The New York Yankees immediately paid for their decision not to challenge a controversial call in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. They paid in grand fashion, in fact.
Leading the Cleveland Indians 8-3 in the sixth inning, New York Yankees reliever Chad Green hit Lonnie Chisenhall of the Indians with a pitch. Or did he? Catcher Gary Sanchez thought the ball actually hit the knob of Chisenhall’s bat. A slow motion replay showed that Sanchez may have been right.
Lonnie Chisenhall foul tip that should have been called strike three. No challenge by Girardi, horrible call pic.twitter.com/H6025WqtVo
— Ideal Mkai (@Mkai__) October 7, 2017
To the naked eye, it appeared to at least warrant a review. But Yankees skipper Joe Girardi opted not to challenge the call on the field. Instead, the bases were loaded for Indians star Francisco Lindor, who, in true Indians fashion, mustered some postseason magic.
Lindor hit a grand slam off the right-field foul pole, which cut the Yankees lead to one run and set in motion the biggest postseason comeback in Indians franchise history. Cleveland would tie the game in the eighth inning on Jay Bruce’s home run, then won it 9-8 in 13 innings on Yan Gomes walk-off single.
The outcome made Girardi’s decision look even more suspect than it did initially. After the game, it was the first thing Girardi was asked about.
The gist, Girardi says he didn’t want to risk messing up the rhythm of pitcher Chad Green over a review that may not have overturned the call. That will not go over well with Yankees fans who were already scratching their head.
There’s nothing the Yankees can do now though. What’s done is done. The only thing they can focus on is winning Sunday and extending the series.
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