New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi took a lot of heat for the team’s ALDS Game 2 collapse, and on Saturday he tried to explain himself to reporters.
In playoff baseball, every error – whether on the field or coming from a manager – is magnified. This was proven true once again in the 2017 ALDS, when the New York Yankees surrendered an 8-3 lead over the Cleveland Indians thanks to a mental blunder by manager Joe Girardi.
In the sixth inning, with two out and two on base, Indians pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall was down 0-2 in the count to Yanks reliever Chad Green. The next pitch came in high and tight to Chisenhall, and home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna immediately awarded first base to the hitter, signaling the pitch hit the batter’s hand.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez began signalling to the bench that the call was incorrect, and that the pitch had actually grazed the knob of Chisenhall’s bat.
Girardi didn’t challenge the call, and the rest is unfortunate history for New York fans.
According to The Sporting News, Girardi met with reporters on Saturday to offer some explanation, and regret, for his decision.
“Yeah. I mean, I think you can second guess yourself. But here’s the process that I go through. Brett Weber (the replay guy) has been so good at what he does that when he tells me that something’s not inconclusive, I believe him, because he’s been so good. Now, knowing that I had two challenges, in hindsight, yeah, I wish I would have challenged it. But he never — he never got that video clip that — he never got that angle. He never got that super slow-mo. And, yeah, I should have challenged it, now that I think about it. But here’s the thing. If it isn’t overturned and we’re wrong and then Chad struggles after that, do you feel like I screwed him up? You know, those are the things that you have to go through. Now, I wish I would have challenged it.”
The Yankees now find themselves down 0-2 in the series against a Cleveland team who has been riding a wave of momentum since winning 22 straight games between August 24 and Sept 14, propelling them to an American League Central Division title.
The series will continue at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, October 8, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:38 pm, nationally broadcast on FS1. Probable starters are Carlos Carrasco for the visiting Indians, and Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees.