Following a lackluster Opening Day debut, where he went 0-3 with 3 strikeouts, Paul Goldschmidt entered Game 2 of the season determined to prove St. Louis brass correct in investing an additional $130 million in him over the next five years. In Friday night’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Goldschmidt did just that with a historic performance, leading the team to a 9-5 victory in which he went 4 for 5, with a single, 3 home runs, and 5 RBIs.
Making matters even more impressive was the fact that following his three home runs and single, Goldschmidt was given yet another shot at a fourth home run in his sixth plate appearance. Yet, Goldschmidt was ultimately intentionally walked by Craig Counsell and the Brewers in the 9th inning with a runner on 2nd and first base open. Notably, even a crowd comprised of predominantly Brewers fans booed Counsell’s decision to take away Goldschmidt’s chance at history, in what was already a 4-run game.
Friday night’s game was the second time in Goldschmidt’s career where he hit three home runs in a single game (his first came on August 3, 2017 against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field), and his 16th career multi-homerun game. Goldschmidt also became the first player in MLB history to hit three home runs in either his first or second game with an MLB team.
When speaking to reporters after the game, Goldschmidt stated, “Sometimes you have success. I can’t really explain it. I pretty much try to do the same thing every day. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t.” Commenting on the apparent juxtaposition between his performance on Opening Day and last night, Goldschmidt stated, “That’s what is awesome about this game. There’s a lot of failure, then there’s good nights like tonight.”
Goldschmidt’s teammates were extremely excited about the performance as well, with newly signed Cardinals catcher, Matt Wieters, telling reporters, “he’s the comeback player of the day.” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt also expressed satisfaction with his new first baseman’s performance, telling the press, “It was great. He’s a presence in the lineup, clearly. Just locked in, got good at-bats and made a really nice play in the field as well. A complete game for Goldy.”
With Paul Goldschmidt in the lineup, the newly retooled St. Louis Cardinals offense appears to be absolutely deadly. In a highly competitive National League Central division, in addition to the St. Louis Cardinals, there now appears to be three legitimate contenders for a pennant (alongside the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers). Should Goldschmidt and the rest of the Cardinals offense keep up this level of production, the race to October will certainly be one to watch in the NL Central.