Sorry for the late report. I slept in and am not feeling well. Bronchitis again? Same time, just about, every year. Sigh.
1997. Mariano gives up the first of only two postseason HRs he would ever give up. It ties Game 4 for Cleveland and instead of the Yanks winning the series 3 games to 1, the Indians come back to win Game 4 and then Game 5.
2007: The midges. Torre doesn’t pull the team off the field, regrets it later, and his Yankee tenure is over. Joba vs. the bugs.
2017: The Faux HBP that Girardi didn’t challenge. Now Girardi’s contract is up, and I don’t expect him to be fired, but he made a mistake that seems to be as big as Torre’s in 2007.
(ok as for the bad omens…. the Yanks did win it all in 1938, 1958, 1978 and 1998, so we should look forward to 2018, right?)
Anyway, the game started off great when the Yanks knocked around Cleveland ace Corey Kluber. Gary Sanchez hit a 2-run HR in the first inning.
An error by Todd Frazier led to the Indians scoring two unearned runs in the first to tie it up (came back to bite them), then the Indians scored one in the second to go up 3-2. At this point, you are wondering about the Yankees’ starting pitching this postseason. The Indians did lose Edwin Encarnacion due to an ankle injury.
The Yanks went up 6-3 with four in the third. Starlin Castro tied the game and Aaron Hicks hit a 3-run HR.
In the fifth, a two-run HR by Greg Bird made it 8-3. Then the Yanks blew it. For one thing, the game went 13 and they couldn’t score anymore.
CC was pulled in the sixth after 77 pitches. Ok, maybe he should or could have stayed in with an 8-3 lead. But this is how they’ve treated CC for a while now. One out, man on first and in comes Chad Green. Normally a good move and the right one.
But was Green still taxed from the two innings he pitched on Tuesday? Here is where the early knockout of Severino in Tuesday’s wild card game may have come back to bite the Yanks, for Green wasn’t his usual self. He got a flyout for out #2 but couldn’t put Yan Gomes away. After fouling off a few pitches, Gomes doubled.
Then PH Chisenhall was HBP. Or was he?
Chisenall had two strikes on him. Replays showed the ball hit the knob of the bat and ricocheted into Sanchez’ glove. Foul tip, strike three and out of the inning. Instead, the umpire ruled HBP. Bases loaded.
Sanchez pointed to the dugout to challenge. And Girardi did nothing. For the brilliance of Tuesday night, when Girardi pieced together 26 outs out of the bullpen, he bleeped up here.
He stated that the slo-mo replay didn’t come up in the 30 seconds he had to challenge. He also stated that he didn’t want to disturb his pitcher’s rhythm.
What BS. That sounds like the excuses your seven year old kid makes to mommy and daddy when the did gets into trouble.
First off, why aren’t you trusting your catcher when your catcher is urging you to challenge? He’s right there. He caught the ball. To quote Billy Joel, It’s a Matter of Trust. And that matter of trust came up later in the game as well. Players in the dugout were urging the same thing.
Secondly, what do you have to lose by challenging? You win, strike three, out of inning. No, Joe decided to leave it go.
Third, the batter never reacted as if he were hit! He had to be told to go the first.
And you don’t challenge?
As far as his pitcher’s rhythm? Green gave up a grand slam off the foul pole on his second pitch after the incident. 8–7.
We’ll never know what would have happened had he challenged as he should have, got the call and it remains 8-3. There is a huge difference between going home 1-1 in a best-of-five and in going home 0-2. Especially to a team that has won 35 of its last 39 games.
So in came David Robertson, and you had to wonder how much he had left in the tank after his 3 1/3 innings of Tuesday night. Four up, four down, three by strikeouts. Looks good.
But then Girardi tried to extend him. Why? A matter of trust. He trusted Robertson in the eighth over Betances. Betances did pitch in Game 1 (when the Yanks were down 4-0). He also pitched and lost this game. But Betances didn’t come in until other relievers had gone before him.
He tried to extend Robertson, who was already extended on Tuesday night. It didn’t work. Jay Bruce (thanks, Mets) did it again. HR to tie the game.
And so the game went into extras. Kahnle and Chapman came in, then Betances.
Meanwhile in the 11th, Ronald Torreyes pulled a rock. Pinch-running for Todd Frazier, who reached second on an error leading off the inning, Torreyes was picked off second when Brett Gardner had to take a pitch on a sac bunt attempt. Ouch.
Betances came in for the 11th. After Green, Robertson, Kahnle and Chapman. A matter of trust. In because he had to, not so much because Girardi trusted him. After all, if he was trusted, wouldn’t he have come in in the eighth, like usual? It appears that at this point, Girardi doesn’t trust Betances.
Betances had two good innings, but needed to be overextended himself. Working his third inning, he walked the leadoff guy, who stole second. It’s well known that Betances isn’t a good fielder and with his size and delivery, doesn’t hold runners on well. Cleveland took advantage with the SB. Gomes, who extended the AB in the sixth, and who picked off Torreyes in the 11th, got the GW hit.
This is one loss that (unless the Yanks pull off a miracle and win 3 in a row to stun the baseball world and make it to the ALCS) will hurt all winter long.
Sabathia 5 1/3 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 W, 5 K.
Green 1/3 IP, 3 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 1 HBP. Gave up grand slam.
Robertson 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 W, 3 K. Gave up HR.
Kahnle 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Chapman 2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Betances (Loss) 2+ IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Sanchez 2 hits, 2-run HR.
Castro 2 hits, RBI.
Bird 2 hits, 2-run HR.
Hicks 2 hits, 3-run HR.
Todd Frazier 3 hits, but 2 errors.
Torreyes bone-headed PR play.
In the other series, Houston dominated Boston again and the Astros go into Fenway up 2 games to nothing.
In the NL, the Cubs and Dodgers both took Game 1 over the Nationals and Diamondbacks, respectively.