Luke Voit was scratched from the lineup before the second of three with the Padres in Petco Park on Friday night, and the former San Diego slugger, acquired by Washington in the deal which sent Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Friars, was scratched again for the third of four on Saturday night.
“He’s got back spasms,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters before last night’s game.
“Yesterday he had them really bad. Today, he said it was a lot better, but he’s still getting them.
“So I’d rather have him available to pinch-hit than him go out there and all of a sudden after one or two innings he gets — tight, and we’ve got to take him out.”
With Voit out of the lineup (but available to pinch hit according to his manager), Martinez put Joey Meneses at first base, and he talked before last night’s game about the versatile roster he’s working with right now.
“It’s been great. It really has,” Martinez said of using Meneses at first base or in the outfield depending on what he needs on a daily basis. “And he’s done well in both positions.
“He had some balls hit hard at him yesterday, made some nice plays, and also in the outfield he moves fairly, and like I said I was really surprised how good he throws the ball. He throws the ball very well, and very [accurately].”
Meneses went 2 for 4 in the 2-1 loss last night, leaving him 20 for 62 (.323/.354/.581) with five home runs and a double so far since he was called up after the trade deadline.
Lane Thomas went 2 for 4 with a home run, driving in the Nationals’ only run, and Nelson Cruz, CJ Abrams, and Ildemaro Vargas connected for a hit each, but as a club, they were ultimately 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position and eight left on base in the one-run L.
“We fell short,” Martinez said after the game. “We couldn’t score any runs today, we score a few more runs it would be a different story. We’re playing well, we just got to keep going.”
Will Voit be back in there today? Will the Nationals win the series, or settle for a split of the four-game series? We’ll find out at 4:10 PM ET today.