If All-Star game participants are required to bring a highlight reel to the mid-summer classic, Paul Goldschmidt would pack his last at-bat from Wednesday afternoon.
There is no such requirement but Goldschmidt showed clearly why the fans anointed him the starting National League first baseman and why has become one of the most feared hitters in the game.
Just roll the tape to the bottom of the 10th inning, the Diamondbacks down by one run, runners on first and third and Goldschmidt facing Steve Cishek, the Marlins’ closer. On the first pitch, Goldschmidt lined a double into the left centerfield gap that scored Ender Inciarte with the tying run and David Peralta with the game-winner. That produced a 4-3 Diamondbacks win over Miami before 18,268 in Chase Field.
With the victory, the Arizona took the series from the Marlins and captured only their fourth series at home this season. The win improved the D-backs home slate to 17-31.
Afterward, Goldschmidt talked about the game-winner.
“It was a slider and (Cishek) throws a pretty good slider,” Goldschmidt said. “He got it over the middle of the plate and that one just missed his spot.”
The walk-off was the fifth of Goldschmidt’s career and the first this season. His last walk-off was against the Orioles on Aug. 13, 2013. In the process, Goldschmidt reached base for the 30th consecutive game, fifth longest in franchise history. Luis Gonzalez holds the club mark with 40 games set in 1998.
Goldschmidt’s heroics lifted the Diamondbacks from the depths of another possible defeat. That’s because starter Josh Collmenter turned in a quality performance and in seven innings of work limited the Marlins to seven hits and one run but left trailing 1-0. He retired 13 of the first 14 hitters he faced and now has allowed one run or less in four of his last five starts.
“I was able to get in a groove early and throw my fast ball for strikes,” Collmenter said. “Overall, this was a great team win and gives us some momentum going into San Francisco and the second half. You always want to be in a position to give the guys a chance to win.”
For most of the afternoon, things looked rather gloomy.
The Diamondbacks could not solve Marlins’ starter Nathan Eovaldi, whom Goldschmidt said pitched one of the better games against Arizona this season. Reaching Eovaldi only in the eighth, the D-backs managed to knot the game at 1-1 on a lead-off triple from Didi Gregorius and Nick Ahmed’s single, the latter’s first career major league RBI.
Reliever Brad Ziegler could not keep the Marlins at bay and surrendered a two-run, two-out double to Donovan Solano into the left field corner in the top of the 10th. That gave Miami a 3-1 lead and left closer Cishek eying his 21st save of the season.
Down by two in the last of the 10th, Peralta’s single scored Aaron Hill, who singled after a nine-pitch at-bat and moved to second on a walk. That brought the D-backs to within one. Goldschmidt then sent the game-winner to the left centerfield fence that scored two and gave the D-backs their third win in their last four games.
Afterward, manager Kirk Gibson took time to point out one of Goldschmidt’s signature characteristics and a principal reason for the walk-off double.
“In that situation in the 10th and the game on the line, you have to be patient,” Gibson pointed out. “That’s Goldschmidt. He’s a disciplined hitter, patient, waits and has a good approach.”
Gibson also indicated that part of Goldschmidt’s approach is study.
“He watches film and knows pitchers pretty good,” Gibson added. “He knows Cishek’s release point is lower than most pitchers and waited for the pitch.”
On your way to Target Field, that's not a bad highlight to pack in your suitcase.
BEFORE THE BREAK, THE FINALE
The Diamondbacks close the “official” first half of the season with a three game set against the Giants at AT&T Park this weekend.
On Friday night, right-hander Mike Bolsinger, with a record of 1-5, 5.15 ERA, takes on Tim Lincecum (8-5, 3.75).
For Saturday, Wade Miley (4-6, 4.43) opposes Ryan Vogelsong (5-6, 3.92), and on Sunday, it’s Chase Anderson (6-4, 3.64) taking on Madison Bumgarner (9-7, 3.36).
Against Lincecum, Paul Goldschmidt continues to put up monster numbers. Since his first at-bat against Lincecum in 2011, Goldschmidt is 15-for-26. That’s a .577 average with seven home runs and 17 RBIs.
Against Vogelsong, Goldschmidt is hitting .238 (5-for-31) and Miguel Montero is batting .348 (8-for-23).
For the most part, Bumgarner has had good success against Arizona. Martin Prado is hitting .196 (5-for-26), Goldschmidt .227 (5-for-22) and Montero has an .188 average (6-32).
Against Miley, the only D-backs pitcher in the series with any kind of numbers against the Giants, Buster Posey is hitting .529 (9-for 17) while Pablo Sandoval has a .294 average (5-for-17).
Then, the Diamondbacks break for the All-Star game before returning to Chase Field for a six-game home stand against the Cubs and Tigers.