Pitchers leave games due to injury all the time, so much so that it barely registers as a blip on our radar. We've gotten numb to it. Pitchers get hurt; it's what they do.
On Sunday night, Blue Jays right-hander Ramon Ortiz didn't just leave the game due to the injury. He left with tears in his eyes and looking very much like a 40-year-old pitcher who knows he just threw the final pitch of his major league career:
You can see Ortiz point to the inside of his elbow while talking to the trainer. The initial word was an elbow strain, but he's obviously headed for more tests.
"It doesn't look good, but he'll go to Florida to get examined, get an MRI and we'll have a better idea in the next few days," said manager John Gibbons to MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. "I saw him after it happened, in the training room. He has been at this game a long, long time. He has been a pretty healthy guy, and this game takes its toll on you. He's a winner. He's a champ. I feel for him."
As far as I can tell, Ortiz has not had any major arm problems in the last 15 years or so. In fact, the veteran right-hander has thrown upwards of 150+ innings nearly every year for the last 18 years or so between the majors, minors and winter ball. Durability has been one of his best assets.
It's easy to forget that these players are human, and it's very rare to see one break down like that and show just how much he loves the game. Just brutal.