PITTSBURGH -- With 14 walks in his last 33 plate appearances, it's becoming clear that opposing pitchers are being awfully careful when facing D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
"I think we're entering a new era for Paul," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's getting pitched very selectively. They're not giving in to him. It's a challenge to him to remain selective, which he has been. We'll see if it continues. It hasn't been going on that long. Frankly, I'm a little surprised it hasn't started earlier. "
Starting with the second game of the Giants series on June 21, Goldschmidt is 1-for-19 at the plate to go with those 14 walks. The Giants and then the Padres made it clear that someone else in the lineup would have to beat them and not Goldschmidt.
In the three games this past weekend against the Padres, Goldschmidt drew seven walks in 12 plate appearances, which tied a franchise record for walks in a series. Goldschmidt said after the game that he wasn't sure he was being pitched around.
"I think I've done a better job of not swinging out of the zone and then at times being aggressive in the zone," Goldschmidt said. "I think that's led to some of it. There's been some other times where there have been some intentional walks and stuff like that. It's just part of it. I think walks, like anything, kind of come in streaks.
"Same thing with homers, hits, or wins, or whatever it is. You may not do it for a couple weeks and then all of a sudden they come in a wave and they can't really be explained, but that's just something that I've noticed."
Gibson said the players hitting behind Goldschmidt will need to make opposing teams pay for the strategy if Goldschmidt is to start getting pitched to more.
"It can be frustrating for hitters, from what I've known throughout the years, but he's done well in all situations for us and I think he'll figure it out," Gibson said of Goldschmidt. "Also, it puts a lot of pressure on the guys behind him. They're going to have to pick up the pace for the team."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less