Felix Hernandez was dominant last night for the Mariners. Unfortunately, he was wild toward the end.
He hit three of the final five batters he faced including Alex Rodriguez. The pitch that hit Rodriguez, a 91 mph fastball, broke the third baseman’s left hand and will leave the Yankees scrambling to fill the hole.
Hernandez pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowed just four hits and two runs, but he hit three batters and walked four. Hernandez hit Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, and Rodriguez. Ichiro was hit in the seventh inning, but both Jeter and Rodriguez were hit in the eighth before Hernandez’s night was over.
The loss of A-Rod will be a big blow to the Yankees. Fortunately for them, they have a comfortable lead in the American League East. They are currently seven games up on the second-place Orioles. However, Rodriguez’s injury will certainly hurt them.
A-Rod is hitting .274/.354/.449 with 15 home runs this season. It’s a down far by his standards, but his OPS is still 13% better than league average. Rodriguez has 644 home runs in his career and a lifetime .301 batting average. He will be missed in the New York’s lineup.
Rodriguez suffered a non-displaced fracture to his left fifth metacarpal. The fracture is expected to keep him sidelined for a couple of months – maybe more depending on his rehab.
Eric Chavez will get the bulk of the playing time at third. Chavez is hitting .276/.331/.487. He actually has a higher OPS than Rodriguez right now, so if he can continue his performance this season, the Yankees have nothing to worry about. If.
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