The Milwaukee Brewers took the field against the St. Louis Cardinals for a key divisional game on Sunday afternoon. John Lackey made his debut on the mound for St. Louis. Matt Garza started opposite Lackey for Milwaukee.
Both starting pitchers performed admirably, but unfortunately for Garza, he was not able to pitch past the sixth inning due to injury.
That was unfortunate news for the Brewers as well, because Garza was in the midst of a sparkling performance. All he needed with 71 pitches to log six innings of shutout baseball with four strikeouts and just one hit allowed.
The chance for a gem of a start and a potential decision in a key victory was thwarted at that point, however, by an oblique injury for Garza. Per Bob Nightengale:
Matt Garza tweaks left oblique #brewers that forced him out of the game
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) August 3, 2014
In the end Lackey was able to get a victory in his first start for the Cardinals thanks to seven innings of two-run work and a collapse by the Brewers’ bullpen in Garza’s stead.
Besides a tough loss on Sunday, this injury stands to potentially have longer implications for the Brewers. Already a bit thin on the back end of their rotation, they were rumored to be in the mix for trade talks for Jon Lester at this week’s deadline. To then lose Garza for any period of time in that context is the last thing they need.
As the Brewers prep for a home stand against the monsters of the NL West, the Giants and the Dodgers, they will hope that this injury to Garza is nothing serious.