USATSI_18924661

Aug 25, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (46) hits a two-RBI single against the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The National League has not seen a player earn the Triple Crown — lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBIs — since St. Louis' Joe "Ducky" Medwick accomplished the feat in 1937.

Medwick, the slugging outfielder who burned white-hot alongside the Cardinals' famed Gashouse Gang of the '30s, won the MVP award for his historic season. Eighty-five years later, a more mild-mannered but similarly dominant Cardinal is taking a stab at one of baseball's more unattainable milestones.

Paul Goldschmidt crushed two home runs and drove in five in the Cardinals' 8-3 win over the Cubs on Thursday, gaining the National League lead in RBIs (105). His 33 home runs are two shy of Phillies outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who notched his 35th that evening. His .339 average is tops among NL hitters, making the push for the Triple Crown come into focus.

“If something like that (the Triple Crown) happened, it would be a miracle,” Goldschmidt said Thursday. “So to think that’s realistic is probably pretty far-fetched. It would be amazing, but to think that’s a goal for anyone is a crazy standard.”

One more note about Medwick: He accomplished the Triple Crown in his age-25 season. Goldschmidt, 34, is having his best year at the plate since he was 25. In that breakout 2013 season for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Goldy led the NL with 36 homers and 125 RBIs, both career highs. He finished second in MVP voting to Andrew McCutchen. (As fate would have it, future Cardinals teammates Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter finished third and fourth in that year's balloting, respectively, with Molina earning two first-place votes.)

Goldschmidt is in the middle of an MVP-caliber campaign in which he also leads NL hitters in on-base percentage (.420), slugging percentage (.637) and OPS (1.057). This career year has brought special milestones; he hit his 300th career home run in July, becoming the sixth player in history to reach the 300 mark wearing a Cardinals uniform. He also got his first All-Star bid since 2018, and went deep in the Midsummer Classic.

Manager Oli Marmol pointed to Goldschmidt's humility as a key part of his success.

"He's been doing it all year. The consistency is fun to watch," Marmol said Thursday. "He's more concerned with producing in order to help us win than anything that he could accomplish for himself, which is why I think he's able to do it."

Right-hander Dakota Hudson, who earned the win Thursday, said watching Goldschmidt's discipline and preparation turn into positive results has been fun to watch.

"It's what you try to emulate as a ballplayer yourself — hitter or position player — but just as a person, too," Hudson said. "It says a lot about him."

Goldschmidt, who played first base in both games of Tuesday's doubleheader, noted the Cardinals' depth allowed him to get a day off Wednesday and not miss a beat in the series finale.

"You try to stay and healthy and play as much as you can, but we got a deep roster," Goldschmidt said. "That's why Oli's been able to rotate guys in and out. And it's going to take a team effort, and hopefully, we'll keep it going."