• Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley competes in cow milking competition

    Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley competes in cow milking competition

  • Shelby Miller: Tommy John surgery 'was a pretty smooth process'

    Shelby Miller: Tommy John surgery ‘was a pretty smooth process’

  • Shot Clock: Time to take D-Backs seriously

    Shot Clock: Time to take D-Backs seriously

  • Zack Greinke on near-complete game, Eephus pitch

    Zack Greinke on near-complete game, Eephus pitch

  • Torey Lovullo on Zack Greinke's 'great night'

    Torey Lovullo on Zack Greinke’s ‘great night’

  • Montini volunteers free tickets - with Bickley's help

    Montini volunteers free tickets – with Bickley’s help

  • D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on loss vs. Padres

    D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo on loss vs. Padres

  • Chris Iannetta on homering in first game off DL

    Chris Iannetta on homering in first game off DL

  • Zack Godley on his outing vs. Padres

    Zack Godley on his outing vs. Padres

  • Torey Lovullo after D-Backs pound Padres 9-1

    Torey Lovullo after D-Backs pound Padres 9-1

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' blowout win vs. Padres

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ blowout win vs. Padres

  • Taijuan Walker tosses six scoreless vs. Padres

    Taijuan Walker tosses six scoreless vs. Padres

  • Brandon Drury homers in win vs. Padres

    Brandon Drury homers in win vs. Padres

  • Watch out for Dodgers; Cards CBs apply for job

    Watch out for Dodgers; Cards CBs apply for job

  • Diamondbacks outlast Mets in extra innings

    Diamondbacks outlast Mets in extra innings

  • Diamondbacks discuss close win over Mets

    Diamondbacks discuss close win over Mets

  • Diamondbacks' Zack Godley talks after win over Mets

    Diamondbacks’ Zack Godley talks after win over Mets

  • Diamondbacks' Torey Lovullo talks upbeat pace in win over Mets

    Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo talks upbeat pace in win over Mets

  • A.J. Pollock discusses his injury after loss to Pirates

    A.J. Pollock discusses his injury after loss to Pirates

  • David Peralta downplays his injury vs. Pirates

    David Peralta downplays his injury vs. Pirates

  • Torey Lovullo on injuries, loss vs. Pirates

    Torey Lovullo on injuries, loss vs. Pirates

  • Chris Iannetta talks about scary HBP vs. Pirates

    Chris Iannetta talks about scary HBP vs. Pirates

  • Diamondbacks rally falls short against Pirates

    Diamondbacks rally falls short against Pirates

  • Lovullo: Iannetta "said he could play tonight if he had to" after HBP

    Lovullo: Iannetta “said he could play tonight if he had to” after HBP

  • Diamondbacks overwhelm Pirates 11-4

    Diamondbacks overwhelm Pirates 11-4

  • Kaepernick blackballed? Greinke now trade bait?

    Kaepernick blackballed? Greinke now trade bait?

  • Zack Greinke on his near no-hitter against Pirates

    Zack Greinke on his near no-hitter against Pirates

  • Lovullo reacts to Greinke's near no-hitter in win

    Lovullo reacts to Greinke’s near no-hitter in win

  • Diamondbacks snap losing streak with win over Tigers

    Diamondbacks snap losing streak with win over Tigers

  • Diamondbacks drop third straight with loss to Tigers

    Diamondbacks drop third straight with loss to Tigers

  • Shot Clock: D-Backs face pivotal homestand

    Shot Clock: D-Backs face pivotal homestand

  • Torey Lovullo after D-Backs' latest loss to Rockies

    Torey Lovullo after D-Backs’ latest loss to Rockies

  • Taijuan Walker after loss to Rockies

    Taijuan Walker after loss to Rockies

  • Patrick Corbin after being roughed up by Rockies

    Patrick Corbin after being roughed up by Rockies

  • D-Backs' Torey Lovullo on 'tough night' at Coors Field

    D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo on ‘tough night’ at Coors Field

  • Zack Greinke on impressive outing vs. Rockies

    Zack Greinke on impressive outing vs. Rockies

  • Manager Torey Lovullo after win over Rockies

    Manager Torey Lovullo after win over Rockies

  • Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs lose series vs. Nationals

    Manager Torey Lovullo after D-Backs lose series vs. Nationals

  • Braden Shipley after walking six in loss to Nationals

    Braden Shipley after walking six in loss to Nationals

  • D-Backs' Torey Lovullo after loss to Nationals

    D-Backs’ Torey Lovullo after loss to Nationals

  • Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray strikes out 10 in loss to Nationals

    Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray strikes out 10 in loss to Nationals

  • Torey Lovullo on D-Backs' 6-3 win over Nationals

    Torey Lovullo on D-Backs’ 6-3 win over Nationals

  • Taijuan Walker on his short start vs. Nationals

    Taijuan Walker on his short start vs. Nationals

  • Shot Clock: Rockets sizzle, D-Backs fizzle?

    Shot Clock: Rockets sizzle, D-Backs fizzle?

  • A.J. Pollock on controversial play: "You guys saw the replay"

    A.J. Pollock on controversial play: “You guys saw the replay”

  • Descalso talks about walk-off home run over Rockies

    Descalso talks about walk-off home run over Rockies

  • Lovullo on pitching, more in D-Backs' wild win

    Lovullo on pitching, more in D-Backs’ wild win

  • Corbin discusses his scoreless outing vs. Rockies

    Corbin discusses his scoreless outing vs. Rockies

  • Fernando Rodney talks about his latest blown save

    Fernando Rodney talks about his latest blown save

  • Zack Greinke after outing vs. Rockies

    Zack Greinke after outing vs. Rockies

  • D-Backs' Shelby Miller to have Tommy John surgery

    D-Backs’ Shelby Miller to have Tommy John surgery

  • Diamondbacks fall 3-1 to Rockies

    Diamondbacks fall 3-1 to Rockies

  • Chris Owings on his two-homer night

    Chris Owings on his two-homer night

  • D-Backs' Taijuan Walker on his 11-strikeout performance vs. Padres

    D-Backs’ Taijuan Walker on his 11-strikeout performance vs. Padres

  • D-Backs' Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery

    D-Backs’ Shelby Miller considering Tommy John surgery

  • Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres

    Fernando Rodney reacts to his blown save against the Padres

  • Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks' 'heartbreaking' loss

    Torey Lovullo reacts to Diamondbacks’ ‘heartbreaking’ loss

  • Diamondbacks attendance hits new low

    Diamondbacks attendance hits new low

  • Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win

    Diamondbacks pull away from Padres for 9-3 win

  • Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres

    Diamondbacks hold on for win over Padres

  • Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor

    Shelby Miller on his injury, visit with team doctor

  • Arizona Diamondbacks' Shelby Miller discusses arm injury

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller discusses arm injury

  • David Peralta on his record-setting night

    David Peralta on his record-setting night

  • Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday's win over the Dodgers

    Robbie Ray reacts to Saturday’s win over the Dodgers

  • Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers

    Diamondbacks use 9-run eighth to overwhelm Dodgers

  • Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs' offense vs. Padres

    Paul Goldschmidt on D-Backs’ offense vs. Padres

  • Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs' loss, road trip

    Manager Torey Lovullo breaks down D-Backs’ loss, road trip

Paul Goldschmidt got a fastball on the outside corner and nearly hit it out on Monday night, his drive down the right-field line barely going foul in the sixth inning.

The next pitch he saw was a fastball in, a relatively well-located pitch from White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, and Goldschmidt turned it on, launching it into the left field seats for a solo homer.

The sequence reminded teammate Jorge De La Rosa of an at-bat he had against Goldschmidt years ago, the kind that makes pitchers wonder what, exactly, they can do in order to retire the Diamondbacks slugger.

“I was throwing him away, away, away, and I tried to surprise him inside and he hit the ball,” De La Rosa said, motioning in the direction of deep left field. “He can hit everything. He can hit change-ups, fastballs, sliders – whatever you throw to him. He’s a professional hitter. He’s a really tough out.”

RELATED: Diamondbacks relievers spend Tuesday afternoon milking cow

Goldschmidt has never really been anything but a tough out in the majors, but after a year in which his numbers dipped slightly, he is back to producing at an elite level.

That his uptick in production has happened in lockstep with the Diamondbacks’ fast start probably isn’t coincidental. The club has had plenty of other things go right, as well, but to have Goldschmidt producing at – or even a little above – his career highs ranks near the top of the reasons why the Diamondbacks entered Tuesday with the second-most wins in the National League.

Goldschmidt doesn’t offer much in terms of what’s changed from last year. This time a year ago, his average was hovering in the mid-.240s. He entered Tuesday hitting .315, and his .580 slugging is nearly 30 points better than his career best. He’s on pace for 38 homers; he hit just 24 last year.

“I’m just trying to do mostly the same stuff I’ve done,” Goldschmidt said. “I’m trying to hit the ball hard and see what happens from there. I don’t really have much for you. I go up there trying to have good at-bats and swing at the right pitches.”

Goldschmidt said he isn’t trying to be more aggressive, but the numbers tell a different story. His swing percentage is at 43.9 percent – slightly higher than his career average of 40.8 percent – and he’s been particularly aggressive on the first pitch, cutting it loose 30.3 percent of the time, up from 23.5 percent.

MORE: D-Backs could use a clown car on Wednesday when they’ll pitch a ‘bullpen game’

“Probably not seeing as many pitches per plate appearance, but when he’s getting pitches to drive early in the count he’s taking chances on them,” hitting coach Dave Magadan said. “I think it’s just an understanding of himself, knowing that he can be aggressive.”

Magadan thinks another factor is Goldschmidt’s new pregame routine. Before taking batting practice on the field, Goldschmidt has been hitting off a machine in the cage, something that, Magadan says, “forces guys to be mechanically correct.”

“I think the combination,” Magadan said, “of being a little more aggressive, tweaking his pregame and pre-batting practice routine has helped him to kind of catch balls a little more out in front and get them in the air to the pull side.”

Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Wednesday’s game

White Sox at Diamondbacks

When: 12:40 p.m.

Where: Chase Field (Roof hotline: 602-462-6262).

Pitchers: Diamondbacks RHP Randall Delgado (1-0, 4.05 ERA) vs. White Sox LHP Jose Quintana (2-5, 3.92).

TV/Radio: FSAZ/KMVP-FM (98.7), KHOV-FM (105.1).

Delgado is making a spot start in place of Taijuan Walker (blister). His last start came Aug. 22, 2015. Delgado earned a save in his last outing, giving up a run over three innings in a 10-1 win at San Diego. In 26 2/3 innings, covering 15 appearances, he has struck out 24 and walked five. In five May outings, Delgado has allowed just one run. Manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday he does not have a pitch count in mind for Delgado, but Delgado has not pitched more than three innings in a game this season so he may not last long.  … Quintana has had some bad luck. His five losses tie for the second-most in baseball, yet his 2.20 run-support average is the lowest in the majors. In his last outing, he gave up one run on one hit over eight innings but did not factor into the decision in a 2-1 win at Seattle. 

Coming up

Thursday: At Milwaukee, 5:10 p.m., Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray (3-3, 3.91) vs. Brewers RHP Zach Davies (5-2, 5.44).

Friday: At Milwaukee, 5:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Godley (1-1, 2.45) vs. Brewers RHP Junior Guerra (0-0, 6.00).

Saturday: At Milwaukee, 1:10 p.m., Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke (6-2, 2.82 ERA) vs. RHP Chase Anderson (2-1, 4.25).