2017-10-07 17:10:03
Joe Girardi: ‘I Screwed Up’

17:10, October 07 185 0

Joe Girardi’s personal replay review took about 19 hours. His verdict was this: “I screwed up.”

Having slept on his decision not to challenge the ruling that Chad Green’s sixth-inning pitch struck the right hand of the Cleveland Indians’ Lonnie Chisenhall, the Yankees manager admitted he had made a mistake. The call loaded the bases and set the stage for Francisco Lindor’s momentum-shifting grand slam.

In fact, three times in his 12-minute news conference at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Girardi used the same phrase: “I screwed up.”

“In hindsight, yeah, I wish I would have challenged it,” Girardi said. “I mean, you can second-guess yourself. 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 you have to go through.”

Lindor’s home run turned what appeared to be a comfortable 8-3 Yankees lead into a one-run game, and Jay Bruce’s solo home run off David Robertson two innings later helped send Game 2 of this American League division series into extra innings. The Yankees lost, 9-8, on Yan Gomes’s single in the 13th inning.

Now, instead of coming home with the best-of-five series tied at one game apiece, the Yankees face an elimination game Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.

“Obviously, I take responsibility for everything, and I feel horrible about it,” Girardi said. “Does it change the complexion of the game? Yeah, it sure could have. Do we know that for sure? No. But it’s frustrating.”

Girardi repeated many of the rationales he had used Friday night for not challenging the call, despite the lack of a pained reaction from Chisenhall and the insistence of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez that the ball had hit the knob of the bat. Sanchez caught the ball, which, if it had been ruled a foul tip, would have resulted in a strikeout and the end of the inning.

“He never got that video clip,” Girardi said of Brett Weber, the Yankees’ coaching assistant in charge of determining whether a controversial play is worth challenging. “He never got that super-slow-mo video clip, and he never got that angle. Brett has been so good at what he does that when he tells me something’s not inconclusive, I believe him.”

Girardi said his decision to ignore the entreaties of Sanchez did not indicate a lack of trust in his young catcher. “There’s a lot of players that tell you to challenge things a lot of times,” Girardi said. “It has nothing to do with me trusting a player. It’s having video evidence to make sure the call will be overturned before you use it.”

In Game 3, the Yankees will rely on starter Masahiro Tanaka, who had an up-and-down season but finished on a high note, striking out a career-high 15 batters in shutting out the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 29. The Indians will start the right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

“It’s a hard day for me,” Girardi said. “But I’ve got to move forward, and we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”