After part of a broken bat hit Joba Chamberlain on the right elbow Thursday night and forced him out of a New York Yankees playoff game, he should just announce to the world that he considers himself ... the unluckiest man ... on the face of the Earth.
Seriously, what is the poor guy to do after suffering another freak injury? Chamberlain already was coming back from a nasty accident on a trampoline (of all things) in March that caused an open dislocation of his right ankle. And that happened as he was rehabbing from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.
And — this was minor by comparison — but what about the midges in Cleveland that one time? These Joba Rules stink. It's like he has a literal target on his back.
"I don't know if I'd hang out with me very much. I might need a bubble," Chamberlain said.
Called upon in the 11th inning of Game 4 of the ALDS with the score tied 1-all, he pitched a 1-2-3 inning and came out for a second go at the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th. Orioles slugger Matt Wieters swung at a 1-0 pitch and blooped a single to short left, but all of the attention was on the mound as part of the barrel came zipping toward Chamberlain. He did a double-take and tried to turn his backside into the projectile's path so it would absorb the blow. Instead, the bat hit Chamberlain on the right elbow.
Chamberlain dropped to a knee, seemingly in disbelief. The elbow immediately began to swell, but Chamberlain tried to stay in the game, throwing three test pitches for the training staff. Yankees manager Joe Girardi removed Chamberlain from the game anyway. X-rays showed no break. That's good. Chamberlain didn't need that kind of break. Perhaps the damage would have been worse if Wieters used a bat made of maple wood. He reportedly is an ash man.
"It's actually two Rawlings ash bats now," Wieters told Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan
Chamberlain's runner didn't score, but the Yankees failed to put away the Orioles, who won 2-1 in 13 innings to force Game 5 on Friday. It's hard to imagine Chamberlain being available in the elimination situation.
"You kind of see how it feels tomorrow and go from there," Chamberlain said. "It's definitely not as stiff as it was when it first happened."
Thanks to @cjzero, here's a close-up screen capture of Joba's elbow. Yikes!
All other pitchers without elbow bruises will be required to back up CC Sabathia.
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