The Washington Nationals have not had much to smile about this year. Not only are they in the NL East basement once again, but they traded star outfielder Juan Soto after they were unable to come to an agreement on an extension. Their rebuilding process is in full swing and could last for some time.
Saturday night provided one rare bright spot for the Nationals. Nelson Cruz had been down 0-2 against Adrian Morejon in the bottom of the eighth before battling back to a full count. He then poked a ground ball into right field, collecting his 2000th career hit.
Washington Nationals designated hitter Nelson Cruz cements place in history
That base hit made Cruz the sixth active player with at least 2000 career hits, joining Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Yadier Molina, and Joey Votto. He also became the 292nd player in MLB history to reach that milestone, breaking a three way tie with Jimmy Collins and Ian Kinsler in the process. Considering that there are 30 players within 50 hits of Cruz on the all time list, he should continue to move up the rankings this year.
Cruz also made his mark in Dominican baseball history with that base hit. He became the 17th major league from the Dominican Republic to notch at least 2000 base hits, joining Pujols and Cano in that group. As Cruz is 42 years old, he may not have enough time to catch Cesar Cedeno on that list, but his place is guaranteed regardless.
Even if time is not on his side, Cruz has had an impressive career. A seven time All Star and four time Silver Slugger, he has also belted over 450 homers in his career, reaching the 30 home run plateau eight times. It is fair to wonder how valid some of his accomplishments may be as he was suspended for 50 games in 2013 as part of the Biogenesis scandal, but he remained one of the top sluggers in the game long after that point.
The Washington Nationals have not had many bright spots in 2022. Nelson Cruz notching his 2000th career hit was a rare positive this year.