NEW YORK — First flying bugs, now a flying bat. When it comes to the postseason, Joba Chamberlain is cursed.
Chamberlain was knocked out of Game 4 of the AL Division Series on Thursday when the barrel of Matt Wieters' broken bat hit him on the right elbow in the 12th inning. The Baltimore Orioles went on to a 2-1 victory when Manny Machado doubled against David Phelps leading off the 13th and scored on J.J. Hardy's RBI double.
Eric Chavez ended the game with a lineout, batting in place of slumping Alex Rodriguez as A-Rod left for a pinch hitter for the second straight night.
Now it's up to CC Sabathia to show he's an ace, taking the mound in a decisive Game 5 on Friday night.
Chamberlain was just another hard-throwing young gun before Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS. Then midges swarmed him on the mound in Cleveland and, with those bugs all around, he threw a tying wild pitch in a game the Indians went on to win, 2-1 in 11 innings, for a 2-0 series lead.
A torn elbow ligament sidelined him in June 2011, and he was close to his return during spring training when he dislocated his right ankle in a trampoline accident while playing with his son. He finally returned Aug. 1.
Wieters led off the 12th with a single to left field, and a large piece of his bat went twirling toward the mound and hit Chamberlain's surgically repaired pitching elbow. Chamberlain threw down his glove and bent over in pain.
He was checked out by New York trainer Steve Donahue and manager Joe Girardi. While Chamberlain threw three test pitches, Girardi went back to the dugout.
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