Nelson Cruz stole five bases total between 2017-2021, in seven attempts, and he did steal three last season, but it was still a bit surprising to see him and catcher Keibert Ruiz swipe bases together on a double steal after they both singled in the seventh inning last night, and especially considering the Nats were down 9-4 at the time, in the second of three against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Washington, D.C.’s Nationals Park.
Cruz also drove in a run in the first, then went first-to-third on a Josh Bell single, on which he would have been out if Dodgers’ center fielder Chris Taylor’s throw to Justin Turner at third was caught, but it wasn’t, and forcing a throw allowed him to score, when the ball skipped by the bag and into the third base dugout.
“Definitely has been a rough few days, but you just try to do your part,” Cruz said of action on the basepaths in the last few games.
With a 3 for 5 night in the 9-4 loss, Cruz is now 20 for 60 (.333/.385/.467) over his last 16 games, with two doubles and two home runs, and six multi-hit games over that stretch.
“Definitely feels better, my approach is getting better also, I’ve been hitting the ball where it’s pitched, so it feels good,” he said of the recent run, which has him at .219/.292/.311 for the year.
Though the Nationals lost again, manager Davey Martinez said he liked the hustle from his club.
“Keibert is playing really well. As you can see, man, these guys are playing hard. You’ve got Nelson Cruz going first-to-third, you’ve got Keibert stealing third, you got [Yadiel Hernandez] diving all over the place, going after balls, off the wall, everything, so we just got to keep playing hard, we’ve got to get better starting pitching, they got to keep us in the ballgame, I know we’re going to hit, so we just got to keep battling, we’ve got to keep going
Will the Nationals be able to salvage another series finale as they did in each of the last two series?