06/03/11 10:02 PM ET
Gibson scratches Miranda from lineup again
By Anthony Fenech / MLB.com
"He's fine," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said, before saying that he just decided to go with Xavier Nady on Friday night.
Miranda was a late scratch from Thursday's lineup because he wasn't feeling well, but he did make a pinch-hit performance in the seventh inning, grounding out to first base.
Gibson said following the loss that Miranda's scratch was related to a collision with pitcher Daniel Hudson the night before.
"He didn't feel tip top so we made a change," Gibson said. "It was something with his neck."
Miranda said on Friday that he hit his neck on the field during the collision, but that he's feeling better.
"I'm ready," he said, adding that he expected to be back in the lineup on Saturday.
Montero working on sweep tags at home
PHOENIX -- Before Friday's game, D-backs bullpen and catching coach Glenn Sherlock was working with catcher Miguel Montero on sweep tags at home plate.
"Obviously there has been a lot going on with tag plays and things at home plate," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We always try to do something at home and sharpen things up."
Gibson said the team has had conversations about it, but he said not to read much into Montero's pregame practice.
He also explained his thoughts on the recent hot-button topic of catchers blocking home plate in light of Giants catcher Buster Posey being injured just over a week ago.
"I'll just say this: I thought the play was within the rules," Gibson said. "And I'll tell you from the way I looked at it as a player, if you're coming down the line and the catcher's up in front of the plate, you don't know. A lot of guys will bait you to slide, but when it's a close play like that, you have no idea if that ball's going to be caught or if it's going to be mishandled. "[It] is bang-bang. So if you assume it's going to be caught -- lets assume its going to be caught right there -- if he slides, is he going to be safe or is he going to be out? So it's a baseball play and I think that he chose to make sure the ball was dislodged and it's an unfortunate play, but I do feel it was within the rules. Those plays have been going on for many years.
"I don't know this but it'd be interesting -- I would say probably more runners get hurt at home plate in collisions than catchers over time, in my guess. I have no basis; it's a baseball play so right now it's within the rules. If they should change it then we'll adapt to it."
When asked if he instructs his catchers to avoid contact, Gibson said he leaves that up to Spurlock.
"But I played with a guy, Mike Scioscia," Gibson said. "He was pretty much on the plate, and his theory was if you're on the plate, you're deeper and you have a better chance for reading it. And you're also taking it more head on. He would stay there and in the end, if he didn't have to, he would just go down and roll. I watched him get crushed, getting knocked out at home plate and hanging on to the ball.
"But getting back to your original question, I think the play was within the rules."
Upton, Heilman dismiss retaliation talk
PHOENIX -- Late in Thursday night's game, D-backs right fielder Justin Upton and Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth were plunked in back-to-back innings.
With the Nationals ahead 4-1, Upton was hit by left-handed reliever Sean Burnett in the left shoulder.
An inning later, Heilman hit Werth with a fastball in the left elbow and on Friday, both D-backs dismissed any sort of retaliation was involved.
"It was a coincidence," Upton said. "With two strikes, he obviously wasn't trying to hit me and I think one just got away from Aaron. There's nothing there."
Heilman, who allowed two runs on two hits in an inning's worth of work, said he had to work the inside half of the plate against Werth.
"He's a tough hitter," Heilman said. "You have to pitch him aggressively and pitch inside."
Werth was not in the lineup on Friday.
The right-handed reliever has been struggling of late and Kirk Gibson said it was a priority to get him back on track.
"I feel good," Heilman said. "Certainly last night I didn't get the results I wanted. It's a long season and I'll just keep grinding it out and battling it out."
Anthony Fenech is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.