The Reds quashed those thoughts Wednesday night as they scored early and often off starter Brandon McCarthy, managing to hang on for a 10-7 win at Great American Ball Park.
With the loss, the D-backs fell to 8 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers in the National League West and six games behind the Reds and Cardinals for the final NL Wild Card spot.
A loss is a loss, but the D-backs do deserve credit for not packing it in after falling behind 8-0 after the first four innings.
"They played their tails off," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of his team. "They did a heck of a job. They had a terrible start. They played great, I've got no complaints about it at all."
Other than, of course, how things started out.
It was a rough outing for McCarthy, who was making his fourth start after spending two months on the disabled list.
McCarthy (2-8) allowed a leadoff home run to Shin-Soo Choo, but then retired the next five Cincinnati hitters before the wheels came off.
The Reds scored three runs with two outs in the second inning to take a 4-0 lead.
"I really felt like I didn't have anything, and then command-wise, it just wasn't there either," McCarthy said. "That's a pretty rough combo that I've got to be able to work through and at least get deeper and make something out of it and not let it turn into a complete train wreck."
No such luck as things didn't get any better for McCarthy in the third as Chris Heisey collected an RBI double and Devin Mesoraco drove in two with a single to increase the Reds lead to 7-0.
That was the end of the road for McCarthy, who has allowed 11 runs over his past two starts.
"I couldn't get anything down in the zone for whatever reason," McCarthy said. "I really think mechanically I just got some issues I have to iron out. Anytime that happens, it's hard for me to locate and establish. It just makes a mess."
The Reds were not done scoring as they added another run in the fourth to go up 8-0.
The D-backs, though, refused to go away.
Arizona put together a four-run rally against Reds starter Mike Leake in the fifth thanks to a two-run single by pinch-hitter Jason Kubel and a two-run homer by Adam Eaton.
"That's the epitome of a full moon, it felt like," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "We were riding easy, 8-0. All of a sudden, it was 8-4. They didn't quit. I don't know if that's what you call a good game or not. A lot of stuff happened."
Things would get even more tense for the home crowd as the D-backs scored a run with two outs in the seventh to cut the lead to 8-5 and loaded the bases for Aaron Hill.
Hill was a little out front of a J.J. Hoover pitch and his fly ball to left was caught on the warning track by Heisey for the final out of the inning.
The Reds breathed a collective sigh of relief, but it would be short-lived as the eighth would also prove to be stressful.
Gerardo Parra led off the inning with a home run to left. The ball was originally ruled a double, but after a replay review, the umpires credited him with a home run that cut the Reds lead to 8-6.
Then with one out and runners at first and second, Reds closer Aroldis Chapman got pinch-hitter Matt Davidson to hit into what should have been an inning-ending double play. Instead second baseman Brandon Phillips' throw to first skipped past Joey Votto and Wil Nieves came around to score from second and cut the lead to 8-7.
"Whenever we scored that couple of runs to make it 8-4, I think everybody thought we were going to give this team a run for their money," outfielder A.J. Pollock said. "If we're there at the end of the game, we do a good job of scratching together that key run. I don't think there's anybody in here who didn't think we had a chance."
The Reds gave themselves some breathing room with two runs in the eighth yet once again the D-backs managed to bring the tying run to the plate with no one out in the ninth off Chapman, but they could not finish it off.
"We fought back but we didn't have enough to piece together for the win," Pollock said. "We know our character and our character is we don't give up."