D-backs first baseman downplays personal achievements
By Jake Rill
PHOENIX -- Jeremy Hellickson has only been a teammate of Paul Goldschmidt's for a few months. But that's all it has taken for the D-backs starter to form an opinion of the club's powerful first baseman.
Goldschmidt continued his torrid start to the season in Sunday's 4-3 win over the Cubs, smashing a two-run homer and driving in three runs to help Hellickson win for the first time in six starts.
The D-backs first baseman hit a 1-1 pitch from Cubs starter Jason Hammel an estimated 433 feet to straightaway-center field to put his club up, 4-1, in the third inning.
"I've never seen a guy, basically it's just the flick of his wrist to hit it that far," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "He's got such good mechanics with his hands to stay through the ball. When he gets on a run, yes, it's enjoyable to watch. We have to have guys behind him hit because what's gonna happen is he's not gonna get a whole lot of pitches to hit."
While Hale is in admiration of how easy Goldschmidt makes his towering homers look with his hand motions, the D-backs first baseman said that's not what his focus is on while he's at the plate.
"I just try to hit it and keep it simple, and hopefully they don't catch it," Goldschmidt said. "I've been feeling pretty good the past week or so."
Goldschmidt has been a National League All-Star each of the past two seasons and is well on his way to earning another selection this year. He is batting .333 with 12 home runs and 38 RBIs, all team highs.
He has been a big reason the D-backs took two out of three from the Cubs, and have won six of their past seven. On Friday night, Goldschmidt hit a game-tying two-run homer in the 10th inning as the D-backs eventually went on to win in the 13th.
He was 5-for-10 with six RBIs in this weekend's series win, raising his career average against the Cubs to .383.
Goldschmidt continues to be one of the league's most potent hitters, but the D-backs first baseman is more pleased with how his team has been playing, and hopes that will carry over into the upcoming six-game road trip.
"That's the last thing on my mind," Goldschmidt said of his personal success. "We just try to go out there and hit and play well and play defense and really just try to win. I think that's the mindset that everyone on this team has."
Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.