WASHINGTON — World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg was scratched from what was supposed to be his first start of the season for the Washington Nationals on Saturday night because of a nerve issue with his right hand.

Nationals Manager Dave Martinez announced about four hours before the scheduled first pitch against the visiting New York Yankees that Strasburg would be replaced as his team’s starter by Erick Fedde.

Strasburg described the problem as a nerve impingement in his wrist and said it initially arose early this month when teams reconvened for a ramp-up to the regular season. One of the first symptoms was that his hand would fall asleep.

He felt something wrong from his wrist to his thumb, particularly during his most recent appearance, in an exhibition game against the Baltimore Orioles last week.

“It got to the point where I didn’t have the same feeling in my hand holding the ball,” Strasburg said, “and it was affecting my ability to command the baseball the way I’m accustomed to.”

The right-hander said he felt improvement in his fingers after receiving his “last shot” on Friday – both he and Martinez likened the treatment to a cortisone injection – but Strasburg didn’t elaborate when asked whether that meant he got more than one.

“Nerve issues are pretty fickle,” Strasburg said.

He said he hopes resting now will allow him to “be back much sooner than if I try to gut it out at this point.”

“Hopefully this is a day-to-day thing,” said Martinez. “We want to be cautious.”

SATURDAY’S GAMES

ROCKIES 3, RANGERS 2: Daniel Bard won in his first major league game in more than seven years, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief for visiting Colorado.

Bard, the former Red Sox pitcher whose control troubles ran him out of baseball, got the Rockies out of a jam when he took over for starter Jon Gray with two on and two outs in the fifth. The right-hander worked around two more base runners in the sixth, getting Willie Calhoun on an inning-ending flyout to cap an 11-pitch at-bat.

TIGERS 6, REDS 4: Miguel Cabrera passed two stars with a homer, and JaCoby Jones hit a two-run shot in the ninth as Detroit rallied for a win at Cincinnati.

Cabrera salvaged his four-strikeout day with a seventh-inning, two-run home run that lifted Detroit to a brief 4-3 lead and broke a tie with Adrian Beltre for 30th place on the career home run list.

Cabrera now has 478.

The two RBI boosted Cabrera past Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. and into 25th place on the career list with 1,696. He needs three to tie another Hall of Famer, Jim Thome.

BREWERS 8, CUBS 3: Christian Yelich and Justin Smoak hit long home runs, umpires intervened before a shouting match between the teams got too serious, and Milwaukee won at Wrigley Field.

Without fans at Wrigley, players from both teams could be heard shouting toward each other from their dugouts before the start of the fourth inning.

All-Star catcher Willson Contreras seemed to be barking the loudest from the warning track in front of the Cubs dugout, and several players from both sides popped out onto dirt near their benches. Umpires jumped in and calmed things down quickly before players could cross the foul lines.

In an in-game interview during the Brewers telecast, Milwaukee Manager Craig Counsell said empty ballparks may create a new on-field dynamic.

“I think this is going to be part of this season,” Counsell said. “Both dugouts can hear each other and umpires can hear everything. There’s talking that goes on in game you never hear with all the fans here. It’s just part of the game.”

WHITE SOX 10, TWINS 3: Leury García homered from both sides of the plate, helping Dallas Keuchel and Chicago pound visiting Minnesota.

Edwin Encarnación hit a two-run drive, and Eloy Jiménez and James McCann also went deep for Chicago.

Keuchel allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his White Sox debut after agreeing to a $55.5 million, three-year contract in December.

ASTROS 7, MARINERS 2: Lance McCullers Jr. was solid in his return from Tommy John surgery, Yuli Gurriel and George Springer homered and Houston beat visiting Seattle for the 15th straight time.

McCullers yielded five hits and two runs over six innings in his first game since the 2018 playoffs.

BRAVES 5, METS 3: Marcell Ozuna hit a tying homer off shaky closer Edwin Díaz with two outs in the ninth inning, Dansby Swanson scored automatic runner Adam Duvall with a leadoff single in the 10th, and Atlanta won at New York.

CARDINALS 9, PIRATES 1: Paul Goldschmidt homered, Adam Wainwright pitched six solid innings, and St. Louis won at home.

RAYS 4, BLUE JAYS 1: Brandon Lowe’s two-run triple snapped an eighth-inning tie and sent Tampa Bay past visiting Toronto.

ANGELS 4, ATHLETICS 1: Dylan Bundy pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning in his Angels debut and Justin Upton homered to lead Los Angeles to a win at Oakland.

ROYALS 3, INDIANS 2: Maikel Franco hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning, and Greg Holland struck out the top of Cleveland’s order to strand the tying run at second base in the bottom of the 10th as Kansas City won at Cleveland.

GIANTS 5, DODGERS 4: Wilmer Flores homered to help Gabe Kapler get his first win as San Francisco manager.

PHILLIES 7, MARLINS 1: Phil Gosselin homered twice, Didi Gregorius went deep again and new dad Zack Wheeler won his Philadelphia, beating visiting Miami.

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