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KO’d: Devin Williams hits wall, breaks hand; out of playoffs

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2021, file photo, Milwaukee Brewers' Devin Williams reacts during the...
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2021, file photo, Milwaukee Brewers' Devin Williams reacts during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants in Milwaukee. Williams fractured his throwing hand Sunday night, Sept. 26, 2021, when he punched a wall after his team celebrated its NL Central title, likely knocking him out for the entire postseason. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash, FIle)(Aaron Gash | AP)
Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 5:53 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers reliever Devin Williams fractured his throwing hand when he punched a wall after his team celebrated its NL Central title, likely knocking him out for the entire postseason.

Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said before the Brewers’ Wednesday night game with the St. Louis Cardinals that Williams’ injury likely will require surgery. Stearns said there’s an “outside chance” the 2020 NL rookie of the year could be available for the World Series if the Brewers get that far.

The Brewers clinched the division crown Sunday by beating the New York Mets 8-4 in their regular-season home finale.

“After our celebration, I went out to have a few drinks,” Williams said Wednesday. “On my way home, I was a little frustrated and upset, and I punched a wall. That’s how it happened.”

The injury leaves the Brewers without their main setup man for All-Star closer Josh Hader.

Williams, a 27-year-old right-hander, has an 8-2 record with a 2.50 ERA in 58 games this season. He has struck out 87 batters in 54 innings. Opponents are batting .186 against him.

Last year as a rookie, Williams went 4-1 with an 0.33 ERA in 22 appearances while striking out 53 batters in 27 innings, and opponents batted .090 against him.

Williams initially didn’t realize the severity of his injury.

“Devin actually tried to throw with this yesterday,” Stearns said. “We were not aware of this. He went out and tried to throw. I think at that point, he recognized that he had hurt himself.”

Stearns said Williams then notified the Brewers’ medical staff. Williams received an X-ray during Tuesday’s game that revealed the fracture.

Williams apologized to the Brewers and their fans for the circumstances that led to his injury.

“I’m pretty upset with myself,” Williams said. “There’s no one to blame but me. I feel like I’ve let my team down — our coaching staff, our fans, everyone. I know how big of a role that I play on this team. There’s a lot of people counting on me. I guess all I can do now is cheer my team on and learn from it and don’t make that same mistake in the future.”

The Brewers placed Williams on the injured list. They recalled right-handed pitcher Colin Rea from Triple-A Nashville and designated utilityman Tim Lopes for assignment.