Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain entered Saturday’s vital game in Colorado with an already-busted leg, nursing both a left ankle and a left knee injury. But with the Brewers in a tight race against the dreaded St. Louis Cardinals for the National League Central crown, Cain not only suited up and played, but had one of the best fielding days you’ll see from anyone, quickly deteriorating limb or not.
First, with Milwaukee up 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Cain laid out to end the inning with a gorgeous diving catch, one that got an over-the-top celebration from Brewers pitcher Brent Suter:
That was just the appetizer for the next inning, though. After the Brewers extended their lead to 2-0 in the top half of the seventh, the Rockies put a runner on base for second baseman Garrett Hampson, who promptly ripped a drive to deep center. Despite the fact that he was very clearly limping after making the previous catch, Cain was able to track the ball and time his jump almost perfectly to rob the potential game-tying home run:
The night ended horribly for Cain and the Brewers, though: in the top of the ninth, he tried to stretch Milwaukee’s lead to 3-1, but a collision with Rockies catcher Tony Wolters finally did his left leg in for good:
He was subbed out, Rockies pinch-hitter Sam Hilliard hit a two-out homer in the bottom half of the ninth to send it to extras, and then shortstop Trevor Story won it for Colorado in the 10th with a dinger of his own.
After the game, Cain spoke to the media about his leg, and he didn’t sound like a man who will be ready to play in Sunday’s season finale:
Still up in the air right now. I’m going to do everything I need to do to play tomorrow. I’m not feeling good right now, but I’ll get a lot of treatment in, and hopefully, it feels better tomorrow. I’m not sure what it’s going to feel like. It’s a wait-and-see-type thing.
With the Cardinals up a game with one remaining, it’s likely that the late-game collapse will send Milwaukee to the Wild Card round, where they would face the Washington Nationals. That game would be Tuesday night, giving Cain just three days to tape his leg together in order to play in the sudden-death playoff game. Given the magic he created on Saturday on an already-hobbled leg, it’s a safe bet to say he’ll be out there if he’s at all capable of walking, never mind running.