Gold(y) standard: Slugger crushes 19th homer
PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt's teammates have coined a phrase for their first baseman's exploits on the field.
"Oh my gosh. He's the best player in baseball if you ask me," starter Chase Anderson said after the D-backs' 3-2 win over the Angels on Wednesday night at Chase Field. "Goldy does Goldy things."
What the leading vote-getter among National League first basemen for the All-Star Game did Tuesday was rack up two more hits. Goldschmidt leads the Majors with a .363 batting average, and he has also reached base in 27 consecutive games.
The slugger's first-inning home run, his 19th homer of the season, was projected by Statcast™ to land 415 feet away and came off his bat at 106 mph.
Goldschmidt is the model of consistency on the field. Per usual, the first baseman gave credit to everyone else.
"The pitching has done well this week and it's really picked up the offense," Goldschmidt said. "We were able to get ahead and we would have liked to tack on, but you have to give their guys credit. They pitched well."
Goldschmidt's home run gave the D-backs a 1-0 advantage and a lead they would never relinquish. The slugger also made a stellar defensive play in the top of the second inning, spearing a hard-hit ball off the bat of Matt Joyce near the bag and tossing to Anderson for the final out of the frame. Goldschmidt made another fine play on a hard-spinning ball off the bat of David Freese for the last out of the fourth.
"I think most of all, we just try to keep improving every day," Goldschmidt said. "There are a lot of games to go, and hopefully we can keep gaining some ground on everyone in our division, and the [NL] Wild Card as well."
D-backs reliever Daniel Hudson also did his part when he entered in the seventh inning and retired Mike Trout with two runners on base to end the frame and squash the Angels' scoring threat. Hudson retired Albert Pujols and struck out Freese for the first two outs of the eighth before giving up a triple to Joyce. Hudson struck out the next hitter, Johnny Giavotella, to strand Joyce at third.
"I don't really know about roles, really. I just take the ball when they need me to take it -- whether that's the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth or third," Hudson said. "I don't really care. I'm not really worried about when I pitch. I just want to get out there and get three outs whenever they ask me."
As for Anderson, he allowed two runs on seven hits in six strong innings before yielding to David Hernandez and Oliver Perez for the first two outs of the seventh.
"I felt good overall, but I had to battle," Anderson said. "My stuff wasn't there like it was the last couple of starts, but that's part of the process. We had really good defense and made some really good plays to pick me up tonight."
Brad Ziegler closed out the game with a scoreless ninth for the save.
"I'm just trying to find a way on base, and fortunately, he threw one of his offspeed pitches and he left it a little bit up and I was able to get it out of there," Goldschmidt said of his home run. "We had some good at-bats tonight off them. They did a good job of shutting us down for another three innings and not letting us keep tacking on."