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Goldy makes history with 3 homers in 2nd game

@LangoschMLB
March 30, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- Two games into a burgeoning six-year stay with the Cardinals, and Paul Goldschmidt has already carved a place in the franchise record books. Goldschmidt followed up a rather nondescript debut by making the most of his second impression. With a three-homer game, Goldschmidt carried the Cardinals to their

MILWAUKEE -- Two games into a burgeoning six-year stay with the Cardinals, and Paul Goldschmidt has already carved a place in the franchise record books.

Goldschmidt followed up a rather nondescript debut by making the most of his second impression. With a three-homer game, Goldschmidt carried the Cardinals to their first win of the season -- a 9-5 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park on Friday night -- and muscled his way into rare company. He reached base five times in total to complete one of the most prolific offensive performances in recent franchise history.

“It’s a weird game: You strike out three times yesterday and have three homers today,” Goldschmidt said. “Just try to have good at-bats, hit the ball hard and hopefully the results are there.”

Boy, were they.

Goldschmidt gave the Cardinals an early lead with a first-inning homer, launched a go-ahead blast in the sixth and then punctuated his evening with another two-run shot in the seventh to secure the second three-homer game of his career. With it, he also became the first player in Major League history to hit three home runs in one of his first two games with a team.

His chance for a fourth came to an anticlimactic end, though. With first base open and one out in the ninth, the Brewers gladly pointed Goldschmidt toward first for the intentional walk.

Matt Wieters, with a reference to Goldschmidt’s 0-for-3, three-strikeout performance a day earlier, perhaps summed up the night best when he crowned Goldschmidt the “comeback player of the day.”

“He definitely got us today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re just going to have to make better pitches. The good hitters, the great hitters, the margin for error is far more slim.”

The performance came eight days after Goldschmidt agreed to a contract extension that will keep him in St. Louis through the 2024 season, ensuring that the Brewers will have plenty more opportunities to find ways to contain the perennial All-Star.

And as for the company Goldschmidt now keeps? He joins Stan Musial, Mark Whiten, Albert Pujols and Matt Carpenter as the only Cardinals to finish a game with four hits, three homers and five RBIs.

Goldschmidt is the 11th different Cardinal to homer three times in one game, and his 13 total bases is tied for fifth most in franchise history.

“I just hit,” Goldschmidt said, shrugging off the significance. “I don’t know. I’m simple up there. I just try to hit and not think too much.”

The Brewers simply had no answer for a player that has given them fits for years. His home runs, all with two strikes, came off three different pitchers and registered exit velocities of 105 mph, 105.8 mph and 106.4 mph. He also stung a 104.9 mph single and lined out on a ball that came off his bat at 107.3 mph.

That makes Goldschmidt one of two players to put five balls in play at an exit velocity of at least 104.9 mph since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

“Really,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said, “the first at-bat told me he was locked in.”

That at-bat lasted 10 pitches against Brewers starter Freddy Peralta and featured a run of five consecutive foul balls, two of which he crushed into the upper deck. One clanged off the panel of windows. Goldschmidt eventually worked the count full before lofting a 373-foot home run for his first hit as a Cardinal.

“He kept making good pitches,” Goldschmidt said. “I was just hoping that I would get one of them, and I was able to do that. That’s about it. I was just trying to get on base.”

The sight of Goldschmidt rounding the bases at Miller Park has long haunted the Brewers, as they’ve watched him slug in their home park for years. Goldschmidt entered the game ranked first all-time at the ballpark in batting average (.407), on-base percentage (.491), slugging percentage (.780) and OPS (1.271) among all active Major League players with at least 100 plate appearances.

The Cardinals have another five games on tap at Miller Park … and that’s just between now and the end of April.

“I don’t have a good answer for you,” Goldschmidt said, when asked about his success in the ballpark. “You can have success in one place or off one pitcher, but that can change pretty quickly.

“It is what it is. Like I said, yesterday was three strikeouts, today was three homers. Who knows what tomorrow will be?”

Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.