'Just bad luck:' Matt Manning's season is over after another freak foot fracture


Matt Manning's season will end essentially how it began: with a broken right foot after getting hit by a come-backer.

This time, it happened on a 119.5 mph missile off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton, the second-hardest hit ball in the majors this season, in the first inning of the Tigers' 4-3 loss to the Yankees Wednesday night. Manning missed two and a half months earlier this season after fracturing his foot the same way against the Blue Jays in his second start of the year.

The X-rays Wednesday confirmed everyone's fears: Manning's season is over.

"Just bad luck," Manning said. "It’s one of those things, better bad luck than no luck, I guess. Right when it happened, I was just annoyed that it was the same foot, same spot, basically. Made the play, though. That's cool."

After gathering the ball and flipping it to first to escape a jam, Manning threw his arms up and shook his head as if to say, You gotta be kidding me. Then he bent over and put his hands on his knees, before being tended to on the field. He ultimately walked off under his own power.

A.J. Hinch said this fracture is slightly higher on Manning's foot than the first, which was diagnosed as a broken toe and did not require surgery -- just rest and rehab.

"I feel for him, man, because he worked hard to get back, he was throwing the ball very well, he had gotten through that inning and unfortunately got in the way of the ball," said Hinch.

Manning, 25, entered Wednesday's game having allowed one earned run in his last four starts, his best stretch of pitching in the big leagues. He had a 3.44 ERA and a .201 batting average against in 12 starts since his original injury.

He'll end his third season in the majors with a 3.58 ERA, 1.038 WHIP and 50 strikeouts to 21 walks across 78 innings. It was another season of growth for the former first-round pick -- third among AL starters in BAA, fourth in WHIP, min. 70 innings pitched -- but limited again by injuries. Manning has yet to make more than 18 starts in a season.

"I really think the biggest thing now is just staying on the field," he said. "I’ve pitched pretty well the last two years. It’s just a matter of having a little more luck on my side and staying on the field for the whole season."

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