Dodgers: Pedro Baez the Paul Goldschmidt Stopper

PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 09: Pedro Baez
PHOENIX, AZ - OCTOBER 09: Pedro Baez /

The Dodgers kicked off their season series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.  One of the biggest moments in the game came in the fourth inning.

The Dodgers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead but the Diamondbacks battled back to tie the game against Dodger starter Hyun-Jin Ryu.  Ryu didn’t exactly cruise through his start as the Dbacks had multiple chances to score early on in the game.  In the fourth inning, Ketel Marte tripled to knot the game at three and it appeared the Dbacks were going to take the lead and knock Ryu out of the game.

Dave Roberts pulled Ryu from the game before things got out of hand and he made the call to bring in fan favorite Pedro Baez to face notorious Dodger killer Paul Goldschmidt.  At first glance, you would think that Goldschmidt versus Baez is an extremely favorable matchup for Arizona but that is not the case at all.  Pedro Baez has done very well against the Dbacks in his career holding Arizona hitters to a .170 average and .278 on-base percentage.

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Most likely to the surprise of many, Pedro Baez has owned Paul Goldschmidt, unlike any other Dodger pitcher.  Against Baez, the man they call “Goldy” has a .067 batting average, .176 on-base percentage, and a measly .133 slugging percentage.  On top of all those spectacular numbers for Baez against Goldschmidt, Petey has struck him out seven times in 15 at-bats while not allowing a home run.  These numbers would be impressive against any big league hitter but the fact that Baez has owned one of the biggest Dodger killers of them all like this is mind-boggling.

While there was still plenty of game left after this key battle, the argument can be made that this was a huge moment not only in the game but for Baez’s confidence.  Had Goldschmidt gone deep or simply driven in Marte from third base, the Dbacks could have run away with the game as they would have had all the momentum. The Dbacks offense was thwarted and the Dodgers had regained control of the game (at least until the ninth inning), all thanks to Pedro Baez’s mastery of Paul Goldschmidt.

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Pedro Baez struggled last September and this spring but he seems to have turned things around since the regular season began.  Even though it’s extremely early on in the season, Baez has thrown 2 1/3 innings and has yet to allow a hit.  Dave Roberts is not nursing him along either, Baez was thrown into the fire.  Facing Paul Goldschmidt makes any Dodger pitcher uneasy, but for Pedro Baez he makes it look easy.