Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo on Paul Goldschmidt snapping out of slump: ‘The storm was coming’

Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt bats against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 3rd inning on June 11, 2018, at Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.

When a couple of urine sample collectors from Major League Baseball walked into the Arizona Diamondbacks’ clubhouse on Monday and made their way back to the training room area, one player couldn’t help but take a playful, friendly jab at the suddenly red-hot-hitting Paul Goldschmidt.

“They obviously must be here for you, Goldy,” the player yelled across the room.

Goldschmidt shot back that he already gave at the office, but the mere nature of the joking and ribbing is yet another sign that the Diamondbacks’ best player appears to have managed to hit his way out of the worst slump of his major-league career.

One quick look at his past five games entering Monday night’s homestand opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates should be enough proof. With 15 hits and 11 of them for extra bases, Goldschmidt joined the great Lou Gehrig (in 1936) as the only two players since 1920 to post those kind of numbers over a five-game span.

In his past six games overall, Goldschmidt hit .640 (16 for 25) with six doubles, a triple, four home runs and 11 RBIs to go along with a 2.130 OPS. It earned him National League Player of the Week honors and it didn’t surprise his manager in the least.

HOT STOVE UPDATES: MLB free agency: Ranking and tracking the top players available.

“He has been smashing balls all over the place,” Torey Lovullo said. “For me, the storm was coming. Someone was going to have to pay and obviously, there were a couple teams in San Francisco and Colorado that had to pay for some of what happened earlier in the year.”.

Explore more:  Police: Homemade explosive blast injures man in Central Park

After hitting .144 in May, Goldschmidt found himself hitting .500 a third of the way through June with already four more hits and four more RBIs than he had the entire previous month. He doesn’t think it was any one particular thing that flipped the switch, just a culmination of small adjustments here, there and everywhere.

“I was looking for any adjustment I needed to make,” he said. “It wasn’t like you just come in here and go, ‘Oh, I played bad. Let’s go play bad again the next day.’ But it’s not that easy. There’s not like a magic pill you take. It doesn’t matter how much video you look at or how many swings.

“I was doing everything I can trying to find every adjustment possible to just try to go out there and play well. For a long time it wasn’t really working. I was able to kind of get it a little bit going last week, but again, there’s no guarantee it’s going to continue. You just go in there and try to prepare and be ready.”.

Goldschmidt is so rigid and robotic in his day-to-day approach, he rarely gets excited or emotional about any sort of hot streak. He admits the past week was pretty special, however.

“Yeah, I’ve probably never had a five-, six-game stretch like I had last week,” he said. “You just enjoy it but also try to take it at-bat by at-bat, pitch by pitch.”.

As bad as Goldschmidt had been scuffling at the plate, Lovullo was always convinced his star player would battle his way out of the funk. Although there remains a chasm between his home and road splits – Goldschmidt is hitting .333 on the road but just .160 at Chase Field with eight fewer homers and 17 fewer RBIs at home – there has clearly been a breakthrough.

Explore more:  What is daylight saving time saving, really? Hint: it may not actually be time or money

“I just think it was him getting a little bit of confidence, him hitting a couple of pitches the way he was supposed to and saying, ‘There it is, that feels good,’ ” Lovullo said. “And when things click for a professional athlete, they really click and he’s in that special place right now.”.

Goldschmidt’s revival can directly be linked to the offensive improvement the Diamondbacks have been showing overall lately. As Goldy goes, so go the D-Backs. That’s another reason why his prolonged slump weighted him down so heavily – Goldschmidt said he hated letting down his team. He felt directly responsible for his team’s horrific 8-19 record in May.

“He’s definitely the catalyst of this team,” Lovullo said. “… When he’s hitting, we’re a different ball club. He embraces that and he knows that’s part of his responsibility and I think that’s what he was feeling through those lean times is that he might have been responsible for what was happening around him.

“Much in the same, he’s a catalyst for this organization in every way, shape and form. It doesn’t matter if he’s on the field or off the field, it’s Paul Goldschmidt, the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks.”.

Goldschmidt acknowledged he experienced his share of frustration, even though baseball is a game built upon failure. He said he relied on just trying to “be the same guy every day” regardless of the results. That’s what he’s always been – a steady, calm and tireless worker, who looks and sounds the same whether he’s hitting like Babe Ruth or Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Explore more:  nike soccer shorts

Upon getting drilled in the ribs by a pitch from the Rockies on Saturday, Goldschmidt showed a brief display of real anger and emotion. It came after he hit a pair of home runs for the second straight day in Denver, and he was not happy.

“I don’t necessarily believe in that part of the game where you take a baseball and try to strike somebody and hit him,” Lovullo said. “If there was intent there, it bothered me the same way it bothered Paul. But to see him say something was first of all very unusual because he’s very quiet, humble and prideful. The fact that it bothered him on that level said, ‘You better be careful about doing that again because I don’t like what happened.’.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him do something like that. I like when players show emotion. I like when players get frustrated when they have their own personal set of expectations that they’re not meeting. When you see someone that doesn’t ever do it, do it, it said to the opposition and our dugout that, ‘I care on a pretty impressive level. Don’t do that again.’ “.


  • Fueled by retaliatory HBP, Diamondbacks rally late from 5-run deficit.
  • Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray penciled in for rehab start Thursday.
  • Diamondbacks-Pirates pitching matchups, series notes.
  • Zack Godley gets back on track as Diamondbacks finish sweep.
  • Reach McManaman at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.

    Related Posts