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Paul Goldschmidt’s Greatest Games

After exactly 1,100 MLB games for Arizona, let’s see if we can pick out a mere handful of highlights.

Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Best post-season game: October 4, 2011 vs. Brewers

Over his eight playoff appearances for Arizona, Goldschmidt was every bit the player we expected. He batted .313 with a 1.076 OPS: in retrospect, it’s one of the things which make it all the more strange he didn’t play at all in Game 1 of the 2011 NLDS against the Brewers. But he made up for it, getting hits in all four subsequent games: and in Game 3, with the D-backs teetering on the edge of being swept, tied a franchise record for post-season RBI, driving in five in the 8-1 victory which made this a real series. That included the first of his four play-off home-runs, the first play-off grand-slam for Arizona (above), which triggered the second-greatest cap-toss by an opposing pitcher in D-backs post-season history.

Biggest impact: August 13, 2013 vs. Orioles

Ranked #6 in Win Probability all-time for the franchise, Goldschmidt was worth a startling +79.8% of WP in this game. First, leading off the ninth inning with the D-backs down 3-2, he tied the game with a solo shot off Baltimore closer Jim Johnson, which got the game into extras. Then, leading off the 11th, he homered again, a walk-off shot the other way - against future Arizona team-mate T.J. McFarland. Despite the heroics, Paul remained humble as ever, saying, “I honestly told myself, ‘Just try to get on and let Hilly drive me in.’ It was the same thought both times. Fortunately I was able to hit a line drive, the second one being right down the line helped.”

Most times on base: May 31, 2015 vs. Brewers

Paul reached base no less than seven times in this marathon contest. He went 3-for-4, with a home-run, two singles and no fewer than four walks, three of them intentional. No other player has had more than a pair of 4 BB games for Arizona in their career here. Goldy had three in less than a month that year: on May 9, May 31 and June 2. And this was the only time any D-backs’ hitter was walked intentionally more than twice in a game. Oddly, with two outs in the ninth, Goldschmidt had no walks. But he was put aboard there, then three more times, in the 11th, 13th and 15th innings. And it worked, as Ender Inciarte went 1-for-8 on the day behind Goldschmidt, and Milwaukee walked it off in the 17th.

Most total bases: August 3, 2017 vs. Cubs

This also ranks not far behind the Orioles game for Win Probability, as Goldschmidt rated +74.5% for his three home-runs in this one. It was memorable for a number of reasons, not least multiple rain delays, leading to a total running time of six hours, 34 minutes and a bullpen dance-off. The interruptions clearly didn’t affect Paul, who finished a grand-slam short of the home-run cycle. He hit a three-run shot in the first, then a two-run homer out to Waveland Avenue in the fifth, before a go-ahead solo bomb in the ninth, for his only three HR game. Honorable mention: Goldschmidt also had 12 bases (two home-runs, two doubles) in the destruction of Clayton Kershaw on May 17, 2014.

Last home-run for Arizona: September 7, 2018 vs. Braves

Neither his last game of 2018, nor his last at Chase were particularly memorable, so I went with this instead. We didn’t know it at the time, of course, but this was not only Paul’s final home-run as a Diamondback [unless he returns as a free-agent]. It was the last “true” Goldy game, Paul reaching base five times, on three walks and a single, in addition to the homer. It also brought his batting average for the season to its high-point of .300 - a remarkable feat, considering he was hitting below the Uecker Line as late as May 22 (.198 on that date). Over the 91 games between those two points, he batted .350/.443/.661 for a 1.104 OPS, so this game marked the end of the final “24-karat Goldy” streak, in his current incarnation.