ST. LOUIS – You never know what might happen on any given day at the ballpark, even for a model of consistency like Paul Goldschmidt.
A matinee between the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers provided quite an unexpected moment. In the first inning of Thursday’s division clash, Goldschmidt crossed home plate on one of his hits without the baseball clearing the fences.
That’s what baseball folks call a little league home run, and it wouldn’t have been possible for the Cardinals’ first baseman without some luck and situational awareness. Here’s how it happened:
Goldschmidt sent a hard-hit line drive to the left-field line, a knock that looked plausible for at least a double. The Cardinals chose to be aggressive on the play, sending rookie Nolan Gorman all the way from first base to home plate on the hit. Gorman scored after the ball got away from Brewers catcher Victor Caratini.
Like an established veteran, Goldschmidt advanced to third base on the bounce. Milwaukee pitcher Jason Alexander then tried to throw him out at third base, but a wild throw got past the third baseman and two others backing up on the play. Goldschmidt then hustled home to give the Cardinals a 2-0 league.
While the play is considered a little league home run, Goldschmidt did not add to his official home run count. The hit was scored as a double with two throwing errors contributing to the outcome. Goldschmidt is credited with one RBI and one run scored on the play.
The little league home run comes amid an MVP-caliber season for Goldschmidt, who has cruised to a .341 batting average, 17 home runs and 61 RBIs. His current campaign has also featured a 25-game hitting streak, a 44-game on-base streak and some stellar defense. He currently leads National League first basemen in All-Star voting ahead of next month’s midsummer classic.