My fellow Sideline Intel writer and somber Orioles fan Ryan Sharp wrote about Orioles first baseman Chris Davis having a historically bad year. He’s at a -1.8 in fWAR (Wins Above Replacement). He’s hitting .153, and he’s only got four home runs on the season. That’s bad. I’m really sorry Ryan has to watch that. Chris Davis is usually very good, and this year, he has been very bad.
On the other side of the country, Diamondbacks first baseman Paul “Goldie” Goldschmidt has, up until the last couple of weeks, had a pretty bad year too.
His last at bat of the 2017 season was the last at bat of the Diamondbacks season, where he struck out swinging at a bad pitch out of the strike zone against the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLDS. That seemed to stick with him coming into 2018, as he started out barely swinging the bat at all. His shift to a reserved style saw him taking walks more often at the start of the year, but it didn’t do his team, his stats, or his fans any favors.
The month of May was absolutely awful for Goldschmidt, and it brought many to question if his Golden (ha) Years were behind him. He had 8 RBI in 27 games in May, 7 home runs on the year entering June, and was batting .209. It was an awful month for the whole Diamondbacks team as well. It started with their first series loss of the season against the Nationals, and snowballed into an 8-19 month with a series loss to the Mets. The Mets! When Goldie ain’t batting, ain’t nobody batting.
Fast forward to June. Goldie has, as of June 10th, increased his batting average to .254, has 10 RBI, hit 2 home runs in 2 straight games, and led the DBacks to win 7 of their last 9 games and reclaim the division title from the Colorado Rockies, whom they outscored by a total of 15 runs in this week’s series. It seems like Goldie’s energy radiates through the entire team. As he’s continued to hit well, guys like Ketel Marte (who had 10 straight extra base hits!), John Ryan Murphy, and even Chris Owings have contributed at the plate lately.
Special shoutout to utility-infielder-turned-slugger Daniel Descalso. I see you, Daniel. You’re putting in work. Keep it up. (.261/.360/.510 is absolutely incredible for him, his .510 slugging percentage is .086 higher than his career average, which was in 2016.)
The Diamondbacks also added outfielder Jon Jay, who has yet to break the seal on his first hit despite hitting .307 upon being traded to the team. Once his bat fires up, Pollock gets healthy, and the pitching staff heals, the Diamondbacks look to be a series threat in the National League. But, there’s still 99 games of baseball left to be played, and a lot of uncertainty down that stretch of time.
All we can say for certain is this: Paul Goldschmidt is good again, and that’s really really good. Hopefully he has time to make a very late All-Star bid and join AJ Pollock in Washington, D.C.
Writer’s Note: As basketball starts to hit a slow point, you’re all gonna see some more MLB content coming from me this summer! But don’t worry, the Suns still do things, and I’m going to let you know about every single one of them.