I am writing this as a broken man. Joe Girardi and his stupidity broke my soul last night. The New York Yankees had game 2 in the bag if the game was just managed correctly, but of course it wasn’t. The Yanks offense mustered 6 runs against the soon to be American League Cy Young award winner; Corey Kluber. A two-run home run from Gary Sanchez, RBI single by Starlin Castro, and a three-run bomb from Aaron Hicks was enough to get rid of Kluber after only two and two thirds. The Yanks were sitting pretty, up 6-3 in the third inning and Kluber was no longer pitching, add on a two-run homer from Greg Bird and it was all the sudden 8-3 in the top of the fifth. After a rocky first couple innings, CC Sabathia settled in nicely, until the bottom of the sixth, that is where everything went haywire. CC started off the inning with a walk to Carlos Santana, followed up by Sabathia getting Jay Bruce to line out to shortstop. Before Austin Jackson steps into the batter’s box, out comes Joe Girardi. Why? Surely, he isn’t taking CC out of the game after he had 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth, and fifth inning, right? Nope, he prematurely calls Chad Green from the bullpen. Almost as if he forgot, Chad Green and the entire bullpen was pushed to their absolute limit just a couple of days ago. Plus, a runner on first with one out isn’t exactly the most frightening scenario, especially when the previous pitcher was in a groove for the past three innings. Chad Green went on to give up a double to Yan Gomes, making it first and third with two outs. In steps a pinch hitting, Lonnie Chisenhall. Green gets Chisenhall into a 0-2 count, and then the most mind boggling managerial decision was made. Chad Green came inside with a fastball and it looked to clip Chisenhall on the hand. The umpire grants Chisenhall first base, but right after the ball “hit” Chisenhall, Gary Sanchez immediately points to the dugout and tells them to review the HBP. The replay clearly shows the ball hitting the knob of the bat and goes into Gary’s glove, but apparently Joe Girardi is blind and doesn’t challenge the call, thus loading the bases for the best hitter in the series, Francisco Lindor. Chad Green hung a slider and Lindor takes that ball to Jupiter and makes it a game again. In baseball, and in the post season especially, momentum is everything. Therefore I, and I’m sure Yankee fans everywhere knew where this game was going. The Indians completed the comeback and walked off on the Yanks in the bottom of the thirteenth inning.
The most infuriating part of it all was Girardi’s post game reasoning for why he didn’t challenge the most obvious foul tip of all time.
Joe Girardi just said he didn't challenge because of Green's rhythm, the Yankees better not bring back this man. pic.twitter.com/4KPwjhy0Fb
— Hirsty (@d_hirsty) October 7, 2017
He said they didn’t have the angle that showed the ball hitting the knob of the bat. HOW? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? How can I be watching the game from my dorm room, and see, clear as day, that the ball hit the knob but the team playing in the goddamn game couldn’t? How did MLB Network get that angle, but THE NEW YORK YANKEES didn’t? I do not buy that for a single second. Then the other excuse was that he didn’t want to interrupt Chad Green’s rhythm. Green’s rhythm, you mean the guy who just gave a double, and nearly hit a batter in an 0-2 count, yeah, he was in some rhythm Joe. That’s not even the worst part, who cares about rhythm if the challenge would get you out of an inning, and you know what else breaks up a pitcher’s rhythm? Facing the best player in the series with the bases loaded and giving up a moon shot. That’s a real rhythm breaker. Also, Girardi referred to his career as a catcher as a reason that he didn’t want to break up the rhythm, you know who else is a catcher, Gary Sanchez, and he knew immediately that it was a foul tip and not a HBP, but Girardi chose to just ignore his catcher.
I’m not usually a big “Fire Girardi” guy, but I just don’t understand how he could not challenge that call. Even if he didn’t have the angle that showed the ball clearly hitting the bat, why not challenge just in case. Does he think challenges roll over to the next game if he doesn’t use them? Well, they don’t, and that challenge just burned a hole right through Joe Girardi’s pocket in one of the most confusing coaching decisions of all time.
PS- I really wish Chad Green just blew up and screamed at Girardi, you could easily tell by his face he wanted to so badly.