Is MLB pitch clock responsible for the increase in pitching injuries?
We’ve seen the number of pitching injuries skyrocket in 2023, but our pundits tell us why we shouldn’t be so quick to blame the clock.
Sports Seriously, USA TODAY
The Milwaukee Brewers fell to the San Francisco Giants, 15-1, in a bad game they’d soon rather forget, but it wasn’t hard to see why their minds might not have been fully focused on the action between the white lines at American Family Field Friday night.
The Brewers were playing with their attention naturally diverted for nearly the entire game after shortstop Willy Adames was hit on the head by a foul ball while on the top step of the dugout in the second inning.
As manager Craig Counsell put it, “You’re worried.”
Adames, the Brewers’ heartbeat who was voted team MVP in each of his two seasons with the team, left the stadium and was taken to the hospital for further imaging and testing after fouling a shot by Brian Anderson by Giants pitcher Alex Wood went straight to the first base dugout and hit Adames directly.
“Initially from the sound it made, I thought it was hitting the padded pad,” said Brewers infielder Mike Brosseau, on deck at the time. “The way they reacted, you’re getting scared, and then after a couple of seconds they were on the bench I realized it was a little more serious than that. I felt it more than I saw it.”
Imaging done after Adames was taken to hospital showed no fractures.
Adames will be held in hospital overnight and likely released on Saturday morning. He will request time off the injured list with a concussion, but all in all, Counsell noted, the news could have been much worse.
“He was alert and responsive as he left, and then we had good news at the hospital as well,” Counsell said. “Obviously he is in pain. But I think overall it’s not bad news considering how scary he was.
The Brewers played weird afterward – and understandably so.
“It’s definitely a factor. I’ve always said it: Willy is the catalyst for this team,” said Brosseau. “What that brings to this team, what it means to this team, to see him go down like that and really nobody knows the severity of it, it’s pretty scary, pretty scary.”
Peralta, one of Adames’ best friends and a locker neighbor in the clubhouse, had to take the mound minutes after Adames was hit. Lui gave up seven runs in the next inning, though only two of them were earned after the Brewers—who were upset overall—combined to err on three separate ground balls.
“It definitely struck everyone, definitely Freddy as the guy who has to go out there and pitch, and as close as he gets, as much as anyone else,” Counsell said. “It just wasn’t a good night.”
JD Davis and Mitch Haniger each led in runs with doubles in the inning, then three batters after Peralta would have been out of the inning but for errors, Giants second baseman Brett Wisely hit a home run three points to blow the game open, 10-1.
“It was really hard for me because of some feelings inside of me and everything,” said Brewers starting pitcher Freddy Peralta. “I knew I had a game and had to get back on the mound. But I had it on my mind. It was hard for me.”
San Francisco would go on to tack on five points against reliever Ethan Small, who was making his season debut with Milwaukee.
The Brewers opened the game loading the bases with no one out against Wood, but scored only once on a Christian Yelich ground-out double play.
Peralta said he planned to try to visit Adames on Friday night after he left the stadium.
We’ve known each other for years,” Peralta said. “We’ve been together, friends together – close friends together – for about seven, eight years. It’s hard to see someone you love having that moment.”
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