By Jon Weisman
Paul Goldschmidt comes to the plate against the Dodgers, and you can hear the panicked screaming from across the fan base: “Just walk him.”
But following years of Goldschmidt taking a sledgehammer to Los Angeles, the Dodgers have gotten their revenge …
… for the most part.
After stomping Los Angeles in 2012, 2013 and 2015 (while settling for being merely good in 2014), Goldschmidt has been retired in 20 of 25 plate appearances this season, heading into tonight’s three-game Dodger-Diamondbacks series.
Not that he hasn’t done some damage. In his first game against the Dodgers this year, at the Dodger Stadium home opener April 12, Goldschmidt hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning. He also hit a first-inning homer in the Diamondbacks’ 3-2 win over the Dodgers on June 13.
In fact, Goldschmidt has driven in a run with every hit he’s had against the Dodgers this year, which only bolsters the impression that he’s been as tough on them as ever. But overall, the Dodgers have gotten their revenge.
When pitching to Goldschmidt with first base open, even though they have allowed the two home runs (against Chris Hatcher and Mike Bolsinger), Dodger pitchers have held Goldschmidt to a .176/.222/.529 line.
Without a doubt, the Dodgers have had to be careful pitching to Goldschmidt. But they haven’t needed to blindly surrender to him.