Yankees Joe Girardi Strikes Out Over Strike Three Challenge

2017 MLB playoffs: Austin Jackson scores winning run for Indians in 13th

"I screwed up", Girardi said Saturday at Yankee Stadium with his team on the verge of elimination.

The Yankees now need to win three straight against a team that has won 35 of its last 39 games. Girardi had a series of questionable decisions including choosing not to challenge a controversial hit-by-pitch call that allowed the Indians to load the bases, hitting a grand slam in the next at-bat to cut the Yankees lead to one run.

After Greg Bird hit a 2-run homer in the 5th, the Yankees went up to 8-3, and looked comfortable, ready to tie the series before heading to NY.

The obvious challenge never came.

Home plate umpire Dan Iassogna, however, saw it differently. Additionally, this "groove" notion must be a new belief as anyone familiar with the Yankees knows Sanchez takes as many mid-inning trips to the mound as any catcher in the league.

Sanchez had caught the ball off the knob, so it would've been foul-tip strike three. Sanchez - who, obviously, had the best view in the entire ballpark - immediately turned to the dugout and told his manager to review the call. "I'm excited for him because past year he missed out".

We also touched on some of the various decisions Terry Francona has made leading up to these games; his decision to start Trevor Bauer in Game 1 and the roster construction and why some defensive specialists seem to be prioritized over others.

With a five-run lead, Girardi should have challenged. Cleveland ultimately tied the game on a Jay Bruce home run and Yan Gomes extra-inning walk-off hit. Austin Jackson will start in left field against NY left-hander CC Sabathia, and Yan Gomes will catch Kluber. The report noted that the Yankees had missed the playoffs three times in the four seasons before 2017 and Girardi could be on the chopping block without a strong performance in 2017. Green had faced two hitters and retired one.

Secondly, Girardi's pitcher wasn't in any kind of rhythm to begin with.

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