Tightness in left groin forces Sheets from game vs. Mets after five innings
Sheets said it first tightened while he was warming up for the third inning, and manager Ned Yost removed him as a precautionary measure.
"It started to loosen up but Ned thought that was enough," Sheets said. "I think it's gonna be fine. I really think I'll be OK. I'll just pay a little more attention to it, hopefully move forward."
Sheets had retired 10 consecutive batters when he was replaced by pinch-hitter Joe Dillon in the bottom of the fifth.
"I started to notice it after the fourth," Yost said. "It wasn't getting tighter, but it was there a little bit."
The Brewers are counting on Sheets and left-handed starter CC Sabathia to lead them to the playoffs for the first time since 1982.
Yost described it as "very, very slight" tightness.
"I'm not taking a chance of him pulling it," he said.
The Brewers have a 5½-game lead in the NL wild card race with 25 games left.
"He's one of our top pitchers," Yost said. "Do you wanna take a chance of losing him? I don't. I take no chances with starting pitchers this time of year."
The NL All-Star Game starter had given up only two hits and a walk. He had thrown 54 pitches. Milwaukee was leading the New York Mets 1-0 when he was removed, but lost the game 4-2.
The right-hander put on a Brewers jacket and remained in the dugout, talking with Yost and pitching coach Mike Maddux.
Sheets has a history of injuries, and averaged only 21 starts a year from 2005-07. This year, though, he has missed only one start and made his 27th start on Sunday. He is 12-7 with a 2.97 ERA.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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