last being Goldschmidt, who battled through a nine-pitch at-bat that ended with him lunging at a cutter.

“I chased ball four there,” Goldschmidt said. “I would have liked to have gotten on to give J.D. a chance there. Jansen is one of the best for a reason and he got me to chase out of the zone there. He did a good job.”

The Diamondbacks had just three hits, and their five best hitters – Goldschmidt, Martinez, Peralta, Jake Lamb and Pollock – finished a combined 1 for 17. Goldschmidt and Peralta each had just one hit apiece in the series.

“Their pitching is really good,” Martinez said. “They match up really well. They were executing a lot of pitches. It was just one of those things where we weren’t able to string together one inning where we put three, four, five runs.

“It kind of seemed like every time we had a guy on we would just kind of kill it with a ground ball or a double play. We didn’t have those base on balls, base hit, double, home run-type inning where you just string things together. But that’s a credit to them.”

More than a half hour after the game, several players still sat at their lockers. In a far corner, a group of half-dozen or more players sat in a circle, just like they had after games since the first homestand of the year.

“Some of these guys I’m sure I’ll be in contact with and I’ll be friends with the rest of my life, the rest of my baseball days,” Martinez said. “It’s just a bunch of guys that, if I’m not here and I’m on the other team, that I’m going to walk over and be really excited to see everybody and give everybody hugs and shake everybody’s hand and talk about how their families are.”

Lovullo was asked about the positives of the Diamondbacks’ surprising season. He didn’t want to talk about them.

“I’m hurting right now,” he said. “For right now, I want to remember how I feel, because I think it will motivate me.”

MOORE: D-Backs can’t come up with one last rally to extend season

BICKLEY: Diamondbacks swept out of playoffs, but their star is rising

RELATED: Did D-Backs guard Chase Field pool from Dodgers after NLDS loss?

MORE: Dodgers rookie Bellinger breaks out of postseason funk near home

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions