MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames was in still in excruciating pain as he dressed to depart Miller Park after fouling a pitch off his right foot in the eighth inning Wednesday, and that was just the start of the Brewers' problems.On the same night the Cubs beat the Cardinals to clinch
MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames was in still in excruciating pain as he dressed to depart Miller Park after fouling a pitch off his right foot in the eighth inning Wednesday, and that was just the start of the Brewers' problems.
On the same night the Cubs beat the Cardinals to clinch the National League Central title and the Rockies beat the Marlins to move closer to the second NL Wild Card spot, the Brewers took a 6-0 loss to Homer Bailey and the Reds while losing Thames for the final inning and a half -- and maybe more. He'd fouled pitches off that same spot of the same foot on two prior occasions this month.
X-rays were negative, but Thames was unsure whether he'd be able to play Thursday's regular-season home finale.
"Whenever you have the guard, it hits right next to where the guard is," said Thames, referring to the protective covering over his shin and ankle. "If I had a bigger guard, it would probably hit my toenails or something."
Asked whether he expected to be able to play Thursday, Thames said, "I'm going to ice again when I go home and we'll see how the swelling is. Tomorrow is another story. I'm going to have to flatten out my swing a little bit. I'm hitting too many balls off my foot."
It was the kind of day on which everything that could go wrong, did, starting with the Rockies rolling to a 15-9 win over the Marlins in Denver and continuing in St. Louis, where the Cubs won to dash the Brewers' hopes of a miracle run to the NL Central crown.
Then Brandon Woodruff was charged with six runs in 2 1/3 innings against the Reds while the Brewers were shut down by Bailey, who had not completed seven innings in any of his 2017 starts. The veteran Reds right-hander had a 7.07 ERA in three previous starts this season against Milwaukee but scattered four hits across seven frames.
With four games to play, the Brewers trail the Rockies by 2 1/2 games for the last Wild Card spot. Colorado is idle Thursday while the Brewers face the Reds in the series finale.
"You have to earn these wins," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Tonight we didn't do much on both sides with starting pitching, and then offensively we didn't do well enough to give ourselves a chance."
If he can play, Thames could give the Brewers a better chance on Thursday, since he has hit 10 of his 31 homers this season against the Reds. But he struggled to get dressed following his postgame shower, telling reporters that he'd fouled baseballs off his foot in Chicago and Pittsburgh this month.
When he did it again Thursday, he went down in pain and had to be helped off the field by a member of Milwaukee's athletic training staff.
Thames said the Brewers probably have to win all of their remaining games -- Thursday against the Reds and three on the road at St. Louis this weekend -- to have a chance to surpass Colorado.
"Oh yeah. It was like that a week ago," Thames said. "Every time the Rockies play, they're on the TV [in the clubhouse]. I know they have an off-day [Thursday], so it's must-win. We have to. All of us, we're packing for 10 days. We're not going to be happy just going to [St. Louis]."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.