After so much Spring Training talk about his troublesome thumb, it was a strained rib cage muscle that knocked Ryan Braun out of the Brewers' Opening Day loss to the Rockies.
Braun declined to speculate about the severity of his injury, suffered while catching a Justin Morneau flyout in the fourth inning of what became a 10-0 Brewers loss at Miller Park. Braun exited the game in the sixth and said he would know more on Tuesday morning, including whether he would need further testing like an MRI.
"Nothing's set in stone. We'll just see where it's at [Tuesday]," Braun said. "We'll address it in the morning, and then if it doesn't feel great, then it's probably something we would do."
After finishing Spring Training with a 10-game hitting streak, Braun was 0-for-2 with a strikeout in the regular-season opener.
He was part of a poor offensive showing against Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick. The Brewers were shut out on Opening Day for the first time since 2001, and the fifth time overall. It was their most lopsided Opening Day defeat since falling to the Orioles, 10-0, in 1973. The only other comparable game was a 12-0 loss to the Angels in the franchise's first game as the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970.
"It's just frustrating that we played so well in Spring Training -- especially at the end of Spring Training -- and come out and just didn't play well today at all," Braun said. "Obviously, it's not the way we wanted to start the year."
Kendrick pitched seven shutout innings, scattering seven Brewers singles. Milwaukee finished with eight hits but no extra-base hits and zero walks while combining to strike out nine times.
Kendrick entered the day with a 4.98 ERA in seven previous starts against the Brewers. Braun was 9-for-19 against him, and catcher Jonathan Lucroy was 6-for-12. On Monday, those hitters were a combined 0-for-5 against Kendrick.
"We were trying to do too much," said Lucroy. "It seemed like I was behind in the count every at-bat. [Kendrick] was out there, bam, bam, and next thing you know you are 0-2. That's a big thing. When a guy is out there throwing against you, locating down and throwing strikes, an umpire starts giving him stuff. It is one of those things that's tough to come back out of it."
If Braun cannot play Tuesday, Gerardo Parra would likely start for the Brewers. Braun is 5-for-17 (.294) lifetime against Colorado starter Jordan Lyles.
"It's a crazy season," Braun said. "If this happens at some point in July or August, it probably doesn't feel like such a big deal, but I think there's always so much added attention on Opening Day and the way that you start your season. I'm very thankful there are 161 games left and we get to come out tomorrow and hopefully have a different result."