The Arizona Diamondbacks' outstanding and fully unexpected 2017 campaign came to an underwhelming end at the hands of perhaps their most hated rivals.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who owned baseball's best regular-season record, completed a three-game sweep of the D-backs in their National League Division Series with a 3-1 win in front of a sold-out crowd at Chase Field on Monday night.
Here are three big takeaways from the final game of the D-backs' 2017 season.
1. D-backs done in by hometown heroes
The Diamondbacks' season ended Monday thanks in part to a Valley native and an Arizona State alum.
Scottsdale native and Hamilton High School grad Cody Bellinger, who hit 39 home runs during the regular season, hit his first career postseason homer off D-backs ace Zack Greinke with two outs in the top of the fifth inning to double the Dodgers' lead to 2-0. Bellinger also made an incredible catch in front of his own dugout to end the bottom of the fifth.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 10, 2017
After the D-backs got a run back via a Daniel Descalso homer, ASU alum Austin Barnes hit a solo shot of his own off Greinke in the top of the sixth to restore the D-backs' two-run lead.
2. Greinke's performance not worth $206 million
The Diamondbacks signed Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million deal before the 2016 season. Despite a better-than-expected 2017 campaign, the D-backs have yet to see a real return on that investment.
Yes, the former Cy Young Award winner did post a 3.20 ERA during the regular season. But the D-backs brought in Greinke to perform in the postseason -- something he just hasn't done.
In his two playoff appearances for Arizona (Monday's game vs. LA and last week's Wild Card game vs. the Rockies), Greinke allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits and walked six batters in just 8 2/3 innings, including three runs and . He was hardly alone in his struggles from the mound for the D-backs during their brief postseason run, but fans rightfully expected more from the second-most expensive pitcher in baseball (behind only the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw).
3. Looking ahead to 2018
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen made some great moves in his first year in the Valley, but he's got some big decisions coming up as the team enters the offseason.
Perhaps the biggest challenge will be retaining midseason acquisition J.D. Martinez, who was outstanding for the D-backs (29 home runs in 64 regular-season games) but is set to become a free agent and will demand a LOT of money. Perhaps related: The D-backs may look to unload some of their team salary by trying to trade outfielder Yasmany Tomás, and possibly even Greinke if the D-backs can find a taker.
Will the D-backs really do their best to retain Martinez? Will they try to add another ace to their pitching staff -- perhaps one who's experienced postseason success? These are only a couple of the questions facing the team between now and the 2018 Cactus League.