Joba Chamberlain leaves game

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain was forced to leave Game 4 of the AL Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles in the 12th inning Thursday night when the shard of Matt Wieters' broken bat struck him on his right throwing elbow.

The Yankees later said X-rays on Chamberlain's elbow were negative.

Chamberlain tried to stay in the game, throwing a few practice pitches before Yankees manager Joe Girardi decided to lift him for rookie David Phelps. Chamberlain had pitched one scoreless inning. He said he wanted to remain in the game.

On Wieters' single to left, Chamberlain originally looked to the outfield before realizing half of Wieters' bat was flying at him. Chamberlain did not have time to react and the bat connected squarely, leaving a large welt on his elbow.

"I saw it, and at the last minute and I was just hoping it wasn't coming at my face," Chamberlain said.

This is another unusual occurrence in Chamberlain's Yankee career. In 2007 as a setup man, he saw his and the team's year end as he was attacked by mosquito-like insects called midges on the Jacobs' Field mound.

Last year, Chamberlain hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. During spring training, he dislocated his ankle while jumping on a trampoline with his young son. The ankle injury pushed back his return this season from possibly June to August.

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

If the Yankees need to replace Chamberlain, 27, on the playoff roster, then Cody Eppley would be the most likely choice.

"It probably depends on how he feels [on Friday,]" Girardi said when asked if the team will make a move.