Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks’ franchise icon and top-producing

  • PHOENIX — Measurable rain fell Saturday in Phoenix for the first time in three months Josh Oliver Jersey , much-welcomed relief for a very parched city. Luckily for the Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt’s drought ended a long time before then.

     started the season in quite a dry spell, too. A slugger who has homered at least 33 times and driven in at least 110 runs three times since 2013, Goldschmidt inexplicably saw his average plunge to as low as .198 on May 22.

    Not surprisingly, his team was faltering as he did. The Diamondbacks opened the season 21-8, but during a dreadful May in which they went 8-19, they slid to 26-26 on May 27.

    Since then, there’s been little stopping Goldschmidt and little stopping the Diamondbacks, who have reclaimed the NL West lead by going 13-5 in their last 18 games heading into the finale of a four-game series with the New York Mets on Sunday.

    Not surprisingly, Goldschmidt has been the man in the middle of it.

    Still, Mets left-hander Steven Matz (3-4) managed to stop the Diamondbacks on Saturday night at Chase Field, limiting them to a run over 6 2-3 innings in a 5-1 New York victory. It was an anomaly of sorts because Arizona had won the first two games of the four-game series and the Mets had dropped four in a row and 12 of their previous 13.

    However, Goldschmidt drove in the only Arizona run, giving him four RBIs in the series and 15 in his last 10 games, a stretch in which he’s hit six homers and raised his average to .261.

    “It was a little bit of a slow night for us offensively,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We did have some opportunities http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-quincy-williams-ii-jersey , but we couldn’t get a big hit.”

    Or the kind of hits Goldschmidt has been giving them almost nightly.

    Michael Conforto had a couple of big hits for the Mets, most importantly a three-run homer in the second inning off Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin (6-3), the third of Conforto’s career off the left-hander. Conforto also added an RBI double for a Mets offense that had scored three runs or fewer in 11 consecutive games.

    “They need to take some confidence out of tonight. They did a really good job,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. “We’ve been getting on base more and more the last few games. We got the big hits to get the runners in and we need to keep building that momentum.”

    Still, the Diamondbacks will go for the series win Sunday when they send right-hander Clay Buchholz (1-1) to the mound to oppose Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler (2-5).

    “We’ve got to make a quick turnaround. (Sunday) is a day game we’ve got to digest this one and get it out of our system and be ready to play some baseball,” Lovullo said.

    Buchholz sat out most of last season with the Philadelphia Phillies due to an elbow injury, then was released from his minor league contract by the Kansas City Royals in May. He hooked on with the Diamondbacks franchise shortly after that and has been a pleasant surprise by posting a 3.21 ERA in five starts, including allowing only five earned runs in 24 innings in his first four starts.

    Buchholz’s last start was his roughest with Arizona, as he lasted only four innings Tuesday in a 13-8 Diamondbacks win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed seven hits and six runs, five earned, in four innings.

    Buchholz faced the Mets in his first start for Arizona, giving up one run on two hits in five innings of what became a 4-1 Mets victory at Citi Field on May 20. He is 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in two career starts against the Mets, yielding 10 hits and seven runs in 7 1/3 innings.

    Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera gives him the most trouble, going 8-for-16 (.500) with two homers and two RBIs against him.

    Wheeler last pitched Tuesday, giving up six runs and eight hits while walking four in 5 2/3 innings of an 8-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

    “It’s not like they were killing him all over the park,” Callaway said. “It was a bloop here and a bloop there. Our starters have been so good, you want them to try to get out of their own jams.”

    Wheeler is 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA in four career games against Arizona, giving up 25 hits but only six earned runs while striking out 20 and walking five in 25 1/3 innings.

    Goldschmidt is 3-for-12 (.250) against him Ryquell Armstead Jersey , while Chris Owings is 4-for-9 (.444).

    Wheeler last faced the Diamondbacks on May 15, 2017 but didn’t figure in the decision of what became a 7-3 Arizona win after permitting only one run in six innings.

    Fly Eagles Fly.

    With the wind and against it.

    With Nick Foles engineering several long drives, Jake Elliott converting three field goals, and the defense getting stingy in the tightest spot, Philadelphia moved into the NFC championship game with a 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.

    Foles directed brilliant marches of 74 and 80 yards in the second half – one into the whipping wind, the other with it – and Elliott atoned for missing an extra point by converting from 53 yards at the end of the second quarter, 37 and 21 in the second half. Then the Eagles (14-3) held when Atlanta (11-7) got to the 9-yard line with a first down, and to the 2 on fourth down.

    When Matt Ryan’s final pass sailed over Julio Jones’ head in the end zone , Philly could celebrate its first playoff victory since the 2008 season.

    Next Sunday, the Eagles will host either Minnesota or New Orleans for the conference crown. The Eagles last made the Super Bowl in the 2004 season, losing to New England.

    ”I mean, we just kept believing in each other,” said Foles, who became the starter when Carson Wentz, a leading MVP contender, injured his knee in December. ”That was it. Our team never wavered, defense did an amazing job, special teams – that’s just been the story this year is that we just all stuck together…”

    The Falcons http://www.jaguarscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-gardner-minshew-ii-jersey , of course, memorably blew a 28-3 second-half lead to the Patriots in last year’s Super Bowl. They will not get the opportunity to atone for it, though Ryan got them close at the end.

    Despite being underdogs as the No. 1 seed, the Eagles showed plenty of moxie.

    ”Just keep on disrespecting and we’re going to keep proving people wrong,” receiver Alshon Jeffery said.

    A masterful 74-yard, 12-play drive on which Foles threw for 70 yards led to Elliott’s 37-yard kick into the wind that made it 12-10. The Eagles then put together their best drive, an 80-yarder covering 14 plays, yet again faltered close to the end zone. Elliott added a 21-yarder with 6:02 remaining after coach Doug Pederson briefly considered going for it on fourth-and-1 at the Atlanta 3.

    ”It was tricky out there, really gusty,” Elliott said.

    Then, as the fans in the Linc held their breath, the Eagles held deep in their territory.

    ”Man, just stay calm,” said defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, who was a force all day. ”We always talk about that. We’ve been in those situations during the regular season, so we kind of know how to handle those situations, not try to make a play but let the play come to us.”

    And the road to the Super Bowl remains through Philly.

    WINDY DECISIONS

    Falcons coach Dan Quinn could have opted to take the wind in the fourth quarter after deferring on the opening coin toss. Instead, he took the ball to start the second half Marquise Brown Jersey , but it was the Eagles who got the only points of the third period.

    And in the end, Atlanta had to deal with the currents on that final drive, which did include a 20-yard completion to Jones on fourth-and-6.

    ”It was a tough game for us tonight,” Quinn said, ”and as we go through, we will go back and assess everything we have done.”

    ERROR-FILLED HALF

    Mistakes hurt the Eagles in the opening half. Jay Ajayi’s fumble and a misplayed punt that bounced off Bryan Braman led to all 10 Atlanta points.

    Things began nicely for Philadelphia when safety Brian Poole was tagged with pass interference on a deep pass by Foles that was held up by the wind. But Ajayi fumbled on the next play with Keanu Neal recovering.

    Atlanta efficiently mixed runs and passes to drive to Matt Bryant’s 33-yard field goal for an early lead.

    Philadelphia got the run game going with Ajayi in the opening period. Then, with the wind in the next quarter, the Eagles kept the Falcons so off-balance Atlanta took two timeouts in three plays.

    Receiver Nelson Agholor’s 21-yard run got the ball to the 3, and Foles botched a handoff to Corey Clement. But the quarterback quickly dived on the loose ball and was ruled to have scored. Replay showed otherwise.

    Pederson showed no hesitation going for it, and Blount surged in from the 1. Elliott’s missed extra point left it 6-3.

    Soon after came Matt Bosher’s punt that took a wicked bounce and hit Braman while he was blocking. From the Philly 18, the Falcons benefited from two penalties before Ryan scrambled from pressure and found Devonta Freeman for a 6-yard TD and a 10-3 lead.

    With 46 seconds left in the half, the hosts got lucky. Foles’ errant pass ricocheted off Neal’s hands to Torrey Smith for 20 yards. Jeffery made a long stretch to haul in another throw with 1 second remaining, and Elliott’s 53-yard field goal just made it over the crossbar.

    ”It was great for momentum,” Foles said. ”Jake did an awesome job of kicking that for us.”

    QB NUMBERS

    Foles finished a very efficient outing by going 23 of 30 for 246 yards.

    Ryan was 22 of 36 for 210 yards on a difficult day to throw. Jones had nine receptions for 101 yards.

    UP NEXT

    Philadelphia will host either Minnesota or New Orleans next Sunday night for the NFC title.

    Atlanta’s season ends after a wild-card berth and a win at Los Angeles before Saturday’s defeat.