Bernie Bits: The Special Paul Goldschmidt Edition. (Almost) Everything You Need To Know

While it’s true that Paul Goldschmidt has been hugely successful when facing NL Central teams in his career, some of the numbers being put out there are devoid of context.

Here’s what matters: How has Goldschmidt done in his career against pitchers who — as I type this — are still on the 40-man rosters of NL Central pitching staffs? To bundle a bunch of his stats that came against pitchers who are no longer in the division is an exercise in irrelevancy.

So let’s get relevant … well, as much as it is possible to be fully relevant in citing Goldy stats vs. current NL Central pitchers on this day (Dec. 12.)

Here’s a team-by-team rundown; the Cardinals are excluded for obvious reasons:

— Goldy vs. current Milwaukee pitchers: 19 for 74, six doubles, two homers, nine RBIs, 19 walks, 16 strikeouts, .257 average, .421 OBP, .419 SLG, .840 OPS. His top victim: Jhoulys Chacin, .407 OBP, .500 SLG, three extra-base hits, five walks and seven RBIs in 27 plate appearances. His nemesis: Chase Anderson; 3 for 13 with four strikeouts.

— Goldy vs. current Chicago pitchers: 28 for 99, six doubles, two triples, five homers, 21 RBIs, 21 walks, 30 strikeouts, .283 average, .415 OBP, .535 SLG, .950 OPS. Top victim: It’s a tie between lefties Jon Lester and Jose Quintana. Against Lester, Goldschmidt is 6 for 12 with a homer and four RBIs. When facing Quintana, Goldy has gone 4 for 8 with a double, two homers, six RBIs and a 1.931 OPS. He’s also roughed up Cubs closer Brandon Morrow (4 for 8, with a double and homer.) Top nemesis: Yu Darvish; Goldy is 0 for 6 — and all six outs being strikeouts. (Goldy is 1 for 8 with a double vs. Cole Hamels, and 2 for 10 with two walks vs. Kyle Hendricks.)

Goldy vs. current Pittsburgh pitchers: 10 for 37 with two doubles, two homers, five RBIs, eight walks, 12 strikeouts, .270 average, .400 OBP, .486 SLG, .886 OPS. Top victim: Chris Archer, 2 for 3 with a double, two RBIs, and a 1.750 OPS. He’s also 1 for 3 with a homer against closer Felipe Vazquez. Top nemeses: Trevor Wilson, 2 for 7 with a strikeout.

Goldy vs. current Cincinnati pitchers: 22 for 64, eight doubles, four homers, 13 RBIs, nine walks, 16 strikeouts, .344 average, .425 OBP, .656 SLG, 1.081 OPS. Top victim: Anthony DeSclafani, 7 for 11, two doubles, one homer, three RBIs, .636 OBP, 1.091 SLG, 1.721 OPS. Top nemesis: Reds closer Raisel Iglesias, 2 for 9 with two walks and four strikeouts.

OK, I’ll give in …

In case you were wondering: against current Cardinals’ pitchers, Goldy went 15 for 59 with two doubles, four homers, eight RBIs, 10 walks, 20 strikeouts, .254 average, .362 OPS, .492 SLG, .854 OPS. Top victim: either Adam Wainwright (two homers, a double, .982 OPS) or Carlos Martinez (5 for 15, .474 OBP, .807 OPS.) Nemesis: Michael Wacha, 2 for 11 with six strikeouts. Goldy has four homers against current STL pitchers: two versus Waino and one each against Jack Flaherty and John Gant.

READING TIME, 10 MINUTES…

AND PARDON MY DAMN TYPOS … 

The next time you inspect one of the “Top 100” MLB prospects lists, keep this in mind: Goldschmidt never — at any point — appeared on a Top 100 list from the time he was drafted until making his big-league debut on Aug. 1, 2011 …

​Some family background from Sports Illustrated: Goldschmidt’s great-grandmother, Ilse Goldschmidt, was an heiress to one of the largest printing companies in Germany. But in 1938 she and her husband, Paul, and their five-year-old son, Ernie, fled the Nazis and re-established their lives in Boston. Ilse sold candy door-to-door in Brookline, and Paul worked in the food industry. In the 1960s the family opened a luncheonette, called Eatwell Restaurant, on Boston’s St. James Avenue…

Goldschmidt’s father (David)is Jewish, and his mother (Kim) was raised as a Catholic. Goldschmidt and his two younger brothers, Adam and Robert, adopted their mother’s Christian faith. Goldschmidt has described himself as an evangelical Christian…

Was it difficult or confusing, to be the son of a Catholic mother and a Jewish father? Goldschmidt’s answer: “It’s a bigger deal to other people than it is to me,” he said in 2016. Goldschmidt has said that he approaches the Bible without being influenced by Judaism or Catholicism. He studies passages (Old Testament and New Testament) to discover “parallels” and says that “appreciates the “connectedness of both testaments,” …

Goldschmidt’s father eventually went onto into the flooring business, did well, and the young family eventually relocated to The Woodlands, an affluent suburb of Houston. Said Paul Goldschmidt, to SI: “I think the best way to put it is, we didn’t need for anything, but we wanted for things,” …

Goldschmidt has hit his 209 MLB homers off 160 pitchers. His biggest victim is Tim Lincecum, with seven homers. Second on the list is German Marquez, four homers. Goldy also has three homers vs. Clayton Kershaw…

Goldschmidt is one of of only five first basemen in baseball history to have 100-plus homers and 100-plus stolen bases…

Hosted the second annual “Goldy’s Bowling Bash,” which benefits Phoenix Children’s Hospital, on Feb. 22, 2018. It raised nearly $200,000 … In 2014, teamed up with the D-backs to launch a “Bleacher Creature” program that raised money to benefit PCH,
through Goldy’s Fund 4 Kids foundation …

Goldy has paid for 20 full-tuition scholarships for University of Phoenix online students over the last four-plus years… in 2013 he raised $100,000 for Phoenix Children’s Hospital by issuing a signed, limited-edition keepsake print…

The Goldschmidts have also contributed generous sums of money to assist PCH in building a center to treat children that have cancer and/or blood disorders … Paul and Amy visit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital so frequently to spend time with young patients that they have permanent visitors’ credentials to come and go as they please …

Speaking about the couple’s devotion to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Goldschmidt once said: “You’re given this amazing platform being on TV every day and we walk into a room for two minutes and make someone’s day. And they will talk about it for a week or month, so it’s pretty awesome and we try to take advantage of that. We just wanted to get involved with something in Phoenix,” Paul G. said. “I thought, what better place to help kids and families who are going through an extremely tough time,” …

(Solid Gold family, indeed … )

Through his junior year at Texas State, Goldschmidt had a 3.8 GPA as a finance major and was 10 hours short from securing his degree. Goldschmidt suspended his education after being drafted by the Diamondbacks. And after getting established in the big leagues, Goldy completed his studies online (via University of Phoenix) and earned a degree in business management in 2013. He told Sports Illustrated: “I get asked, ‘Did your mom make you go back? It was nothing like that. I wanted to do it.” Goldschmidt worked on courses and took tests online during team flights and hotel stays during road trips…

Less than two months after his graduation, Goldschmidt finished second (to Andrew McCutchen) in the 2013 National League MVP balloting after batting .302 with 36 homers, 125 RBIs and 15 stolen bases..

Even though his former home ballpark in Arizona is notorious for promoting power, Goldschmidt has more homers on the road (110) than at home (99) …

Goldy likes to strike quickly. He’s homered 52 times in the first inning, the most of any inning. Next: 24 homers in the third inning, and 23 in the fourth, and 23 in the fifth. Favorite count for hitting homers? That would be the first pitch. He has 35 first-pitch bombs …

Goldschmidt is a graduate of The Woodlands high school in Houston. Other prominent alums include former STL Rams wide receiver Danny Amendola; Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon; retired NBA player Lance Blanks; LPGA golfer Stacy Lewis, who won the 2013 Women’s British Open; former Patriots linebacker and special-teams standout Larry Izzo (now an assistant special teams coach with the Seahawks); PGA and Senior Tour golfer Jeff Maggert; country-music singer Jack Ingram; former Saints running back Daniel Lasco; and former MLB pitcher Kyle Drabek …

According to SI, Goldschmidt is an avid reader. “His tastes run toward tomes that concern leadership and overcoming adversity, such as Jon Gordon’s The Carpenter and Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning,” SI wrote… Goldschmidt told SI that he tries to find ways to apply some of his reading lessons to baseball,” …

One example: Shawn Achor’s “The Happiness Advantage.” Goldy explained to SI: “The premise of the book is that if you’re happy, you’re more likely to have success. There’s a study the book talks about that found that when people are happier, their eyes actually work better, they can see better and focus easier,” …

Also revealed by Sports Illustrated: Goldschmidt’s eccentric but delightful pregame custom. Here’s how SI described the routine in 2015: “Hitting, of course, is largely a matter of seeing, and so Goldschmidt began a ritual in which, 20 minutes or so before games, he sits in the dugout and recites quotes to himself from one of the things that makes him the happiest: Billy Madison, the 1995 Adam Sandler comedy that he has watched nearly 100 times,” …

(Wait … what? Billy Madison?)

As a high school senior, Goldschmidt was seated in the upper deck at Minute Maid Park when Albert Pujols hit the famous home run off Astros closer Brad Lidge to launch the Cardinals to a dramatic comeback victory in Game 5 of the 2005 NLCS. “I was upset,” Goldschmidt said …

Through Goldy’s formative years as a youngster growing up in Houston, one of his favorite players was Astros first baseman. Makes sense given Bagwell’s power, surprisingly adept base running, and good defense. If you surmised that Goldschmidt patterned his game after Bagwell — who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017 — you wouldn’t be way off base. Goldy also studied another favorite (and Hall of Famer) Astros second baseman Craig Biggio …

Goldschmidt’s father encouraged him to take observational notes on the way Bagwell went about his business. “I remember him telling me about Bagwell being a great base runner,” Goldschmidt told the New York Times. “As a little kid, you don’t really notice those types of things, but I do remember my dad talking about that, and talking about his defense, definitely preaching: ‘This is how to play the game of baseball’   ’’ …

When asked about his childhood and how his parents Kim and David guided him, Goldschmidt said “They had their principles that they were very strict on. School, honestly, came No. 1 for them. And once you committed to play a sport you had to stick it out. I think about the way he and my mom raised me. I appreciate all the stuff they did and all the sacrifices they made. They never went on a vacation that wasn’t for us to go play a sporting event. They were just always there and loving us and just trying to teach us. And they let us grow up and be independent and live our own lives,” …

Goldy credits longtime coach Dave McKay, an integral part of Tony La Russa’s staffs in Oakland and St. Louis, in maximizing his baserunning skill and aptitude. Statcast data reveals that Goldschmidt gets long leads off first base — ranking among the top runners in the majors for getting the lengthiest lead when getting a jump from first base. McKay has served as Arizona’s first base coach since 2013…

Goldschmidt has swiped 124 bases in his first seven-plus seasons including 32 in 2016. And his excellent career success rate on steal attempts (79 percent) is the best by a regular first baseman in MLB history…

Goldschmidt and Amy have two young children, Jake (age 3) and Emma (toddler.) Reflecting on Jake’s birth, Amy told this story to Fox Sports Arizona: “The nurse taught him how to change a diaper. I was just so out of it — having just went through labor. So Paul taught me how to change a diaper and how to swaddle,” …

Paul and the former Amy Rozier met at Texas State during study hall He was the baseball star. She was the golf star. Before the birth of their children the Goldschmidt’s were passionate travelers, making offseason trips to Australia, New Zealand, and spots in Europe. Goldschmidt is curious about the world and U.S. history; when on the road during the season, he’d often arise on game days and explore the city where the Diamondbacks were staying. He’d visit museums and other prominent historical sites…

Goldy’s teammates in Arizona are adamant: he has no holes in his performance. This, from former Cardinal Daniel Descalso, to the New York Times: “There’s no part of his game that you’re like, ‘Well, if he did this better, he’d be a superstar.’ He does everything well, like no one I’ve ever really seen,” …

Goldy, on his relationship and marriage to Amy: “The maturation process you go through as an 18- to 22-year-old kid — we went through that together, so all those memories and just growing up together, it’s pretty special,” Goldschmidt says…

Goldschmidt has missed considerable playing time only once during his career — and that coming after being suffering a broken on a too-inside pitch from a Pirates reliever in 2014. No suprise there. The Pirates have led MLB in nailing hitters with pitches since Clint Hurdle became manager in 2011. The Pirates’ 535 HBP count over that time is 27 more than any other NL team. And when the Pirates whacked Goldschmidt, it was one of their NL-leading 88 hit batters in 2014. “We’re gonna pitch the way we believe we need to pitch to be effective, to get outs,” Hurdle typically said after the Pirates obviously popped Goldschmidt on purpose. After Goldschmidt took the hit (by pitch) as part of Hurdle’s ineffective fake tough-guy act, D-backs coach McKay barked at Hurdle and then-Pirates catcher Russell Martin…

The Diamondbacks promoted Goldschmidt from the minors in late 2011. He made his mark on the postseason — albeit in a losing cause. The big rookie hit a grand slam (and drove in another run) in an 8-1 win over Milwaukee in Game 3. The Diamondbacks pushed the Brewers to the distance but succumbed in the winner-take-all Game 5. Goldschmidt, 23 at the time, had appeared in only 48 MLB games before making his postseason debut. And the moment wasn’t too big for him. Goldschmidt went 7 for 16 with two homers, six RBIs, two walks, four runs scored and a stolen base (while posting a 1.339 OPS) against Milwaukee pitching in the series. In eight career postseason games covering 36 plate appearances, Goldschmidt has a .313 average, .389 OBP, .688 SLG, 1.016 OPS, four homers, three walks, and 11 RBIs…

Thanks for reading …

Bernie