Monday’s Game Report: Cardinals 6, Padres 3
By Rob Rains
It’s only when a hitter has been as hot as Paul Goldschmidt has been that a rare poor at-bat can be laughed off an inning later.
After Goldschmidt popped out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning on Monday, he was on the mound shortly thereafter when manager Oli Marmol came out to make a pitching change and mentioned that now he finally believed Goldschmidt was human – producing a smile and a laugh.
“It just shows a complete and other level of confidence that he knows in his head he is going to have another opportunity,” Marmol said. “What he’s doing now is highly impressive.”
Said Goldschmidt, “The game is hard. I had a chance there and didn’t get the job done … You know there are more at-bats to come.”
That next chance came in the seventh, and this time, Goldschmidt connected for a two-run homer that sealed the Cardinals’ win over the Padres at Busch Stadium.
It was just the latest blast in a month of hits for Goldschmidt. With one game remaining, this is the kind of month it has been for Goldschmidt:
His home run extended his hitting streak to 21 games, the longest in his career in a single season. It also was his 10th homer in 26 games this month. The hitting streak is the longest by a Cardinal since Ryan Ludwick had a 21-game streak in 2009.
The two RBIs increased his total for the month to 32, the most by a Cardinal in any month since Albert Pujols had 35 in June of 2009.
The homer was his 22nd extra-base hit for the month (12 doubles/10 homers) which tied the team record for May set by Stan Musial in 1954 and matched by Pujols in 2003.
Goldschmidt, who also walked in the third, has reached base by either a hit or walk in 35 consecutive games.
His longest stretch this month without getting a hit was nine at-bats from May 2-5, and four the month he has 41 hits in 101 at-bats, a .406 average.
“Any time you help the team win it’s a good thing,” Goldschmidt said. “Just trying to keep doing my job.”
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: It was another big day for rookie Nolan Gorman, who got the offense started with a two-run homer in the third. He also singled twice, although he was thrown out in the first trying to stretch the hit into a double … Yadier Molina added to the Cardinals’ lead with an RBI double in the seventh following a pair of walks after Goldschmidt’s homer … Nolan Arenado had another tough day, going hitless in four at-bats, dropping his season average to .265.
On the mound: Packy Naughton allowed one run in 2 1/3 innings in his second start of the season. Four of his seven outs came on strikeouts … Andre Pallante was charged with San Diego’s second run when Giovanny Gallegos, pitching in the sixth inning, allowed an inherited runner to score. Pallante allowed five hits and struck out five in 3 1/3 innings as he earned his first career victory … This was the earliest Gallegos had appeared in a game this season … Ryan Helsley gave up his second run of the season, and first earned run, on a walk and two singles in the ninth.
Key stat: Gorman’s first two career homers came in his first 31 at-bats. Combined the rest of the Cardinals have hit five home runs while batting lefthanded in 434 combined at-bats – three by Tommy Edman and one each by Dylan Carlson and Brendan Donovan.
Worth noting: A disappointed Jake Woodford was optioned to Memphis to open a roster spot for Naughton. The Cardinals don’t believe Wooford’s slider has been as effective as it was last September, which is what they want him to work on in the minors. Woodford will be eligible to return to the majors as the 27th manfor the doubleheader on Saturday in Chicago, but likely will make a start for Memphis at some point this week before then … If he gets medical clearance after an exam on Tuesday, Tyler O’Neill could begin a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as Wednesday. That could be in Springfield, which is home this week, while Memphis plays on the road at Charlotte … Former Cardinals manager Mike Shildt, now a special assistant in the San Diego front office, has been traveling with the Padres on some of their trips this season but is not with the team in St. Louis.
Looking ahead: Adam Wainwright will get the start on Tuesdayn night in the second game of the series.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains