After a long, disappointing season, the Arizona Diamondbacks were officially been eliminated from the MLB playoffs on Wednesday.
The Diamondbacks opened play at 59-85 on Wednesday, with a maximum possible of 77 wins. The Pirates (76-69) won, keeping their 1½-game second Wild Card lead over the Braves (75-71), who also won on Wednesday, with the Brewers (74-71) close behind.
Because the Pirates still have four games remaining with the Brewers and three with the Braves, any scenario of these teams losing as many games as possible will produce a second Wild Card winner with at least 78 wins.
Arizona got off on the wrong foot from the start, dropping their first three games and finishing April with a 9-19 record. The Diamondbacks hardly improved throughout the summer, with injuries and underperformance both leading to a disastrous season that ultimately saw GM Kevin Towers get fired a few days ago.
The combined losses of starter Patrick Corbin and set-up man David Hernandez in the spring (both to Tommy John surgery) weakened the club's pitching depth. Wade Miley and Josh Collmenter both put together decent enough seasons, but the D-backs lacked a true frontline starter. Brandon McCarthy was shipped off before flourishing with the Yankees, and free-agent signing Bronson Arroyo underwent Tommy John surgery himself in June after pitching with a partially torn UCL for the season's first two months.
At the plate, offseason acquisition Mark Trumbo has struggled mightily, hitting just .236/.301/.382 over 289 plate appearances, while also missing nearly three months with a fractured foot. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt put together another strong season, further solidifying his place among the best hitters in the NL, but he too landed on the DL with a fractured hand and will likely miss the rest of the season. Other veterans such as Aaron Hill and Cody Ross provided very little for Arizona.
The team did find a couple of starters for the future with Ender Inciarte and A.J. Pollock both impressing after receiving regular playing time in the second half. Rookie Chris Owings also got his feet wet against MLB pitching and looks to be Arizona's shortstop of the future.
But whoever takes over as the club's next GM has tons of work in front of them. The Dodgers and Giants look set to be annual contenders in the NL West, and the Diamondbacks' roster is lacking in young, impactful talent.