It's nearly the end of the season, and yet the Yankees' injury woes continue. Outfielder Brett Gardner was forced to exit last night's game after straining his left oblique. The Yankees went on to narrowly beat the Baltimore Orioles without Gardner, but there is definitely concern about the extent of his injury.
YES showed replay of Gardner's check swing on 3-2 pitch. After swing, he reached down and touched his left side, near oblique. Stay tuned.The injury was later confirmed:
— Jack Curry (@JackCurryYES) September 13, 2013
left oblique strain for Brett Gardner
— Anthony McCarron (@AnthonyMcCarron) September 13, 2013
Gardner has been a key player for the Yankees this season. If he can't play again through the rest of the season - which would not be surprising considering the injury - the Yankees could be in trouble. With their win over the Orioles, New York remains one game out in the Wild Card standings. They are at the point in the season, where they cannot slip up at all. Each loss carries potentially devastating consequences.
Gardner has had a bounce-back year after only being able to play in 16 games last season. He has played in 145 games this year and has an OPS of .761. If he finishes with that OPS, it would mark his third-highest OPS. If we exclude last season, it would be Gardner's second-highest OPS.
The 30-year old Gardner has played six seasons, all with the Yankees. In his career, he has hit .268/.352/.382. Gardner is a threat on the base paths, has a good glove, and can hit well-enough to help the Yankees day in and day out. Surely, the entire team is holding their collective breath waiting to hear how bad the strain is.