Preview: D-backs vs. Rockies, noon, FOX Sports Arizona
PHOENIX — For Paul Goldschmidt, his 1,000th career hit Wednesday was a nothing-to-see-here moment.
“I don’t care,” the Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman said matter-of-factly. “It’s better than 999. It doesn’t really matter. It’s a hit. The only thing I care about is us trying to win that game. I’m glad we won.”
That is Goldschmidt.
To him, the more relevant number Wednesday was the $186,121.94 check he was able to present to Phoenix’s Children’s Hospital in the morning, the funds raised during the charity bowling event he and wife, Amy, host every year to support the hospital’s center for cancer and blood disorders.
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Later, Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock and Jake Lamb helped the Diamondbacks (84-62) beat the Colorado Rockies 8-2, halting a streak in which Arizona had lost four of five after winning a franchise-record 13 straight.
Arizona right-hander Zack Godley will oppose Colorado righty Chad Bettis in the finale of the four-game series Thursday afternoon.
The Rockies (80-66) won the first two, but if the D-backs win the finale, the teams would end up in the NL wild-card race exactly where they started — with the Diamondbacks holding a five-game lead, this time with only 15 games to play instead of 19.
Colorado is three games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the second wild card.
“It was a big win for us,” said Pollock, who was 3-for-4 with a three-run homer while breaking out of a 2-for-22 skid. “The first two games were a little tough, but we are facing a good team. We win tonight and we have a chance to split the series. It’s a big deal.”
Pollock hit seventh in the lineup for the first time this season Wednesday, with manager Torey Lovullo saying he was looking for a way to “kick-start” Pollock. The center fielder entered the game hitting .176 in his previous 34 games during a season that was interrupted earlier by a severe groin injury.
“I just felt like it was the best thing for this team and the best thing for A.J.” Lovullo said.
“We’re just taking it day by day,” Goldschmidt said when asked about the importance of the Colorado series. “Each game counts the same. It’s good to get the win, but I don’t think it means any more or any less.”
Goldschmidt’s reward comes from team accomplishments.
An achievement that would mean something?
“Us winning the World Series,” he said. “It’s never been a goal to get any individual milestones, so when something like that happens … But it’s just an arbitrary number. Why does 1,000 mean anything? It will probably be something after the year or after my career, ‘Oh, that was cool.’ But that will be the extent of it.”
Bettis will make his seventh start of the season Thursday while continuing his return from testicular cancer. It will be his first start against Arizona.
Bettis (1-2, 4.98 ERA) went seven innings in each of his first two starts but has not gone more than 5 1/3 innings since. He has thrown 87 or more pitches in his past three outings, and pitch count is not an issue, according to manager Bud Black.
“The first couple, you have to watch a little bit,” Black said. “Now he’s built up. Mentally, he sees himself as a starter. He sees six innings, seven innings.”
Bettis is 1-1 with a 7.30 ERA in nine career appearances (six starts) against Arizona. He has given up 60 hits and 30 runs in 37 innings. He has been much better at Chase Field, with a 4.42 ERA in four appearances.
Godley (7-7, 3.18 ERA) is 2-0 in his past three starts and is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA in two career starts against the Rockies. He has 15 strikeouts in 13 innings in the two meetings while holding Colorado to a .163 batting average.