06/18/2002 01:12 am ET
Brewers react to injuries
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Astros shortstop Julio Lugo was standing only a few feet away, and he wasn't the only one who could feel the pain Geoff Jenkins showed on his face.
Jenkins, the Brewers' starting left fielder, suffered a dislocated right ankle and torn ligaments sliding back to third base in the second inning of Monday's 5-2 victory over the Astros at Miller Park.
His ankle twisted on the play and Jenkins lay screaming in pain. After a delay he was carted off the field on a makeshift ambulance, headed for a local hospital and the disabled list.
"It happened to me once when I played basketball in high school and I know what it's like," said Lugo, who was 0-for-2 with a walk Monday.
Lugo also dislocated his ankle. Even two years later as a collegian at Connors State College, Lugo's ankle wasn't quite right.
"I know the pain he's going through," Lugo said. "It's going to be hurting for a while. Even after I took my cast off, it was there for a few years after that.
"When it rains, it hurts. When it's cold, it hurts. And I sprained it all the time after that because it was weak. It just took me a long time to recover."
Jenkins' Brewers teammates will have to recover as well. While players showered, changed and chatted with reporters, first baseman Richie Sexson, one of Jenkins' best friends, had already hastily changed out of his uniform and joined Jenkins at the hospital.
"You live with the guy for six to eight months out of the year, you travel with him, stay with him on the road. He's part of your family," said Brewers third baseman Tyler Houston, who had three hits for the fourth straight game Monday.
"When you see somebody like that, who you're close to, and he's hurt and you know obviously his season is over, it's just a real down."
But after a long delay, while the stunned crowd of 25,947 that included more than 7,000 Little Leaguers watched trainers tend to Jenkins and cart him off the field, players had to resume.
"It's weird, Richie and I talked about it on the field. You don't even feel like playing anymore," Houston said. "It was almost like everything slowed down and you don't want to run the bases."
Houston likened it to Pittsburgh's Jason Kendall, who suffered a similar injury July 4, 1999, in a game against the Brewers. Kendall charged down the first-base line trying to leg out a bunt when he stepped hard on the base and suffered a dislocation of his right ankle.
Kendall had surgery that same day and remained at Allegheny General Hospital until being released three days later. He missed the remainder of the season, but rebounded in 2000 to bat .320 in a then career-high 152 games.
The Pirates catcher wasn't the only one affected by the nasty injury.
"For a month after that, all I thought about when I was going into a base was lunging into it or something," Houston said. "We're all athletes and it's going to happen somewhere along the line."
Jenkins played in 105 games last year, missing time with nagging shoulder and thumb injuries. He batted .264 with 20 homers and 63 RBIs, down significantly from his averages over the previous two seasons: a .308 batting average, 27 homers and 88 RBIs.
"He's a warrior, man, everyone knows that," said Brewers outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds. "He'll be back, and he's gonna want us to go out there and get the job done while he's gone.
"You don't like to see it but it's reality. You want to run from it, but you can't."
Players on the other side felt the same way.
"It was pretty grizzly," said Astros outfielder Lance Berkman, who scored on an inside-the-park home run when Jenkins' left-field replacement Alex Sanchez crashed into the wall in the fourth inning. "It's just a bad deal and I feel awful for him.
"I know he had a couple of injuries last year, and then to have this happen tonight, you could tell he was in a lot of pain."
Said Lugo: "You've gotta put it behind you because that's tough to see. You even see it in your mind. It might happen to you, because that can happen to anybody."
The Brewers and Astros play game two of their series Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Adam McCalvy covers the Brewers for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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