It was about 1 a.m. in Buffalo when the Yankees' season took a potentially damaging turn. Alex Rodriguez, batting .347 in his last 11 games, was left writhing on the ground at Safeco Field (left) when he was struck on the left hand by a Felix Hernandez pitch. It was a changeup at 88 mph but it did damage: A-Rod has a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metatarsal and will be examined Thursday back in New York.
Backup infielder Eric Chavez said he suffered the same injury a few years ago and was out 6-8 weeks. Whoa. That would put A-Rod on the shelf well into September.
The New York Daily News has an excellent recap, with comments from all the parties involved.
For video of the play where A-Rod was injured (there's no embed code, sorry), go to this MLB.com story page.
The Yankees have called up Ramiro Pena for today's 3:30 matinee where you can expect some retribution because A-Rod, Derek Jeter and Ichiro were all hit in a five-batter span of the eighth. But Pena and Chavez are just stopgaps. You have to figure the Yanks hit the trade market at third base, and you have to think the price for guys like the Padres' Chase Headley just went up. Especially when the Yankees call.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post has a look at some possible replacements.
Photo: Associated Press