Garza exits early with bruised right thumb
Brewers will evaluate injury before making decision on next start
ST. LOUIS -- On a day the Brewers badly needed innings from starter Matt Garza, he was knocked out with nobody out in the fourth inning due to a bruised right thumb.
Garza was hurt on his broken-bat groundout in the top of the fourth inning, and head trainer Dan Wright and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke visited the mound after Garza walked the first hitter he faced in the bottom of the frame to examine Garza's right hand. After returning to the mound to throw a warmup pitch, Garza walked off the field.
Following the Brewers' 9-3 loss, Garza expressed frustration about his mediocre April -- he fell to 1-3 with a 5.00 ERA -- and predicted he would make his next start as scheduled.
"[The injury] put the cherry on top of a pretty crappy day," Garza said. "But, whatever. Just get ready for five days, and go from there. I'm going to make sure I'm OK by then. I'm not here to skip a start; I'm here to pitch. I want to get back out there."
Garza's next scheduled start is Monday against the D-backs at Miller Park.
"We don't really know yet," Roenicke said of Garza's status. "His thumb is swollen and black and blue already. If it gets worse, we'll have to talk about what to do there."
Rule 5 Draft pick Wei-Chung Wang took over with the Cardinals leading, 4-3. It was only Wang's fourth appearance this season. Brewers relievers had already thrown 193 pitches in the first two games of the series, each of which went extra innings, and Roenicke spoke before the game about the potential of calling in an extra arm for Thursday's series opener in Cincinnati.
Garza had a tough day. The Brewers spotted him a 3-1 lead on home runs by Mark Reynolds and Carlos Gomez, but Garza let it get away during a 43-pitch third inning. Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams delivered the big blow, a three-run home run.
In the fourth, Wang surrendered a two-run double to Allen Craig with two outs to finalize Garza's line: five runs on five hits with four walks and four strikeouts in three-plus innings.
Eighteen of Garza's pitches in the third came after catcher Jonathan Lucroy was charged with a passed ball that allowed Greg Garcia to reach first base on what otherwise would have been an inning-ending strikeout.
Garza is the only member of the Brewers' five-man rotation with an ERA above 3.00.
"It's been a consistent battle for me so far this year," Garza said. "I don't know if it's me fighting myself or me trying to do too much, or what it is, but it needs to stop. I'm not happy. I'm really disappointed in myself. I'm going to figure it out. I'm going to carry my weight on this team and I'm going to do my part. Right now, I'm not.
"It's probably, maybe, something small. By no [means] am I caving or anything like that. I'm just getting frustrated to the point I want to keep going, keep going, and maybe just slowing down a little bit is what I need to do. I'm really disappointed in the way things turned out today."