Do not blame Diamondbacks fans for feeling conflicted this week.
Goldy is back in town.
Before being traded to St. Louis over the winter, Paul Goldschmidt became something of a legend in eight seasons in Arizona. Six consecutive All-Star berths, charitable work to benefit Phoenix Children's Hospital, and a knack for the big play will do that.
Goldschmidt was at it again Sunday, helping the Cardinals (89-67) clinch a playoff berth with a tiebreaking double in a two-run ninth inning of a 3-2 victory over the Cubs, capping a four-game sweep at Wrigley Field. The Cardinals have won eight of 11 and have a three-game lead on the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
Now Goldschmidt is back in Arizona for the first time since the offseason trade that brought Luke Weaver and Carson Kelly west. Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright (13-9, 3.83 ERA) is to face Arizona left-hander Alex Young (7-4, 3.27) in the first game of the three-game series Monday.
"It will be good to see the people I haven't seen in awhile ... but it's not too big on my radar," Goldschmidt told the Cardinals' website Sunday. "Just try to play today and then go out there tomorrow to try to help us win. That's where my mind's at."
Arizona (80-76) is six games behind the Brewers and Washington for the one of the two NL wild-card spots with six to play and will be eliminated with one loss or a Milwaukee victory.
"No matter what the circumstances are, we've got to regroup the troops and be ready to play a clean baseball game tomorrow," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo told reporters.
Goldschmidt ranks in the top two in Diamondbacks history in almost every offensive category. He leads in slugging percentage (.532), on-base percentage (.398) and OPS (.930). His 209 homers are second to Luis Gonzalez's 224.
Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong has missed the last three games with a Grade 2 strain of his left hamstring suffered Thursday and is unlikely to play in this series, telling reporters Sunday, "I'm hoping to give this enough time where it definitely won't hinder me going on."
Arizona center fielder/second baseman Ketel Marte has been shut down for the season because of a stress reaction in his lower back. Marte is hitting a major league-high .380 since July 15.
Wainwright is 4-0 in his last four starts and has given up only two runs (one earned) in 27 innings, dropping his season ERA to 3.83, the lowest it was since a season-low 3.73 on April 30.
He pitched seven scoreless innings in a 5-2 victory over the Diamondbacks on July 14 in the first series after the All-Star break and is 8-2 in 13 starts after the break. Wainwright has beaten wild-card contenders Milwaukee and Washington in his two most recent starts, both at Busch Stadium.
He has dramatically different home/road splits, going 9-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 15 home starts and 4-6 with a 6.03 ERA in 14 road starts. For his career, he's 9-5 with a 2.70 ERA in 16 appearances (13 starts) against the Diamondbacks.
Young, a rookie who was a 2015 second-round draft choice, has won three of his last four decisions over six starts with a 2.30 ERA. He had a career-high 12 strikeouts in eight shutout innings in a 2-0 victory at Cincinnati on Sept. 7, when he gave up only two hits, both infield singles.
Young gave up two runs (one earned) in five innings in his last start Tuesday against Miami but was not the pitcher of record in a 12-6 loss. Since his first appearance June 27, he has given up more than three earned runs only three times in 15 games. This will be his first appearance against the Cardinals.
--Field Level Media