PHOENIX -- Paul Goldschmidt doesn't go on social media and the D-backs first baseman doesn't read what's being said about him or listen to sports talk radio.
Still, with his slow start to the season, he was aware that his manager, Torey Lovullo, had been asked a lot recently about Goldschmidt's struggles.
After Friday night's 3-1 loss to the Nationals at Chase Field, Lovullo revealed a conversation he had recently with Goldschmidt.
"He said, 'Just tell them that I suck,'" Lovullo said. "That ought to size it up for you perfectly. He knows he's going to be OK. And I know that, too."
Goldschmidt has been one of baseball's most consistent performers over his first six full seasons in the big leagues. He's been selected to five straight All-Star Games and finished second twice in the National League Most Valuable Player Award voting.
Seeing him struggle is just not something that fans, or his teammates are used to seeing.
"I know that he's having to deal with questions from you guys," Goldschmidt said of Lovullo. "That's kind of where that [comment] was coming from. I feel bad that my lack of production wears on other guys on this team and wears on the manager and he has to deal with it. It's one thing if I've got to deal with not going out there and performing. I can do that. But when it affects our team and affects other guys, that stinks."
And that's why Goldschmidt wanted to spare Lovullo from trying to explain his struggles.
"I was like, 'You don't have to cover for me,'" Goldschmidt said. "It's pretty obvious I've gone out there and haven't performed. Just say the truth. It's not 'I suck,' but those are the words I used to make light of the situation. I know he's having to answer a lot of questions and other guys, too, around this team. That's kind of where that was coming from. Just be honest."
And truthfully, not coming through with runners in scoring position is not just a Goldschmidt issue, it's been something the D-backs as a whole have struggled with this year.
It bit them against Nationals ace Max Scherzer when they were not able to push across a run despite having runners on second and third with no outs in the first and a runner on third with one out in the second.
Goldschmidt, who collected a single in the ninth snapping a 2-for-39 skid, said his struggles have nothing to do with health.
"There's not too many different ways to say it," Goldschmidt said. "I just haven't performed."
Still, the D-backs have the best record in the NL.
"The guys have picked me up and done a really good job. Our pitching and the different hitters who have come up big when I haven't gotten the job done. I'm thankful for that. But obviously you want to contribute and you want to help the team, and I'll just try to keep doing that on a daily basis."
The D-backs optioned reliever Jake Barrett to Triple-A Reno following the game after he was called up earlier in the day. Barrett pitched a scoreless inning in relief in the ninth Friday.
The D-backs need to clear a 25-man roster spot for Saturday's pitcher Troy Scribner, who will be officially called up from Reno prior to the game.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
After Rendon's homer in the eighth, Matt Adams drove a Matt Koch pitch deep to right. Chris Owings went back and timed his jump perfectly to snag the ball and rob Adams of his 11th homer of the year.
"They've been amazing for me," Koch said. "There were some hard hit balls that they made really good plays on. I mean C.O. robbed a homer so yeah, they've been great."
HE SAID IT
"You go up there and try to have good at-bats and try to hit the ball hard, and it just hasn't happened as much as I need it to to really get those results. It's not for lack of effort or any of that. You guys can see, I'm not getting the ball hard as good enough as much as I need to. It's just overall it hasn't been good enough, in my opinion." -- Goldschmidt
The D-backs will promote right-hander Scribner from Triple-A Reno to start Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. MST against the Nationals in place of the injured Robbie Ray. Scribner was claimed by the D-backs off waivers from the Angels in early April. With Reno, he was 2-1 with a 5.68 ERA in five starts and he appeared in 10 games (four starts) for the Angels last season, when he had a 4.18 ERA. He'll oppose the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg.