It was a left knee injury that kept Aramis Ramirez out at the start of the season, and it's a left knee injury that will likely end it as well.
Ramirez tweaked the knee in the first inning of Wednesday's game against the Braves -- during a bench-clearing dust up that Ramirez had no part in, incidentally -- and after the game the third baseman sounded pessimistic about his chances of playing again this year.
"With four games left, it doesn't look good," Ramirez said after the game.
It would be a fittingly frustrating end to a frustrating season for the 35-year-old. After dealing with left knee issues during spring training, Ramirez played in just four games before reinjuring the knee against the Diamondbacks on April 5. The injury kept him out of action a month, eventually returning on May 3. Left knee problems also forced him to miss over a month of games between July and August.
The issues limited Ramirez to just 90 games and 302 at-bats for the year. If he doesn't play another inning this season, his 12 home runs would be his lowest total since 2000. Ramirez owns a .281/.370/.460 line on the season.
The injury was just the latest blow to a Brewers team limping to the finish. They lost shortstop Jean Segura to a potentially season-ending hamstring injury last week, and now they may be without the entire left side of their infield for the final four games. An infield of Yuniesky Betancourt, Jeff Bianchi, Scooter Gennett and Sean Halton in the season's final days is a real possibility, people. This is not a drill.
Click here for the latest MLB Player News on Ramirez and everyone else, and follow @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter for all the newest developments. Feel free to shoot any fantasy questions to @Nate_Grimm as we head down the home stretch as well.
What's The Schoop
Jonathan Schoop didn't make his major league debut until the 158th game of the season, but the 21-year-old made it worth the wait.
Schoop went 2-for-3 with a home run and three runs scored in his debut. He started at second base in place of Brian Roberts and batted eighth for the Orioles.
Schoop isn't a can't-miss prospect but is still highly regarded within the Orioles' system, and prior to the 2012 season he was rated as the 82nd-best prospect in baseball by Baseball America. He missed time to a back injury that limited him to just 81 minor league games this season.
The second baseman will likely have a more defined role with the big club next season, and after batting .278/.330/.460 across three minor league levels this year he'll be a player to keep an eye on going forward.
Out On A High Note
As the races have tightened down the stretch, some pitchers stepped up their games accordingly in their final starts of the season on Wednesday.
Max Scherzer was effectively wild in earning his 21st win of the season, as he handed out six walks but held the Twins scoreless over seven innings. The odds-on favorite to win the American League Cy Young award finished with a 21-3 record, 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts in 214 2/3 innings this season.
Not to be outdone, Hisashi Iwakuma dashed the playoff hopes of the Royals by holding them scoreless over eight innings. Iwakuma struck out nine while allowing just four hits, and the right-hander's season ends with a 14-6 record and 2.66 ERA.
But the best night was had by Kyle Lohse. After the Brewers and Braves scuffled in the first inning, Lohse did his best Brian McCann impression and didn't let the Braves touch home plate on the evening. Lohse finished the game allowing just two hits and needed just 89 pitches to complete the shutout. In his first year with the Brewers, Lohse compiled an 11-10 record and 3.35 ERA over 32 starts.
National League Quick Hits: The aforementioned Jean Segura is going to test his injured right hamstring in New York this weekend. His most recent attempt at running on Tuesday didn't go well ... Andre Ethier's sprained left ankle isn't healing as the Dodgers had hoped. He might not be ready to go for the team's first-round playoff series ... Carlos Gomez and Freddie Freeman were ejected in the first inning of Wednesday's game after benches cleared following Gomez' home run. The hit was Gomez' only at-bat of the night, while Freeman was tossed before getting a plate appearance ... Carlos Gonzalez (finger) "felt OK" but "not great" during a batting practice session on Wednesday. The odds of him returning to bat again this season are still very slim ... Billy Hamilton was caught stealing for the first time Wednesday. One out of every 14 attempts is still alright.
American League Quick Hits: Jhonny Peralta will be reinstated by the Tigers on Friday. Peralta has been working in left field during his 50-game suspension for performance enhancing drugs, and he may also see some time at shortstop depending on the condition of Jose Iglesias' fingers. Iglesias could return as early as Friday ... Michael Brantley had his third consecutive three-hit game on Wednesday. The outfielder is 17 for his last 35 ... Avisail Garcia has also been scorching hot of late. Garcia is 12-for-30 with three home runs and eight RBI during a seven-game hitting streak ... Kyle Drabek left Wednesday's game after being hit in the right ankle by a comebacker, but X-rays came back negative. He's considered day-to-day ... Moises Sierra (ankle) is expected back in the lineup on Thursday ... an MRI on Oswaldo Arcia's right knee came back negative. He should be back on the field sometime over the final weekend ... Jacoby Ellsbury (foot) returned to the Red Sox lineup on Wednesday. He went 1-for-2 with two runs scored before exiting ... Mike Napoli (foot) is expected to return to the Red Sox lineup on Friday. He's missed the past four games due to the injury ... X-rays on Michael Bourn's right wrist came back negative. He's day-to-day.
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- Aramis Ramirez
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