Talk about throwing a rookie into the pot of boiling water, just like that little bunny in the creepy Michael Douglas vehicle, "Fatal Attraction."
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson took no time in seeing what newly arrived first-baseman Paul Goldschmidt could bring to the table in what is the biggest series for the D-Backs in some time--a three-game set in San Francisco against the defending world champ Giants.
Goldschmidt, whom we blogged about yesterday, is a big, strapping 23-year-old who was tearing it up in Double-A Mobile, leading all of the minor leagues with 30 home runs.
But playing before a hostile sold-out crowd and facing one of baseball's very best pitchers in Matt Cain?
What a way to start in MLB!
All things considered, Goldschmidt did well in the 5-2 Arizona win in a series that somehow seems bigger for upstart Arizona than it is for deep, experienced and talented San Francisco.
The victory moved the D-Backs to within one game of the NL West-leading Giants.
Goldschmidt singled to right on the second pitch he'd ever seen in the Bigs, which instantly took the mystery out of when that often-difficult first hit would happen. That ball Goldschmidt, by the way, will be his to keep.
Then the Texas native mashed a pitch to the warning track in deep center, missing a homer by just a few feet. Alas, big league outfielders make those plays look much easier than they are.
With a groundout and a strikeout (the latter after a decent AB) in his final plate appearances, Goldschmidt ended up 1-4, and played sound defense.
Nice start for the kid, who uttered all the right (and predictable) things afterward about taking it one-game-at-a-time and so forth.
If Goldschmidt hits a dong or two in San Francisco, or when the Diamondbacks open a weekend series with the LA Dodgers, his presence will put more bodies in the Chase Field seats--a good thing,
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The charisma level is high with this guy.
Let's see how he does tonight against one of our favorite pitchers, Giants righthander Tim Lincecum, the little guy with the long hair and that strange over-the-top delivery.
Lincecum (nickame: The Freak) has pitched in very tough luck so far this year, compiling a deceptive 9-8 record that could be much better if the baseball gods were with him.
He promises to be formidable against the rook and the rest of the D-Backs in tonight's game, which starts at 7:15 and will air on the usual local stations--Channel 34 and 620KTAR.