Mike Lowell left last night's game after taking grounder to head

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There was a pretty scary scene during last night’s Red Sox-Yankees game, as Mike Lowell took a ground ball off the side of the head while playing first base in the fifth inning.

Lowell was attempting to field a ball off the bat of Curtis Granderson, however the ball took a nasty hop only to nail him in the temple. You can watch the play here. Lowell spent a couple minutes on the ground while being examined by team trainer Mike Reinold. He was allowed to finish the inning, however Lars Anderson replaced him at first base to begin the bottom of the sixth inning as a precautionary measure.

After the game, Lowell told John Tomase of the Boston Herald that he was feeling fine.

“I would have stayed in the game, but it was 10-1 at the time,” he said.
“My eye started twitching a little, and I didn’t really want to hit
like that. I had enough excitement for a day. But I feel fine. I feel
good.”

Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com reports that Lowell does not have a concussion, however Red Sox manager Terry Francona said that he was still very sore and “very fortunate.” Lowell  will have to go through another battery of tests before being allowed back on the field. Just one week away from retirement, let’s hope he still gets the chance to go out on a high note. 

Starters? Openers? Who cares? It’s the lack of offense killing the Brewers

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The talk of Game 5 of the NLCS — and, indeed, the talk of the postseason so far — has been the Brewers’ creative use of their pitching staff. Indeed, Craig Counsell calling for Brandon Woodruff, and removing Miley from the game after just one batter and five pitches, stands as one of the more audacious acts of bullpenning in recent memory.

In light of that strategy, it was tempting to compare and contrast the Brewers’ approach to that of the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw gave up an early run and, as has so often been the case lately, didn’t look super sharp early. But as the game wore on he got stronger, his curve got more devastating and he turned in an ace-like performance, leaving after seven innings of work, retiring the final 13 batters he faced. The Brewers may have an army of pitchers they throw at you, but the Dodgers, on this night, had a Hulk.

That’s all a lot of fun, and it was a tempting narrative to grab a hold of, but you know what? It doesn’t matter a bit. The fact of the matter is that the Brewers have scored two runs in the last 17 innings between Games 4 and 5. Two runs, with one of them being an oh-by-the-way run with out in the ninth tonight. They’ve only scored three runs in their last 24 innings. They could have a college of coaches using a murder of pitchers and they’d still be staring at being down 3-2 like they are right now because the bats have gone cold.

The presumptive NL MVP, Christian Yelich, was 0-for-4 in Game 5 and is only 3-for-20 with three singles in the entire NLCS. Ryan Braun is 5-for-21. Lorenzo Cain is 6-for-24. Games 3 and 4 have, obviously, been the big problems for the Brewers. In those games the entire team is batting .168 with 26 strikeouts and they are 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Craig Counsell could go back in time, bring back Pete Vukovich, Rollie Fingers, Teddy Higuera, Moose Haas and Jim Slaton, use them all for an inning and two-thirds each and it wouldn’t matter if the Brewers can’t score. That’s the story of the series so far. No matter how much we might want to talk about the pitching shenanigans, that’s the only thing that really matters.