Paul Goldschmidt
AP Photo

Paul Goldschmidt hits three homers for Cardinals

16 Comments

There’s no question that Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt deserves every penny of the five-year, $130 million extension he signed with St. Louis last week. Still, it certainly didn’t hurt that he followed up a hitless debut on Opening Day with four hits — including three home runs — when he faced the Brewers for Game 2 on Friday.

Goldschmidt wasted little time getting the Cardinals on the board in the first inning. Matt Carpenter drew a leadoff walk from Milwaukee right-hander Freddy Peralta, followed by a 10-pitch at-bat from Goldschmidt that eventually resulted in a two-RBI home run — his first-ever homer for the club.

The Brewers kept pace through the first five innings, answering the home run (and Yadier Molina‘s RBI double) with a Ryan Braun three-run dinger in the third. Brewers righty Taylor Williams took the mound at the top of the sixth inning, but was quickly foiled by Goldschmidt as well: this time with a 106-m.p.h., 415-foot solo shot that gave the Cardinals a 5-4 advantage.

The Brewers barely had time to catch their breath before Goldschmidt stepped up to bat again. Following a fruitless sixth inning, Milwaukee turned to right-hander Jacob Barnes to get the job down in the seventh. He surrendered a leadoff single to Kolten Wong, then induced a fly out from Harrison Bader and punched out José Martínez on a full count. Things started to unravel with Matt Carpenter’s run-scoring single, however, and came completely undone as Goldschmidt unloaded his third home run of the night, a 406-footer that tilted the score 8-4 in the Cardinals’ favor.

While it looked as though Goldschmidt might have gotten a shot at a fourth home run — making him the 19th MLB player to record the feat, and the second since J.D. Martinez to do so off of four different pitchers in one game — he was denied the opportunity after getting intentionally walked in the ninth. Still, he managed to make some pretty cool history even so: according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, he’s just the sixth player since 1919 to deliver a three-homer performance within the first two games of the season.

Grudge continues to fester between Braves, Marlins

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images
2 Comments

The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.

In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.

Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.

Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.