Thames, Pina out of lineup for home finale

Thames, Pina out of lineup for home finale

MILWAUKEE -- Eric Thames was sidelined for Thursday's regular-season home finale -- a 4-3 win over the Reds -- with a bruised and battered right foot, joining catcher Manny Pina on the injury report and forcing the Brewers to play a critical game in the National League Wild Card race without one of their most potentially impactful bats and a key defender.

Such is life for a team playing Game No. 159 of a Major League Baseball season, manager Craig Counsell said.

"I'm always really of the mindset that this is part of sports. Injuries are part of sports," Counsell said. "We try to build depth to cover for injuries because they are going to happen. You try to prevent them and try to do our best to be protected by them, but they are going to happen. To me, complaining about it is useless and not productive. You just move forward with it."

Thames needed help off the field Wednesday night and could barely walk in the clubhouse after fouling an eighth-inning pitch off his right foot, the same spot he'd struck on two previous occasions this month.

Thames leaves with an injury

X-rays were negative, but a round of treatment Thursday morning was not enough to get Thames into playing shape for the Brewers' series finale against the Reds. Thames has hit 10 of his 31 home runs this season against Cincinnati pitching.

"It's what we expected," Counsell said. "From a guy who has broken bones doing that, the fact we don't have any broken bones and it's just missing a day, we're fortunate. It happens. Eric has got a shin guard on, [the foul tips are] just missing it. He's trying to protect himself. It hit a bad spot and it's going to cost him a day, unfortunately."

Pina, sidelined since spraining his left thumb on a tag of Anthony Rizzo in Friday's extra-inning loss to the Cubs, reported moderate improvement on Thursday after playing catch.

Asked whether he believed he would be able to get into one of the Brewers' remaining four regular season games, Pina said, "We'll see. I hope."

Said Counsell: "He's not ready for a game yet, but we'll keep working toward it."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.