08/30/12 10:19 PM ET
D-backs downplay recent tension with Dodgers
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
In the final game of a three-game sweep earlier this month, D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt slid in hard at second base to take out infielder Jerry Hairston on a double-play attempt.
The D-backs thought it was a hard but clean slide.
The Dodgers disagreed and Hairston said after the game that Major League Baseball should suspend Goldschmidt for what he said was a late slide.
That didn't happen, and Goldschmidt put the incident behind him.
"No," Goldschmidt said when asked if he was concerned about possible retaliation by the Dodgers. "I mean, like I said, I wasn't trying to do anything, wasn't trying to hurt him. Obviously he felt differently, but what are you going to do? You can't let that stuff affect you. You can get hit at any time."
Goldschmidt said he has seen the play only once. He watched it on the plane ride from Los Angeles to Philadelphia.
"It could have been," Goldschmidt said when asked if the slide was late. "But what does that mean? I don't know. I was going in there trying to decide whether to go straight into the bag and try to beat the throw to second or get a piece of him and try to break up the double play. At the last second, I tried to get a piece of him because I was going to be out at second, and I hit him."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson downplayed any lingering tension. Did he think there would be any retaliation by the Dodgers?
"If there is, there is," Gibson said. "We'll play baseball. I don't really comment on it. I know Goldy is a clean player and he plays the game hard. I can tell you that I've seen several slides like that in games not only that we've played in, but by other people around the league. I know they bellyached about it."
After fast start with D-backs, Johnson fighting slump
LOS ANGELES -- When he first joined the D-backs from the Astros just prior to the Trade Deadline, Chris Johnson made an immediate impression on his new teammates.
Johnson homered in his first game, and in his first 11 games he hit .333 with five home runs and 17 RBIs.
It has been tough sledding for him since.
In the next 15 games, Johnson hit .103 with no homers.
"It's just part of the game," Johnson said. "I got a little bit out of my comfort zone. I'm new here, so I just have to figure out my way of fixing it here. It's just part of the whole learning process for me. I'll figure it out. I've been in slumps before, I'll be in slumps again."
Johnson was out of the lineup Thursday with a case of the flu.
Shortstop Willie Bloomquist (back) could be activated Saturday when rosters expand, but how much he initially plays remains to be seen.
After playing consecutive games Bloomquist seemed to stiffen up, so the D-backs will be cautious with him.
"When we bring him up and play him for a game do we have to sit him for a game?" D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Probably initially we couldn't play him multiple games. Probably no risk in activating, but he's got to be able to play. You don't want to just activate him and not be able to play him."
Gibson said that while he's not pleased with the results -- the D-backs lost six straight games entering Thursday -- he has been happy with the effort his team has put forth.
"The effort is there," Gibson said. "I think they get frustrated. In the last series, [the Reds] scored late on us, multiple runs on us and that kind of took the wind out of our sails."
Left fielder Jason Kubel was out of the lineup Thursday after going 3-for-28 on the team's 10-game homestand.
"It seems like he's been struggling a little bit," Gibson said. "He pushed it hard in July and August and he's been struggling a little bit. He looked tired to me yesterday so we'll give him a day off today and maybe that will freshen him up a little bit."