It’s been the slump talked about throughout the desert.
Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman and MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt has been quite unlike himself in August. He’s currently batting a below-average .229 since Aug. 1, seeing his batting average drop 22 points from .349 to .327.
For comparison’s sake, he had not batted anything lower than .333 in a single month all season.
It would be the lowest average month for Goldschmidt since he batted .232 in August of 2012, which was at the tail end of Goldy’s first full season in the Majors.
There could be a multitude of issues as to the cause of this slump: He could be pressing at the plate, pitchers may have finally figured him out or he could have his mind elsewhere. His wife is due to have the couple’s first child at the end of the month.
D-backs manager Chip Hale weighed in on Goldschmidt’s recent troubles when he was a guest on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Burns & Gambo on Tuesday.
“I just think that it’s a long year,” Hale said. “He’s human and you go through struggles. He did have some mechanical issues that him and Turner (Ward) worked on and worked out.
“Saturday was the culmination of him feeling better. He’s told us that he feels like he’s back on track.”
Goldschmidt had a four-hit night on Saturday, with two home runs and four RBI, but went hitless in the two games after his big performance.
Despite the recent struggles, Goldy still leads the National League with 93 RBI and ranks third with a .327 batting average.
The slump has luckily not affected the team much, if at all, as the D-backs have gone 12-10 in August and 18-11 in their past 29 games, and have closed in to 5.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers before play Tuesday for first place in the National League West.
Hale thanked the rest of the offense for stepping up while Goldy has been slumping.
“It’s tough to put everything on him all the time and that is why it’s great to see what David Peralta and A.J. Pollock have done as late to help us out while he has struggled a bit,” Hale said.
Pollock recently won the NL Player of the Week and has is batting .325, good for the fourth-highest mark in the National League, while Peralta is batting .375 in August with a monthly season-high of 19 runs batted in and four home runs.