UPDATE: X-rays came back negative, so Affeldt is hoping to be available for Game 1 of the NLCS.
For the third time in the past 18 months Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt has suffered a weird injury.
Back in late 2011 he sliced his right hand while separating hamburger patties for a barbeque and needed surgery to repair nerve damage. Then in May he sprained his knee when his young son jumped off the couch and into his arms.
And now? Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News has the details:
Affeldt pitched a shutout seventh inning and was supposed to face Jay Bruce in the eighth, but Affeldt had to be removed after a screamer off of Gregor Blanco’s bat sent him scrambling. Affeldt was standing on the top step of the dugout and ducked out of the way, only to fall down the steps and jam his left hand as he braced himself for the fall.
He had to be removed from the game and was later spotted in the dugout with his arm in a sling, but Affeldt insisted after the game that he’s fine and will be available to pitch in the NLCS. “I’m just wearing it in case one of these knuckleheads tries to hit me with a champagne bottle,” Affeldt told Pavlovic.
The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.
AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.