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Goldy confirms elite status with 30th homer

MVP candidate surpasses 100 RBIs with three-run shot to beat Giants
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke has played alongside plenty of great players during his 14-year career. When asked where Paul Goldschmidt ranks among past teammates, only one name immediately comes to Greinke's mind that surely tops the D-backs first baseman.

"He's obviously really good and up there with anyone," Greinke said after Arizona's 4-3 win over the Giants on Friday at Chase Field. "Besides maybe Mike Trout, because that's how everyone in baseball is."

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PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke has played alongside plenty of great players during his 14-year career. When asked where Paul Goldschmidt ranks among past teammates, only one name immediately comes to Greinke's mind that surely tops the D-backs first baseman.

"He's obviously really good and up there with anyone," Greinke said after Arizona's 4-3 win over the Giants on Friday at Chase Field. "Besides maybe Mike Trout, because that's how everyone in baseball is."

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Goldschmidt smashed a three-run homer in the third inning Friday that proved to be the decisive blow in the victory. With the win, the D-backs moved 1 1/2 games above the Rockies in the National League Wild Card standings.

Video: SF@ARI: Goldschmidt on hitting 30th HR vs Giants

While Goldschmidt's 381-foot homer provided the spark for the D-backs in the first tilt of a six-game homestand, it also gave the 29-year-old first baseman a career milestone. The blast was Goldschmidt's 30th of the season, and with the three runs he drove home Friday, he now has 101 RBIs on the year.

Goldschmidt is the first player in club history to record three 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons. Luis Gonzales had two such seasons for the D-backs, and Mark Reynolds, Jay Bell, Matt Williams and Steve Finley each had one.

"My focus is not on any numbers or individual stuff; we're here in the playoff race," Goldschmidt said. "I'm just trying to win the game and find a way to help us win tonight, and we've got to do the same thing tomorrow. Regardless of what happens, my focus, good or bad, is just take it day by day, and I think all the guys in the locker room are doing the same thing."

Goldschmidt's performance Firday was another strong showing during a 2017 campaign that could end up being the best season of his career.

"I think people are starting to recognize who he is league-wide," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "I think inside of the game, every player knows Paul Goldschmidt and I think nationally a lot of people, journalists, are starting to recognize that he's a pretty special player. ... What more could you ask for? For me, I've been saying now for half a season, he is a severe MVP candidate."

Video: SF@ARI: Lovullo on Goldschmidt's bat, Greinke

Using Baseball-Reference's formula, Goldschmidt is third among National League players in WAR this season at 5.7, trailing only Joey Votto (6.3) and Nolan Arenado (6.0).

Statistically speaking, Greinke's placement of Goldschmidt is fairly accurate: Since Goldschmidt and Trout each began their first full Major League seasons in 2012, Trout has racked up 53.6 WAR, 17.5 better than Robinson Cano, who has the second-best mark in that span. Goldschmidt sits in fifth at 34.2.

Performances like the one he delivered Friday have helped push the D-backs into playoff contention, and they very well could vault Goldschmidt toward the first MVP Award of his career.

"Now I'll get specific because I get to watch him work and perform every single day," Lovullo said. "I'm honored to be sitting in the same dugout as him. I still get giddy when he sits next to me and talks to me and I have to pinch myself and think, 'That's Paul Goldschmidt.' I'm just honored to be around him. That's how I feel."

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt