"It's hard for a guy like me to take a chance if it is torn a little bit," he said. "You don't want to go to the field and tear it completely, because then you are going to lose a lot of time."
If it were a different player, and a different situation, the Brewers might have resisted placing Gomez on the DL.
But left fielder Ryan Braun has been dealing with a tight right Achilles -- he was back in the lineup Saturday -- and the Brewers did not want to risk playing a man short for a full week.
Then there's Gomez's all-out style, which has made him a valuable bench player and occasional Brewers starter but has also sent him to the DL every year since he was traded from Minnesota to Milwaukee. In May 2010, he hurt his left shoulder diving into second base. Last July, he fractured his left collarbone making a terrific diving catch at Arizona.
On Friday night, Gomez was hustling to first base on a flyout to center field. When he rounded first and put on the brakes, he felt his left hamstring "grab."
"It's really bad and frustrating that ... you're hurt when you play the game right and do exactly what you're supposed to do," Gomez said.
Roenicke does not often tell players to stop playing so hard, but said he has had conversations along those lines with Gomez.
"It's hard to ever have an issue with someone who plays at 100 percent," Roenicke said. "I guess the issue would be that, at 95 percent, I don't think he's going to hurt himself, and at 95 percent Gomey is still faster than anybody we have in this locker room. And nobody would know the difference. At 100 percent, there's that extra that you put on those muscles that strains them to the point where something could happen.
"I talked to him. 'Go 100 percent when you steal a base. Go 100 percent when you're running down a ball.' That's the way he plays and I still want him to play hard, but it doesn't have to be 100 [percent.]"
He added with a smile: "It's not very often I tell someone to back off from 100 percent. I love the way he plays."