MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada left Monday’s 10-2 loss to Oakland in the fifth inning with a strained left hamstring and is listed as day to day.
Estrada gave up three straight hits to start the fifth inning and had to exit after Jed Lowrie’s RBI double. He felt the hamstring the pitch prior to Lowrie’s double, but elected to try and stay in. Estrada then felt it pop and had a sharp pain on the next pitch, and was unable to quickly cover home plate on the hit.
Estrada doesn’t feel this hamstring injury is as bad as when he tore his left hamstring with Washington in 2009.
“I don’t feel like it’s really bad, because I popped it before and I wasn’t able to stand on it,” Estrada said. “Right now I can put pressure on it. It’s fine. It’s just trying to extend my leg, trying to stretch it. That’s when I feel the sharp pain.”
Oakland eventually scored six runs on eight hits in the inning, as reliever Burke Badenhop gave up four hits and two walks after replacing Estrada.
Estrada allowed solo home runs to Coco Crisp in the first inning and Brandon Moss in the second inning to trail 2-0 heading into the fifth inning. The right-hander allowed five earned runs on nine hits in four innings, raising his ERA to 5.32.
The Brewers are already struggling and shorthanded in the rotation, as reliever Alfredo Figaro will make his second start of the season Friday. He’ll fill the rotation spot vacated by right-hander Mike Fiers, who was sent to Triple-A Nashville on Monday morning.
“This couldn’t have come at a worse time,” Estrada said. “We’ve been struggling and I felt like I had things under control. Next thing you know this happens. I decided to stay out there for another pitch, and I don’t know why. It didn’t help me out at all. I couldn’t really reach out and extend. I left the ball up and I just hurt myself some more, and the team.”
A quad strain landed Estrada on the DL last season, and the right-hander admitted he’s felt both the hamstring and quad bothering him this season.
“Nothing has been bad until today when I actually felt it pop a little bit,” Estrada said. “I’m not sure how bad it is. Like I said, I can’t get over my front side. I won’t be able to stretch it out right now. Hopefully tomorrow it feels better, but right now it just hurts to try and stretch it.”
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he didn’t know if Estrada would be able to bounce back and make his scheduled start Saturday against Philadelphia. If Estrada can’t make his next turn, the Brewers will really be scrambling to fill their rotation.
“I hope so, I really do,” Estrada said of making his next start. “Obviously, if it feels like this in the next couple of days I won’t be able to. I can only hope for the best right now.”
The loss dropped the Brewers to 21-35 and 16.5 games out of first place in the National League Central. After two wins in Philadelphia, Milwaukee has dropped two in a row. To Estrada, this season has been even worse than what he saw as the worst case scenario coming into the season.
“I know since I’ve been here we’ve always started slow,” Estrada said. “We’ve gone back a couple of times and seen that our record is pretty close to what it’s been the past two years. But you know, we are just digging ourselves into a bigger hole right now. It’s starting to get to that point where it’s a little late. I know we are going to turn it around. I keep saying this team is way too good to keep playing this bad.
“I still believe things are going to turn around. We are just too good. It will turn around.”