Catalyst Goldy reaches another benchmark

Dodgers nemesis in the middle of everything vs. LA, scores 100 runs for a 4th time

Catalyst Goldy reaches another benchmark

PHOENIX -- If it seemed as though Paul Goldschmidt was in the middle of every big inning for the D-backs this week, it's because he basically was.

Goldschmidt smashed two doubles in a 2-for-4 performance Thursday, including a two-run double in the first inning, to get the D-backs on the board early in an 8-1 win over the Dodgers. With the win, the D-backs became the first team this season to sweep the Dodgers (91-41), thanks in large part to some loud early innings throughout the series.

Arizona scored five runs in the first inning on Tuesday, three in the first inning on Wednesday and five in the first two innings on Thursday. Goldschmidt's contribution during those frames? A single and a run scored, a two-run homer and a two-run double. During the three-game sweep, Goldschmidt went 5-for-11 with two homers, two doubles and five RBIs. When he scored on an A.J. Pollock homer in the third, he became the first player in D-backs history with four 100-run seasons.

"That was awesome," Gregor Blanco said. "He's the guy, you know? He's the guy who always comes up in the big situation and comes through. I'm just really proud to play on a team with him. He's awesome to watch."

After Thursday's performance, Goldschmidt is hitting .319 with 33 homers and 109 RBIs. He is the only batter in the Majors hitting at least .315 with more than 30 homers and 100 RBIs.

"He's our guy," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "It's pretty consistent every single time we're doing something, he's right in the middle of it. He's an amazing player, he's got a great plan, he's got a great approach. He's just locked in and cares about every at-bat and never gives anything away. I've been saying it locally, I've been saying it nationally: MVP for me. This guy has been all-everything, and he deserves some strong consideration."

Goldschmidt is the active Major League leader in both home runs (28) and RBIs (88) against the Dodgers since he made his debut in 2011. This season he is hitting .265 with seven extra-base hits and seven RBIs against a Los Angeles team that is on pace to finish with a potentially historic record.

Delivering those big hits during the last week of August is one thing, but Goldschmidt is more concerned with making sure they keep coming in October.

"It's obviously more fun when the team's winning," Goldschmidt said. "Our goal is not to play meaningful games in September; I've done that. We've all done that. Maybe it didn't happen last year, but it happened a year before that, and a couple years before that. Nobody's goal at the start of Spring Training is to play meaningful games in August or September. We wanna play games in October, in the playoffs. So that's where our heads are at."

Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.