By Jon Weisman
As if to remind us not to get too cocky, Paul Goldschmidt scored the winning run Sunday against the Dodgers, in the last of the 173 innings they played against Arizona this year.
Nevertheless, the agony of wondering why the Dodgers would ever pitch to Goldschmidt took a vacation in 2016.
Goldschmidt, whose 1.085 OPS against the Dodgers from 2012-15 was the highest of any National League West batter, had only a .265 on-base percentage and .368 slugging percentage (.633 OPS) against Los Angeles this year.
In 83 plate appearances, the Dodgers walked him six times and took their chances 77 others. In those 77, they got 61 outs, including a sacrifice fly.
Even in this weekend’s series, Goldschmidt was 2 for 17 with a walk and the sacrifice fly — and nine strikeouts — before his two-out, 12th-inning double in Sunday’s 10-9 finale between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks. He was hitless in Sunday’s game up to that point.
Arizona went 7-12 against the Dodgers this year, and Goldschmidt never had more than one hit in any of the seven wins, going 6 for 26 with a double and two homers.
None of this is to suggest that Goldschmidt is anything but a great player — while leading the NL in plate appearances, the 29-year-old has an .891 OPS, 20 homers and 27 steals in what for him is a slightly off season. It’s a reminder that handing an opponent a 1.000 on-base percentage is not really a winning strategy.