I wasn't optimistic heading into this season. I did expect greater competitiveness from the Diamondbacks this year than in years past, but I wasn't planning on watching the team play deep into October, either. After the twin gut-punches of losing Pollock and whatever it was Zack Greinke was doing last night, that's a little bit understandable. But my belief is that if you were optimistic before, what happens in literally less than 1% of the season shouldn't make too big a difference. (To look at it another way, it was mostly 1 inning, which is less than 0.1% of the season.) Should that change anyone's optimism? I don't think so.
There were several things we were worried about going into tonight, and several things we weren't. We weren't worried about Greinke. Sure, he had a terrible outing, but do we really expect him to give up seven runs every time out? Of course not, that would be crazy. We weren't worried about the best hitters (Goldy, Peralta, maybe Castillo) but we were worried about how the top of the order and the bottom of the order would work. We were also concerned about whether Lamb would hit LHP effectively.
So, we were served a game in which Greinke gave up 6 runs in one inning, something which happens, even with weak lineups. In 2014, a Diamondbacks lineup starting
Chad Cliff Pennington and Tuffy Gosewisch, as well as post-injury Cody Ross, tagged Kershaw for seven runs in less than an inning. The Rockies lineup which Greinke faced was more than a bit stronger. Kershaw did have a couple more rough starts, but figured it out and has pitched well in the almost two years since.
We were served a game in which Goldy and Castillo combined to go 0-for-8, with three strikeouts. This, also, will happen from time to time. Sure, we expect more out of Goldy, but he isn't perfect. And we shouldn't let this obscure the fact that every other starting player got at least one hit.
We were concerned about Tomas, offensively and defensively. He didn't make any big mistakes, although he clearly doesn't have the range of some, but he was acceptable. He also drove in two runs, and might have driven in 3 had Williams sent Peralta in the second. He hit the ball solidly, even if the bat speed still looked slow.
We were concerned about Owings, particularly in the field. He looked quite good out there. He certainly has the range to play the position, and even read one of the hardest balls to read quite well. (A line drive with a bit of tail, heading more or less directly towards him. It doesn't look hard, but that's one of the hardest to read for someone new to the outfield.) He also picked up a hit, and had the misfortune to line into a great double play by Arenado, killing what might well have been a game-tying rally.
Some were concerned about Lamb hitting LHP. He slammed a two run home run. Oh, and his defense was good, even if I do think Williams has him playing a little deep.
We were concerned about Segura. He didn't strike out at all, played pretty good defense, and went 2-for-5.
In the end, there are more good things to be taken out of this loss than bad things. The offense looked pretty good (better than in the spring games against Colorado, in fact) and most of the bullpen was good. I am still concerned about the lack of a long reliever (it really hurt last night, and means that Shelby Miller is going to have to go at least 6 tonight) and I don't like losing. But if you were optimistic about this season, you probably were basing that off of Segura and Tomas returning to good form, Lamb developing into a star, and other players not dropping off. Last night gave a good indication that might happen.
So step away from the ledge, and let's look forward to the debut of our somewhat less shiny new toy, Shelby Miller, tonight. (Also, teal uniforms. I'm thinking these will be my favorites of the new sets, even though I normally don't like teal.)