Paul Goldschmidt appears to have one part of the triple crown locked up as the Diamondbacks begin a four-game series in San Diego on Monday.
Goldschmidt has 123 RBIs, and it will take an awful lot to catch him with one week remaining in the regular season. The Reds’ Jay Bruce (107), the Braves’ Freddie Freeman (105) and the Reds’ Brandon Phillips (102) are the only other NL players in triple digits.
The home run race is tighter, with Goldschmidt holding a one-homer lead — 35 to 34 — over the Pirates’ Pedro Alvarez. Goldschmidt is attempting to become the third player in the last four years to lead the NL in homers and RBIs in the same season, joining Albert Pujols (2010) and Matt Kemp (2011).
While Goldschmidt has 18 homers on the road, he is looking for his first this season at Petco Park. He is 2 for 16 with two RBIs at Petco this season, although part of that has to do with San Diego manager Bud Black’s strategy. The Padres have effectively taken the bat out of Goldschmidt’s hands, walking him six times. It was was not always that way, though: Goldschmidt has three homers at Petco in his 10 games there in 2011-12.
The D-backs have a score to settle with the Padres. They have won only two of the five series between the two this season and are 6-9 overall, 1-5 at Petco Park. They have won the season series only once since 2009, that when they were 11-7 while winning the NL West in 2011. San Diego won 11 of the 18 games last year.
Padres scheduled starters Eric Stults, Tyson Ross and Robbie Erlin have had some of their best games against the Diamondbacks. Stults has one of his two complete games against the D-backs, Tyson Ross shut them out in eight innings in his best start of the season, and Erlin beat them at Chase Field, giving up only one run in six innings.
Pitching matchups: Monday — RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-9, 4.57 ERA) vs. LHP Eric Stults (9-13, 4.02). Tuesday — LHP Wade Miley (10-10, 3.75) vs. RHP Tyson Ross (3-8, 3.24). Wednesday: RHP Randall Delgado (5-6, 3.96) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (6-10, 5.06) . Thursday: RHP Trevor Cahill (8-10, 4.02) vs. LHP Robbie Erlin (3-3, 4.34)
Who’s hot for the Diamondbacks: Goldschmidt is 22 for 48 (.458) during a 12-game hitting streak, with four homers and 16 RBIs. … A.J. Pollock has 15 hits in his last 33 at-bats (.455), with multi-hit games in six of his last seven starts. … McCarthy is 2-0 with an 0.64 ERA in two career starts against the Padres, beating them twice at Chase Field this season, 5-2 on May 24 and 6-1 on Aug. 26. McCarthy is also 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his last five starts. … Adam Eaton has seven RBIs during his nine-game hitting streak. … Chris Owings has six hits in his last 14 at-bats.
Who’s not hot for the Diamondbacks: Josh Collmenter has given up eight runs, seven earned, in 10 innings in September. … Patrick Corbin could not make it through the fifth inning Sunday despite taking a 7-0 lead into the last of the third inning and has given up 27 earned runs in his last 31 innings.
Who’s hot for the Padres: Jedd Gyorko has nine hits in his last 28 at-bats, with two homers and seven RBIs. … Right-hander Andrew Cashner, the only Padres starter the D-backs will miss this series, has given up three earned runs in his last 37 2/3 innings, a 0.72 ERA.
Who’s not hot for the Padres: Kyle Blanks is 4 for 26 with no extra-base hits or RBIs since returning from a Achilles injury. … Jesus Guzman has one hit in his last 13 at-bats.
Notes, quotes, odds and ends: Goldschmidt is not the only big bat the Diamondbacks have working these days. Matt Davidson had three-run homers in the final two games of the series in Colorado, and he has eight hits (three homers) and eight RBIs his last 18 at-bats. The D-backs could use another power bat to pair with Goldschmidt, and Davidson has looked capable since being recalled for the second time this season Sept. 3. … Gyorko is a likely top-five finisher in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. He has 20 homers, making him one of five rookie second basemen in major league history with 20 homers. He joins Joe Gordon (1938), Dan Uggla (2006), Alexi Ramirez (2008) and Danny Espinosa (2011). … Yonder Alonso, who has a Padres-high 10 RBIs against the D-backs this season, is likely to miss the rest of the year with a hand injury. … After stealing a base Sunday, Will Venable is the only player in the National League with least 22 homers and 22 stolen bases. He signed a two-year, $8.5 million contract extension at the beginning of the month. … Ian Kennedy is 3-2 with a 4.65 ERA in nine starts for the Padres since being dealt at the July 31 trade deadline. … Gerardo Parra homered, singled, walked and had five RBIs against Kennedy at Chase Field on Aug. 27. … Parra is 4 for 4 with two homers off Padres closer Huston Street, and Miguel Montero is 5 for 7 against Street.