No. 2: Paul Goldschmidt punishes the Cubs
With the dismantling of the Cubs’ roster this winter, the rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals may look different in 2021. However, the two battled for the top spot in the division for a lot of the 2020 season.
One key to that rivalry was a red-hot Paul Goldschmidt. While he only hit six homers all year, it was refreshing to see Goldschmidt hit above .300 and have a wRC+ of 146 in his second season in St. Louis. Part of what led to fewer counting stats for Goldy was the fact that he had almost zero protection in the lineup, but he still did damage where he could.
Even though there weren’t fans in the stands, Sunday Night Baseball at Wrigley was still beautiful in 2020. Goldschmidt faced Jon Lester on the 6th of September, hitting the second-longest homer of the season.
While the next homer on our list may have been the longest on the season, I would argue that Goldschmidt’s homer here was the most impressive. ESPN always utilizes more sensitive microphones, so the crack of the bat is loud, Kyle Schwarber doesn’t even move in left field, and what is more impressive than a ball leaving the stadium in the air.
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One of the biggest improvements to Paul Goldschmidt’s approach in 2020 was taking a step back away from the plate, and that change allowed him to turn on that inside cutter from Jon Lester and pummel it 443 ft while coming off the bat at 108 mph. Get him some protection in the lineup and fans might see more of this in 2021.
The Cubs split the season series with the Cardinals 5-5, but Goldschmidt’s big swing here was a key hit in one of the five wins.