The 5: Top moments of Paul Goldschmidt’s career with D-backs
It’s hard to think of many former and current Arizona Diamondbacks who can match the amount of memorable moments Paul Goldschmidt had in the Valley.
Goldschmidt is all over the all-time leaderboards in franchise history and built a legacy in Arizona as one of the best first baseman in league history.
From stepping up big in the playoffs to some long balls you’ll never forget, here are five of Goldschmidt’s top moments as a D-back.
Hi Tim, my name is Paul
Goldschmidt’s first career home run was not just some hit that barely made it over the fence.
On Aug. 2, 2011, Goldschmidt made his second career start and appearance in the majors. It would come against San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum, who was one of the league’s stars and two seasons removed from winning back-to-back Cy Young Awards.
In his second at-bat, Goldschmidt smashed a ball to left-center that made former D-back and color commentator Mark Grace laugh as the ball soared through the air.
The 433-foot blast was one of many Goldschmidt would hit off Lincecum throughout his career in Arizona.
Welcome to the postseason
Later that year, the rookie Goldschmidt showed why he’s an up-and-coming star.
In the 2011 playoffs, Goldschmidt hit .438 from the plate in four games, with two home runs and six RBI. Add on the two walks and Goldschmidt’s on-base percentage was .526 in 16 total at-bats.
One of those homers was a grand slam against the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of the National League Divisional Series, Arizona’s first playoff home game since 2007.
Hitting new spots
Goldschmidt’s long bombs in Chase Field hit spots baseballs had never been before.
Those familiar with the layout of the stadium know where the banners hang for the D-backs’ division championships. A metal beam is below them and Goldschmidt’s 471-foot missile off John Lackey connected with the beam and ricocheted into the left-field seats.
Since 2015, it is the third-longest hit homer by a D-back.
Instant momentum in Wild Card game
A one-off Wild Card game will always be special, but the D-backs played one of the most memorable games in Arizona sports history against the Colorado Rockies last postseason, a wild 11-8 win.
The jolt to kick both offenses into gear came in the first inning from Goldschmidt, who took a hanging curveball from Rockies starter Jon Gray deep to left for a three-run homer.
Goldschmidt’s 384-foot shot gave the D-backs a 3-0 lead and was his third career homer in the postseason.
Bouncing back after a rough start to 2018
Our final moment isn’t one specific play.
On May 22, Goldschmidt’s batting average last season did the unthinkable and dipped below .200. He hit .144 in the month of May, deep enough into the season where concerns of “just a slump” or a “slow start” grew to if Goldschmidt was legitimately not the same tremendous player he once was.
As the all-time greats do, though, Goldschmidt eventually responded. He destroyed the baseball throughout the entirety of June for a .364 batting average, 39 hits, eight doubles, 10 home runs and 23 RBI. With his 17 walks as well, Goldschmidt’s OPS was a staggering 1.199 in the month.
Along with terrific play in the month of July and August, Goldschmidt not only salvaged his season but also posted a stat line that seemed relatively up to par with his past outstanding seasons.
He wound up hitting .290 with 33 home runs, 83 RBI and an OPS of .922.
Quite the feat after hitting below .200 47 games into the season.