The New York Yankees’ third consecutive win may have come at a price.
Star closer Aroldis Chapman was forced to exit Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins in the 12th inning after just six pitches with what appeared to be a knee issue.
Chapman, who has battled left knee tendinitis for much of the season, walked the leadoff batter on five pitches, then gestured toward the dugout after his first pitch to the second batter of the inning.
The hard-throwing left-hander said he actually felt some discomfort in the knee while warming up, and the pain got worse once the inning began.
“Discomfort is constant when I’m pitching, and I use my legs, put my effort on my legs and knee, and then you feel it more,” Chapman said through a translator after the game, via ESPN.com.
Chapman will undergo tests Wednesday to determine the severity of his injury, manager Aaron Boone said.
The 30-year-old closer usually nears triple digits on his fastball, but his six pitches averaged just 96 mph, his lowest average velocity in a game since 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Tommy Kahnle replaced Chapman to help the Yankees nail down a 2-1 win, but the closer’s injury obviously is a concerning development for New York as it enters the stretch run. The Yanks still are awaiting the return of slugger Aaron Judge and just put shortstop Didi Gregorius on the disabled list. And despite their four-game winning streak, the Yankees currently sit eight games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the American League East.
Thumbnail photo via Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports Images