Goldy torments Crew with 2-HR, 7-RBI night

Wainwright shuts down Milwaukee over 6 innings

September 14th, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- Before Friday’s series opener against the Brewers, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt downplayed the challenge of playing the final 16 games of the season against contending teams. He mentioned that the Cardinals can’t be naive to the schedule, but they also have to stay in the moment.

No one better encapsulates that mindset than Paul Goldschmidt. But no one is better built for meaningful September baseball than Goldschmidt, either.

Both rang true Friday night. Goldschmidt’s third-inning grand slam and three-run home run in the sixth lifted the Cardinals to a 10-0 series-opening win at Busch Stadium. It was his second multihomer game this season, the first of which was also against the Brewers, a three-homer effort on March 29.

“Memorable,” Shildt said. “That’s a huge performance -- big at-bats, big times, big parts of the game.”

The Cardinals’ first baseman finished the game 2-for-4 with a career-high seven RBIs. He is now hitting .318 (21-for-66) with eight homers and 20 RBIs in 17 games against Milwaukee this season.

“Back and forth, you face a team that many times, there are going to be games where you have success and times where they get you out,” Goldschmidt said. “You keep going back and forth and see what happens.”

The emphatic win over the Brewers kept the National League Central-leading Cardinals four games in front of the second-place Cubs, who beat the Pirates on Friday, and put them five up on Milwaukee.

The Cardinals have 15 games left in the regular season, all against teams vying for October, just like St. Louis.

This time of year is one of the reasons why St. Louis traded for Goldschmidt this offseason and signed him to a five-year contract extension before the season started. The Cardinals wanted a spot back in the postseason after missing out for three straight years. They hoped Goldschmidt could provide a spark.

He’s done much more than that.

“It’s been tremendous on both sides of the ball,” said Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright, who limited the Brewers to two hits over six innings. “That’s what we thought we were getting when we got him, and that’s what we got. He’s completely changed our infield defense. He has completely changed the middle of the lineup. He just makes everyone better around him on both sides of the ball.”

Goldschmidt’s impact extends beyond the field. As St. Louis tries to stay steady as the final stretch of the season hits, Goldschmidt is the epitome of Shildt’s hope that the Cardinals stay present, regardless of where they stand in the postseason race or who they’re playing.

“We brought him in for a lot of reasons,” Shildt added. “Clearly, to be a presence in the lineup, take good at-bats in big games. But also to be that veteran guy, to add to the veteran guys we have, who knows how to play the game and knows how to stay in the moment and compete and prepare. He’s obviously fit right in. He’s a big part and big presence of our lineup.”

Goldschmidt understands where the Cardinals stand with their remaining games in the regular season. He knows who the Cardinals have to beat to get to October. But after Friday’s game, all he was focused on was the next game.

“There’s a lot more chatter around the game, but it’s the same game,” Goldschmidt said. “Each win counts as one win or loss, so it’s just a reminder to myself and anyone else if they want to think of it that way. Take it as one game at a time, don’t make it too big. I feel like we’ve done a good job of that this year … try to keep going and win as many games as you can.”