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Joe Girardi explains why he did not challenge critical call

Larry Brown Sports logo Larry Brown Sports 10/7/2017 Larry Brown

Video by CBS Sports

Joe Girardi explained after Friday night’s extra-innings loss to the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of the ALDS why he did not challenge a critical call in the sixth inning.

Girardi made two questionable calls in the sixth before Francisco Lindor hit a grand slam to shrink the New York Yankees’ lead from 8-3 to 8-7. First he pulled starter CC Sabathia out of the game after the pitcher got one out and allowed a hit. Then there was the non-challenge.

Girardi had reliever Chad Green enter the game in the bottom of the sixth with one on and one out. He got a fly out, allowed a double, and then the umpires awarded Lonnie Chisenhall first base for a hit by pitch. Replay appeared to show that the pitch may have tipped off Chisenhall’s bat rather than his hand:

Chisenhall was credited with the hit by pitch, loading the bases with two outs. Lindor came up and smacked the grand slam that turned around the game.

The Yankees could have challenged the hit by pitch ruling. Had the replay shown the ball hit off Chisenhall’s bat, it could have been ruled as an inning-ending caught foul tip.

Here’s what the Yankees manager said about the decision not to challenge.

“There was nothing that told us he was not hit on the pitch,” Girardi said after the game. “By the time we got the super slow-motion we were probably beyond a minute. It was way too late. They tell us we have the 30 seconds. They will take longer in replay.”

Girardi said that beyond there being inconclusive evidence, he didn’t want to interrupt his pitcher.

“And probably being a catcher, my thought is I never want to break a pitcher’s rhythm. That’s how I think about it. There was nothing that said he wasn’t hit.”

However sound his reasoning was, Girardi certainly had some reasons why he opted not to challenge. Critics will say it was worth challenging anyhow, but his response is that he didn’t want to delay his pitcher. This answer is consistent with Girardi’s feelings, as he expressed several years ago before replay was introduced that he had issues about it affecting pitchers’ rhythms.

Related slideshow: Best of the MLB postseason (Provided by photo services)


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