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Paul Goldschmidt’s early-season slump explained: Tell them that I suck

(AP Photo/Ben Margot)

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Six weeks into the season and the question persists: What’s wrong with Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt?

The answer, well, we’ll get to that in a moment.

After going 1-for-4 with a ninth-inning single in Friday’s 3-1 loss to the Washington Nationals, Goldschmidt, the D-backs five-time all-star and two-time MVP runner-up, is batting .219.

Even worse, Goldschmidt has but two RBI in his last 22 games and has not homered since April 15, a drought of 85 at-bats covering 23 games.

So, again, what’s wrong?

“I’ll share exactly something that he told me to tell you guys because he’s aware of these questions being asked often,” manager Torey Lovullo said Friday, relaying a recent conversation between the two.

“And he said just tell them that I suck.”

Of course, the response drew laughter from the media.

But, Goldschmidt doesn’t believe he sucks, does he?

“No,” he said, smiling after the D-backs had lost their third straight game.

“You feel bad. You want to contribute to the team. I mean, I’ve gone 0-for-4, 0-for-5, punched out plenty of times and I know that (Lovullo) is having to deal with questions from you guys. That’s kind of where that 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 got to deal with not going out there and performing, I can do that but when it affects our team and it affects other guys, that stinks. And that’s kind of where that comment—I was like, you don’t have to cover for me. It’s pretty obvious I’ve gone out there and haven’t performed. I was just like, just say the truth. It was not, ‘I suck’ but that was the words I used to kind of make light of the situation,” Goldschmidt continued.

“I know he’s having to answer a lot of questions and other guys, too, around this team and that’s kind of where that was coming from was just be honest.”

Counting Friday’s effort, Goldschmidt is now 3-for-38 (.079) with 12 strikeouts in May. Overall, he’s struck out 50 times in 38 games.

The quality at-bats just aren’t there.

Asked how he feels physically, Goldschmidt offered up no excuses, just the same explanation: He’s struggling, and struggling bad right now.

“There’s not too many different ways to say it. I mean, I just haven’t performed. It’s part of the game, but it’s hurt us at times early this year,” he said, standing at his locker in what was an otherwise quiet clubhouse.

“The guys have picked me up and done a really good job. Our pitching and the different hitters have came up big when I haven’t gotten the job done. I’m thankful for that. But, obviously, you want to contribute, you want to help the team and just try to keep doing that on a daily basis.”

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