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Ways to Be a Good Neighbor and Paul Goldschmidt’s Amazing Week

A stay-at-home order has been issued for Missouri but that doesn’t stop you from being a good neighbor. Oh, and Paul Goldschmidt had one amazing week in 2019. Let’s watch some video!

This is a baseball site. I know. Believe me, I’m not confused about where I’m writing today (though my dissertation might or might not include random Cardinals gifs in it; I refuse to go back and check.)

Yesterday I had a little chat with our Managing Editor, Josey Curtis, and she agreed that this article was a good idea. We’re all baseball fans. But we’re all also neighbors and co-workers and family members.

I can tell just by checking page views that baseball is not necessarily your primary concern. Our towns, cities, states, nation, and the entire world are in a state of crisis. I spent my week teeter-tottering somewhere between adrenaline-fueled desperation and adrenaline-induced exhaustion. That’s just my life now as each new day brings some new challenge that absolutely must be solved or folks will suffer.

This weekend’s crisis is the head-spinning SBA loan applications that will (hopefully) keep myself and my employees paid and fed. Monday the crisis will be trying to resupply our food pantry, which has gone through nine months of food in three weeks. When I’m not working on my doctorate and writing about baseball, I pastor a church in small-town Southeast Missouri. One of our most important ministries is working in coordination with our neighboring elementary school to provide food and clothing to the students. We have 70+ families from the school that come through our drive-thru food pantry every week. Some have lost jobs. Others are elderly and are caring for their out-of-school grandkids. They rely on this food.

I’m not on here panning for help. We’ve got our neighborhood covered; we’ll figure it out.

Instead, I am offering a suggestion on how you can be a good neighbor during this time of crisis.

On Friday, Governor Parson wisely issued a stay-at-home order for Missouri. Many other states in Cardinal Nation have also done so. These orders are likely to cause even more businesses to close and even more workers to lose their jobs. It’s a necessary sacrifice to protect our communities from the spread of a virulent and deadly virus.

There is already suffering in your neighborhood and there will be more.

We tend to look to the federal government to provide relief during this crisis. We focus on the “big” - trillions of dollars in aid packages. But it’s the little – your neighborhood schools, churches, food pantries, crisis centers, domestic violence shelters, and neighborhood associations – who are capable of the biggest ongoing relief from this crisis.

You can help. You really can! There are a hundred things you can do to bring comfort, joy, and peace in place of suffering, anguish, and fear, without violating any social distancing restrictions.

Here’s the biggest and best: be a good neighbor! This starts with communication. When you’re out for a walk, check-in on those around you. Anyone out of work? Anyone struggling? Anyone who can’t get out to get food? Many neighborhoods have Facebook pages that can facilitate communication.

Once you know what’s going on around you, assess the need. Do your neighbors need food? Do they need younger, healthier individuals to do some shopping for them? Is there evidence of depression or even domestic violence (which is unfortunately all too common)?

Lastly, organize and activate. Can you set up a neighborhood get-and-give food pantry? A simple box with a lid placed at the entrance to the neighborhood would do the job. What about a green-space grill-off? Collect a little money from neighbors, buy hot-dogs and buns and have willing families grill for your apartment complex, from a socially-responsible distance, of course. Can you sew? Make masks for the elderly in your neighborhood.

You can also call your neighborhood school, check-in with your local food pantries (a Google search will tell you where they are), and contact nearby service providers (again, Google is your friend) to find out what their needs are and how you can support their work in this time. Money often is not required. Neither is proximity.

Hopefully, that will get you thinking! Instead of making just one more Tik Tok video, make that one phone call. You would be surprised at how these small acts of kindness can make such a huge difference.

OK, back to baseball.

Paul Goldschmidt was not a very good neighbor to fans in Pittsburgh and Houston in late July. From July 24-31, Goldy put on quite a show. During this span, Goldy hit 7 HR’s and produced a batting line of .378/.410/1.000 for a 1.410 OPS. (BB rate was terrible!) Seven of the balls Goldy struck during this time qualify as barrels and not all of them were home runs.

What I’ve done here is sort these barreled plate appearances by exit velocity to rank the top four. No commentary is needed. Enjoy the hottest stretch of batting we saw from an individual player last year and like me, you can ponder if there is something to the adage of a player being “hot” or “in the zone”. It does seem like barreled balls tend to cluster, but I haven’t run the numbers yet. That’s another project for a day with fewer crises.

1. July 24 in Pittsburgh against Jordan Lyles, PITT

Exit velocity: 111.5 mph; Launch angle: 24.4 degrees
Pitch type and location: Four-seam fastball, 92.6, Zone 5 (strike, middle/middle)

2. July 26 in St Louis against Ryan Pressly, HOU

Exit velocity: 106.9; launch angle: 38.3 degrees
Pitch type and location: curve, 84 mph, Zone 6 (strike, middle/away)

3. July 27 in St Louis against Gerrit Cole, HOU

Exit velocity: 106; launch angle: 33.0 degrees
Pitch type and location: slider, 87 mph, Zone 5 (strike, middle/middle)

4. July 23 in Pittsburgh against Chris Archer, PITT

Exit velocity: 105.9; launch angle: 27.1 degrees
Pitch type and location: Four-seam fastball, 93.7, (ball, high, in)

Want to see the rest? Here are the search results. Just click on the individual result to view other stats for each barrel and watch the video (in home or away audio).