Joba jinxed, Yanks lose in 13, ALDS goes to Game 5

Associated Press Modified: October 12, 2012 at 12:33 am •  Published: October 12, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — First flying bugs, now a flying bat.

When it comes to the postseason, Joba Chamberlain is jinxed.

The Yankees hope their season isn't, too.

Chamberlain was knocked out of Game 4 of the AL division series on Thursday night 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 that forced a decisive Game 5 on Friday night, getting the go-ahead run when Manny Machado doubled against David Phelps leading off the 13th and scored on J.J. Hardy's RBI double.

"I don't know if I'd hang out with me very much. I might need a bubble," Chamberlain said.

He might not be the only one.

On another Bronx night filled with controversy, Alex Rodriguez was pinch hit for once again. Eric Chavez batted in place of slumping A-Rod and ended the game with a lineout to third off Jim Johnson.

"I just do what I'm told," Chavez said. "It's kind of crazy."

Now it's up to CC Sabathia to show he's an ace, taking the mound Friday night against Jason Hammel in a rematch of Game 1 starters.

"It's time to go," Sabathia said. "This is a one-game playoff, and this is what we play for. We're here in the Bronx at home, and like I said, I'll be excited and ready to go."

New York outlasted Baltimore for the AL East title last week. Now the Yankees will try to do it again and advance to the AL championship series against Detroit.

"It's the same game whether it's the first game of the season or the postseason," said Derek Jeter, who shifted to designated hitter because of a sore left foot. "We're going to try to have fun with it, enjoy it."

New York had runners on base in each of the first eight innings, but the Yankees went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and dropped to 6 for 28 (.214) in the series.

A-Rod, 2 for 16 (.125) with no RBIs and nine strikeouts, fanned against side-arming right-hander Darren O'Day with runners on second and third and one out in the eighth. Nick Swisher then flied out.

"It's obviously frustrating," Rodriguez said. "That was a situation that I could do some damage, and just couldn't get it done tonight."

He's not the only slumping star. Curtis Granderson is 1 for 16 (.125) with nine Ks. Robinson Cano is 2 for 18 (.111) and hitless in his last 11 at-bats. Russell Martin is batting .214, Ichiro Suzuki .200 and Swisher .133.

"There's really good pitching," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "There's guys on the other side that are struggling, too. You're seeing some really good pitching in these four games."

Girardi won't know until Friday whether his bullpen will include Chamberlain, who has had enough mound misfortunes to fill a horror film.

He was just another normal hard-throwing young gun before Game 2 of the 2007 division series. 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 on Aug. 1 — against the Orioles — and developed back into a dependable part of the Yankees' bullpen.