Girardi offers odd explanation for not challenging controversial play

by
Wendell Cruz / USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees suffered a heart-wrenching extra-innings loss to the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of the ALDS, though things might have gone differently had Yankees skipper Joe Girardi challenged a hit-by-pitch call in the sixth inning Friday.

With the Yankees leading 8-3, the Indians put runners on second and third with two outs and Lonnie Chisenhall at the plate. Yankees reliever Chad Green pitched inside on Chisenhall and home plate umpire Dan Iassogna ruled that the Indians pinch hitter was hit on the hand. Replay showed that the ball actually hit the knob of the bat, and would have been a strike-three call as catcher Gary Sanchez caught the foul tip, but the Yankees did not challenge. Francisco Lindor would follow by hitting a grand slam off the foul pole to make it a one-run game.

Following the loss, Girardi explained his reasoning for not challenging the ruling on the field, despite it falling under the list of things that he can ask for a review for.

"There was nothing that told us that he was not hit on the pitch," Girardi told reporters. "By the time we got the super slow mo, we were a minute, probably beyond a minute, way too late. They tell us we have the 30 seconds. And probably being a (former) catcher, I never want to break a pitcher's rhythm. That's how I think about it. There was nothing that said he was not hit."

Girardi was asked a follow-up question after he was informed that Sanchez even tried to delay the game in order to get the play reviewed.

"I guess I could have, but being the catcher that I am, I think about rhythm and not taking the pitcher out of his rhythm," Girardi said.

Indians outfielder Jay Bruce would later tie the game with a solo home run in the eighth, before catcher Yan Gomes hit a walk-off single in the 13th inning to give the Indians a 2-0 series lead.

When the Yankees did challenge calls this season, they got an MLB-best 75 percent of them overturned, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN.