Nelson Cruz left the lineup in the second game of three in Wrigley Field after five innings with an issue with his shoulder which the 42-year-old, 18-year-veteran tweaked in the course of going 0 for 2 with a K against Chicago Cubs’ starter Marcus Stroman.
“I saw him take a swing and he didn’t look right,” manager Davey Martinez told reporters after the Washington Nationals’ one win in the visit to the Windy City, on Tuesday night, “and then he took another swing, and on a high fastball he came in and he was kind trying to stretch it out, and we asked him what was going on and he said he felt something in his back shoulder tighten up on him, so he tried to hit in the cage, he just couldn’t get it loose, so we decided to get him out of there and get him checked on.”
Cruz didn’t start in the series finale with the Cubbies, with his manager telling reporters the club was being cautious with the DH in D.C.
“Especially with the quick turnaround,” Martinez said. “We played last night, and he had to come out of the game. I thought regardless of how he felt, maybe to give him a day (off) today would be good. I talked to him this morning and he said: ‘Let me get loose, let me get ready and I’ll be available to pinch hit later.’”
Cruz did come on as a pinch hitter late in the game, singling off closer Rowan Wick in the eighth to keep the inning alive before his pinch runner was stranded. Will Cruz be in the lineup for tonight’s series opener in the nation’s capital?
And how about Luis García? The 22-year-old shortstop was a late scratch before the finale in Wrigley, with Martinez, in his post game press conference, explaining it was a right knee issue.
“He had a little soreness in his right knee, so I didn’t want to take any chances,” the fifth-year skipper said. “He got some treatment, he said he felt better throughout the game, so with the day off tomorrow we’ll see how he feels come Friday.”
Who’s in to take on Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and the rest of the San Diego Padres?
HERE’S THE NATIONALS’ LINEUP FOR THE 1ST OF 3 WITH THE PADRES: