As noted in our handy little ALCS Game 5 Live Blog, Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz was pulled from Wednesday’s game because of tightness in his left hamstring — the same hamstring that forced him to the disabled list twice this year. He landed on the disabled list a third time with right hamstring problems.
For now, it appears the slugger will be fine for the rest of the postseason.
Cruz told MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez after Wednesday’s loss that he was pulled for precautionary reasons and that he should be good to go by Game 6 on Friday.
The 30-year-old is batting .378/.410/.838 with four home runs and five doubles over 37 at-bats in these 2010 playoffs. He is a monster at the plate and will play a crucial role in what will either be a horrible collapse or a joyous celebration in this ALCS with New York. The Rangers, as a franchise, have never been to the World Series and have only been to the playoffs four times since 1961.
Pirates right-hander Joe Musgrove is done for the year after suffering an abdominal wall muscle strain and stress reaction in his pelvic bone. While he isn’t expected to undergo surgery or miss additional time in 2019, he’s been prescribed six weeks of rest before resuming any baseball-related activities.
Musgrove, 25, finished out his third year in Pittsburgh with a 6-9 record in 19 starts, backed by a 4.06 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, and 7.8 SO/9. Despite logging a career-high 115 1/3 innings at the major league level, he’s also been dogged by a string of injuries, from the shoulder strain that robbed him of eight weeks at the start of the season to an index finger infection that kept him sidelined for a minimum 10-day stay on the disabled list in June.
While he works his way back up to full strength yet again, rookie right-hander Nick Kingham is expected to cover for him and will make a spot start during the Pirates’ series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t started a single game for the team since August 1, and currently carries a 4.69 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 over 71 innings out of the rotation and bullpen.