Having dispatched the Colorado Rockies in a thrilling National League Wild Card Game, the Arizona Diamondbacks were not lacking for confidence heading into their matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series.
After all, the Diamondbacks won 11 of 19 head-to-head meetings, including consecutive three-game series sweeps late in the year. They were one of two teams the Dodgers did not have a winning record against during the regular season; the other being the Rockies who won 10 of 19 matchups.
Whether inexperience in the playoffs or circumstances dictated by the Wild Card Game, perhaps even both, the Diamondbacks did not look their usual selves. Conversely, the Dodgers very much resembled the team that paced the Majors with a 104-58 record.
The end result was Los Angeles sweeping Arizona in the NLDS, and doing so rather soundly. The Diamondbacks only led for three of 27 innings played during the series.
Diamondbacks reliever Archie Bradley succinctly summed up the Diamondbacks’ shortcomings as the Dodgers being the superior team, via Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com:
“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.”
Bradley appeared in Games 2 and 3 of the NLDS. He allowed an unearned run, three hits, walked three and recorded five strikeouts in a combined 4.2 innings pitched. Bradley threw 48 pitches, his second-highest this year including the regular season, in Game 3.
Prior to the NLDS beginning, the fiery right-hander lauded the Dodgers as the “best team” in baseball but added the series would “determine who the better team is.”