Grit Index: Goldschmidt’s smash gives D-backs series win over Dodgers
In the battle of winless pitchers — Brandon McCarthy and Josh Beckett — Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, it was Paul Goldschmidt who had the final laugh.
With both starting pitchers far gone by the ninth inning, the Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman worked an 11-pitch at-bat against Los Angeles Dodgers closer Brandon League. Worn down by foul ball after foul ball, League finally made a mistake and Goldschmidt took advantage with a two-run shot to the left field bleachers.
After J.J. Putz exited with elbow stiffness in the ninth, Heath Bell managed to record the final three outs and the D-backs clinched a series victory with a 5-3 win.
Goldschmidt’s at-bat was easily the most impressive by any D-back to date this season, not just for the result but the way in which he continued to battle League.
With that said, the bullpen also deserves credit for the win.
With the game tied at three and a runner on third, Tony Sipp relieved starter Brandon McCarthy and proceeded to retire Carl Crawford and Dee Gordon with ease to end the seventh inning.
In the eighth, David Hernandez didn’t help his cause giving up a leadoff double to Matt Kemp. But, the D-backs setup man quickly recovered and had no problem finishing off a scoreless inning.
Heath Bell wasn’t expecting to pitch in a save situation Tuesday, but following Putz’s injury, the three-time All-Star looked every bit the part in the ninth.
In his pursuit of a win in a D-backs uniform, Brandon McCarthy continues to be his own worse enemy.
While the first-year D-back hasn’t had issues with his command (six walks) this season, he continues to leave too many balls up in the zone.
After a shaky start (two runs on five hits) in the first two innings, McCarthy settled down by retiring 14 of the next 16 batters he faced.
However, he couldn’t hold onto a lead.
Nick Punto hit a home run in the second inning off McCarthy and managed to chase the right-hander in the seventh following a game-tying RBI double the right centerfield gap. Punto came into the night with a career .249 average.
McCarthy has now given up eight hits in all seven outings this season.
Stat of the Game:
2007: Eric Chavez stole his first base of the season in the eighth inning, but it was also his first since the 2007 season when he was with the Oakland Athletics.
• Didi Gregorius continues to do it all. The D-backs shortstop recorded his second career three-hit game, and also made a beautiful diving stop on a Ramon Hernandez ground ball in the sixth inning.
• The D-backs have won four of five this season against the Dodgers and eight of their last 10 in Los Angeles.
• With his two-run home run, Goldschmidt moved up to fourth in the National League with 27 RBI. Only Brandon Phillips (29), John Buck (28) and Troy Tulowitzki (28) have more.
The D-backs and Dodgers will play the final game of their three-game series at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday night. D-backs left-hander Wade Miley (2-1, 3.06) will try to win his first decision since April 10. He’ll be opposed by former Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 1.66). First pitch can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.