The Arizona Diamondbacks have struggled for most of the 2014 Major League Baseball season, and the struggling will likely continue with the loss of their biggest superstar. Paul Goldschmidt will likely miss the remainder of the regular with a fractured left hand.
Goldschmidt, who was the runner-up in the National League MVP race last season, was hurt when he was hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning of Friday's loss to Pittsburgh. Arizona has placed Goldschmidt on the 15-day disabled list, but it is likely that he will not return this season, especially with the Diamondbacks not being in any postseason contention.
In Saturday night's game, the reigning National League MVP Andrew McCutchen was hit square in the lower middle of his back by Diamondbacks pitcher Randall Delgado in the ninth inning with his team up four runs and runners on second and third. Pittsburgh viewed McCutchen being hit in the game as some kind of retaliation for Goldschmidt being hit the night before.
Goldschmidt, however, did not place the blame on Frieri or the Pirates for hitting him in Friday's game. Diamondbacks managers Kirk Gibson had a different opinion and seemed to express what happened Friday night when discussing the injury of Goldschmidt with the media. The way Gibson reacted in an interview after Friday's game led some to believe that Delgado plunking McCutchen the next night was some sort of retaliation and possibly intentional.
Goldschmidt was having another superb season being named to his second straight All-Star team. He was batting .300 with 19 home runs and 69 RBIs on an Arizona team that has been one of the worst in baseball throughout the course of the 2014 season.
Plenty to play for in Pittsburgh
On the other hand, Pittsburgh finished off a series with the struggling Diamondbacks and sit just 1 1/2 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central division standings with just under two months left in the regular season. Pittsburgh will likely put this behind them and keep focused on trying to win the National League Central division. The division is completely up for grabs with four teams potentially having a shot to win the division. The Pirates are in search of their second straight playoff berth under manager Clint Hurdle.
For Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks, they are both likely looking forward to next season as all hopes of any positives this season have diminished now with the injury.