Up 7-1 in the 6th inning against the lowly San Diego Padres, appearing likely to extend a winning streak to eight games following a 2-8 start, the Brewers' best starting pitcher to date attempted a sac bunt. Hit too hard, the sacrifice turned into an out as the Padres gunned down the lead runner at second. Kyle Lohse, who was throwing a gem, jogged out the fielder's choice and, in the process, somehow injured his left pinky finger against the first baseman's body. There was no throw on the play. He was immediately taken out of the game after it appeared the trainer attempted but failed to pop the possible dislocated digit into place. Now, the announcers are speculating Lohse's left pinky finger -- on his non-throwing hand -- might be broken.
I am biased, to be sure, but it sure seems like the Brewers have been stung by an unusual number of injuries the past couple years.
Last year, Mat Gamel, who was supposed to be the replacement for Prince Fielder, tore an ACL chasing down a routine pop fly in foul territory. Jonathan Lucroy, on pace to make the all-star team (in my humble opinion), broke his hand in a hotel suitcase incident when, as legend goes, he reached under the bed in search of a sock at his wife's behest and a suitcase just happened to fall on his hand.
For certain, that excuse is cleverer than "I just fell down."
But (possibly) breaking a finger jogging to first base by having your hand brush against the first baseman's body as your foot touches the base?
Lohse has a 2.52 ERA, four quality starts, and, if the Brewers can hold a 7-1 lead after 7.1 IP, is going to move to 1-1 on the year. Suffice it to say, losing their best starting pitcher on top of Hart and Ramirez would be a major blow. The likely candidate to replace Lohse would be Fiers, the rookie standout from last year in the midst of a major swoon who was just sent back down to the minors.
If that worst case scenario occurred, the Brewers would have three starting pitchers who began 2012 in AAA or lower.
UPDATE: A little birdie told me Lohse only suffered a dislocated pinky finger and he hopes to make his next start. The Brewers caught a break there. Er, avoided one. Ha ha, get it?