Goldy (2 HR, 5 RBIs) making 'miracle' Triple Crown push

August 26th, 2022

CHICAGO -- With a three-hit, two-home run and five-RBI day in Thursday afternoon's 8-3 win over the Cubs, Cardinals superstar is within two home runs of having a hold of all three legs of the NL Triple Crown with a little more than a month remaining in the regular season.

In a move that aligns perfectly with his understated and unassuming personality, Goldschmidt tabbed himself as a severe underdog to accomplish a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in the National League since 1937 when Joe “Ducky” Medwick last won the Triple Crown. Never mind that Goldschmidt is first in the NL in batting average (.339), second in home runs (33) and first in RBIs (105), Goldschmidt prefers to think of himself as some plucky upstart who happened to stagger into a few stellar performances instead of being on par with other former Triple Crown winners such as Ted Williams (twice), Rogers Hornsby (twice), Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, Medwick and five others.

“Listen, if something like that happened it would be a miracle,” Goldschmidt said of potentially winning the Triple Crown. “To think that’s realistic is probably pretty far-fetched. Like I said, if something like that did happen, it would be pretty amazing, but to think that’s a goal for anyone, that’s a crazy standard.”

Goldschmidt has set high standards for himself in the midst of the greatest season of his career at 34 years old. Before this season, he had hit .300 four times, smashed at least 30 home runs six times and driven in 100 runs three times. He finished second in the NL MVP race in 2013 and ’15, third in ’17 and got MVP votes four other seasons. This season, however, has been his greatest body of work -- and there’s still six weeks left for him to terrorize pitchers the way he did on Thursday at Wrigley Field.

"He’s always been awesome, and always hurt me when on the opposing team, but it’s surprising what he’s doing with how quiet he is," said outfielder Corey Dickerson, who set a Cardinals record of his own on Thursday by extending his hitting streak to 10 consecutive at-bats. "He just goes about his business, he doesn’t need the glory or any fame from it and just wants to do the job. His routine is so dialed in, he believes in it and we’re seeing the results."

Goldschmidt has two fewer round-trippers than Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber, who leads the NL with 35 homers. Goldschmidt came into Thursday two RBIs back of Mets star Pete Alonso, but he zipped past him with the five RBIs that came off the two homers and a two-run single.

Goldschmidt was rested following a day off on Wednesday and proceeded to smash the Cubs. His sixth-inning home run off Sean Newcomb left the bat at 108.7 mph and traveled a projected 403 feet, while his eighth-inning drive off Kervin Castro was smoked at 108.5 mph and went 428 feet to dead center.

Goldschmidt also leads the NL in on-base percentage (.417), slugging percentage (.622), OPS (1.039) and WAR (6.7). With fellow superstar Nolan Arenado away from the team after his wife, Laura, went into labor in St. Louis, there is maybe only one other player in the Cardinals clubhouse who can comprehend the kind of season that Goldschmidt is enjoying. Albert Pujols, he of the 693 home runs, three MVP awards and four second-place finishes for the coveted award, has enjoyed having Goldschmidt on his side.

“It’s pretty awesome what he’s doing. It’s so special,” said Pujols, who amazed Goldschmidt earlier in the week when he hit a neck-high fastball for a home run in St. Louis' 1-0 victory on Monday. “He’s having an MVP year and it’s exciting because he’s been carrying the ballclub most of the year. He’s always been a heck of a player while watching him from the other side, and to see him do it as a teammate, it’s even more special.”

As off-the-charts productive as Goldschmidt was at the plate, his finest play of Thursday might have been in the field. Goldschmidt prevented two runs from scoring when he sprawled to his right to scoop up a short-hop throw from Tommy Edman while also keeping his foot on the bag to end the second inning.
Manager Oliver Marmol said the work that Goldschmidt does daily well before first pitch allows him to operate at a consistency level that few others can match.
“The preparation is unbelievable, it really is,” Marmol said. “He’s not going to allow the opposition to get him out because he is so in-tune and convicted with what they are trying to do. He’s stuck with it and he’s gotten incredibly consistent results with it.”