Paul Goldschmidt (STL): 2-4, 2 HR, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB, SB.
Veteran first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has improved in each month of this season. At the end of April, he was hitting a measly .214. By the end of May, his average had risen to .244. When June came to an end, it was up to .252. At the end of July, his batting average was .272, and it is now at .282 as August comes to a close. This month has been Goldschmidt’s best of the year, the last few weeks in particular. In his last 18 games, Goldschmidt is batting .370 with seven doubles, four home runs, and 15 RBI.
Goldschmidt is having a solid year by any standard, but some Baseball Savant metrics indicate that 2021 may be his best season yet. His average exit velocity is 93 mph, which is a career-high. Although Goldschmidt has hit over .300 four times, his xBA of .289 is also the highest mark of his career since StatCast came to all MLB stadiums in 2015. Goldschmidt’s xSLG is also the highest it has been since 2015, and his hard-hit rate of 52.9% is also his highest since it started being tracked in 2015. What these statistics tell us is that even though Goldschmidt is having a productive season, he is actually getting unlucky and in a just world, his numbers would be even better.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Wednesday
David Peralta (ARI): 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI.
After his strong 2020 season, Peralta was a prime candidate for regression. His average on the season is .255, but he has been swinging it well as of late. Peralta has at least one hit in 10 of his last 12 games and is batting .341 with five extra-base hits, including a home run over that stretch.
Enrique Hernández (BOS): 3-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI.
Hernandez has been on a tear throughout the month of August, and the hot streak continued last night. He picked up three hits in a losing effort, including a home run that was the final punch in a late comeback effort. Hernandez is hitting .308 since August 1, with three home runs and just 12 strikeouts to 16 walks.
Kyle Schwarber (BOS): 3-6, HR, R, 2 RBI.
Schwarber’s ninth-inning long ball tied the game for the Red Sox, but it would all be undone by way of a Hansel Robles meltdown in the tenth inning. Last night was Schwarber’s first home run as a member of the Red Sox, but he has been swinging the bat well since getting into the Boston lineup. He is 11/29 through his first nine games with the team, and the RBI should start coming soon.
Brendan Rodgers (COL): 3-6, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI.
It was a career night for Brendan Rodgers, who picked up three hits and drove in a career-high five runs for the Rockies in their extra-inning win over the Cubs. Rodgers is swinging the bat well this month, slashing .338/.344/.479 since August 1. However, last night was his first home run since July 31 and his tenth of the season.
Connor Joe (COL): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, BB.
The 29-year-old journeyman came up with the biggest hit of his career last night. Down 5-2 in the fourth inning, Joe came up with the bases loaded and blasted a baseball over the centerfield wall for a grand slam to put the Rockies on top 6-5. Joe has bounced around the league for a while now and seems to have finally found a home in Denver. He is hitting .292 with 33 RBI in 154 at-bats.
Anthony Santander (BAL): 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 R, RBI.
Santander had a productive evening for Baltimore in its win over the Angels. Santander got started early, with a first-inning homer off of imminent MVP Shohei Ohtani. He would then add a double and single later on in the game, crossing the plate each of the three times he was on base. Santander is having his best month of the season, slashing .360/.385/.747 with eight home runs since the start of August.
Whit Merrifield (KC): 2-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI.
It looked like Merrifield would be the hero for Kansas City last night, but it was not meant to be. His seventh-inning grand slam took the Royals from down 3-1 to up 6-5 in the blink of an eye, but a late Houston rally would get the Astros the win in extra innings. Merrifield is having a strong season for the Royals and is currently second in the league with 37 stolen bases.
Brandon Marsh (LAA): 3-4, HR, R, 5 RBI.
The Angels’ rookie outfielder collected his first career home run last night, an opposite-field blast off of Baltimore reliever Marcos Diplan. The three-run shot extended the Angels’ lead over the Orioles to 6-2. Marsh looks like he belongs since being called up in July, with a hard-hit rate of 48.5% and a 47.1% sweet spot percentage.
Bryce Harper (PHI): 2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB.
The Phillies are 63-63, but sit in second place and just five games out of the division lead in the NL East. Bryce Harper is doing everything he can to keep the Phillies in the playoff picture, as he added another home run to his total last night. It was his 24th of the season and his third in his last ten games.