Everyone’s heard of adding insult to injury, but what about adding injury to insult?
Steve Clevenger’s swing and miss in the bottom of the ninth ended Saturday’s contest at Wrigley Field, a 3-2 loss for the Cubs against the Giants. But when Clevenger fell to the ground in pain, one game in the standings wasn’t the day’s biggest loss.
Clevenger suffered what the team is presuming to be a left oblique injury on the final swing. He was set to have an MRI following Saturday’s game.
“I’ve seen it many times, not quite that severe, though, never seen somebody in that much pain,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “It was unfortunate, obviously. Hopefully it’s not bad, but in that kind of pain, something obviously happened in there. It could be pretty bad.”
Teammates were obviously concerned following the game-ending injury.
“It was just very, very unfortunate to see Steve go down like that,” outfielder Scott Hairston said. “At that moment, everything else went out the window, and we were really concerned about him. As a hitter, you try to prepare yourself as much as you can on a cold day like this to go in there, but there’s only so much you can do. So we’re really hoping he’s going to turn out to be OK. We really feel bad for him.”
Clevenger was the third pinch hitter of the inning, one of many Cubs to jump up off the bench for a late at-bat on a cold day at the Friendly Confines, where the gametime temperature was 38 degrees.
“You’ve got to come to the field on cold days like this when there are snow flurries in inning one,” said Jeff Samardzija, who started Saturday’s game for the Cubs. “You’ve got to be warmed up, you’ve got to be ready to go. It’s tough for those guys on the bench that have been sitting around for seven, eight innings. You’ve just got to be conscious of playing here in Wrigley.
“I came down with an oblique last year in St. Louis when it was cold. You’ve just got to be warmed up and understand that you might not have to go 100 percent effort all the time. You’ve got to be in control and understand that when it’s cold and you’ve been sitting around for a while, things can tighten up, things can backlash on you.”
Clevenger met with team orthopedist Stephen Gryzlo after the game, but the Cubs won’t have official word on Clevenger’s injury until Sunday. If he needs to head to the disabled list, it’ll be two injuries in one day for the Cubs. The team placed closer Kyuji Fujikawa on the 15-day DL on Saturday morning.
Here's a breakdown of how the injury unfolded: