The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:

Saturday, October 7, 2017 Yanks can’t hang on, fall in 13th against Tribe

The Yankees knocked out American League Cy Young Award candidate Corey Kluber early. The Indians lost slugger Edwin Encarnacion to a right ankle injury in the first inning. Yet, the Tribe still found a way. Overcoming obstacles has become kind of a trademark for this club.
Yan Gomes’ RBI single to left field in the 13th inning scored Austin Jackson as the Indians rallied for a thrilling 9-8 walk-off win to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five AL Division Series presented by Doosan. Game 3 is set for Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 at Yankee Stadium.

Obviously, that was a brutal loss. It ranks up there with some of the worst Yankee postseason losses of the last…what…fifty years or so? They missed the playoffs from 1967-1975. 1976, they just outright beaten by the Reds. This was worse than the Midgies game. This was worse than the Chuck Knoblauch game. This was worth than Sandy Alomar Jr. hitting the homer off of Mo.  This wasn’t as bad as Games 4 and 5 against the Dodgers in 1981, Games 4 and 5 in Fenway in 2004 and it wasn’t as bad as Game 7 against Arizona in 2001, but it was a really, really bad loss (worse than Game 5 against the Mariners in 1995? Debatable. Game 3 against the Royals in 1980? Probably.).

The big problem in the game, of course, took place in the sixth inning when the umpire ruled that Lonnie Chisenhall was hit by a pitch when he really wasn’t. Yankee replay guy, Brett Webber, told Joe Girardi not to challenge the play and Girardi, as always, followed Webber’s lead. Webber, though, only had the basic replay to base his opinion on. By the time that the full, slow motion replay had been released, it was too late, as the next batter was already up. Chase Headley (who thought that the ball didn’t hit Chisenhall) remarked:

“Now everybody is like, ‘We should have done something different,’ but in the heat of the moment, those types of things can happen,” Headley said. “I think when you get word that the call was right, why would you challenge it? That’s how I look at it. I think our guy does as good a job as anyone has in the league. I think Joe trusts him. Unfortunately, it just happened at a really bad time.”

Webber’s whole job is to say “challenge or don’t challenge” and he said “don’t challenge” so Girardi didn’t challenge. Girardi can make up whatever other nonsense reasons he wants (“I didn’t want to mess up Chad Green’s rhythm” - come on, dude, that makes no sense), but it’s plain as day - he has a guy whose job it is to say whether to challenge things and they guy said “don’t challenge.” You can certainly knock Girardi for not overruling his challenge guy, but, again, that’s how they do it every game and that’s specifically what the Yankees pay this guy to do and he’s been acclaimed as one of the best replay guys that there is. But obviously he was wrong this time. And it cost the Yankees dearly, as the next batter hit a grand slam (the first home run allowed by Chad Green since July 27th! Just the fifth home run he’s allowed all year)..

Of course, the Yankees were still leading even after the grand slam, but David Robertson gave up a game-tying home run in the 8th inning and at that point, it was really only a matter of time before the Indians eventually pushed a run across. It took until the 13th inning, but it happened.

Now the Yankees have to win both games in New York just to have a CHANCE at facing off against probably Trevor Bauer again. Let’s hope that they get to that point.

EDITED TO ADD: Apparently Aroldis Chapman liked a comment hoping that Girardi doesn’t return next year. If that was someone other than Aroldis Chapman, I might lend it some weight, but it’s Aroldis Chapman, so I don’t.

--Posted at 2:13 am by Brian Cronin / 54 Comments | - (0)


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In hindsight, I would obviously rather change the outcome of either Game 4 or Game 5 in 2004 than last night’s game, but considering they were still only a win away from the pennant after those two games, last night’s loss feels more painful than those two did at the time. In my baseball fandom lifetime (starting 1995, though I did not see Game 5 vs SEA), Game 7 in 2001 was the only game I recall that was clearly worse.

Still, it doesn’t take too much to envision a coinflip Game 5; it’s not difficult to imagine Tanaka and Co. out-pitching Carrasco and Co. tomorrow night, and Severino is better than whoever would start for CLE in Game 4.

I wouldn’ count myself as a huge fan of Girardi, but shit, how about players doing their jobs? Don’t get picked off, don’t throw a juicy meatball to the opposing team’s best player. The pitching has been a horrific in this series. It looks like the games in Cleveland were a little too much for this team.

What a disaster. Was Warren on the 25-man? Why not go with him instead of a clearly tired Green?

That pinch run sequence was one of the stupidest sports moments I’ve ever seen. First of all, I’m not sure Frazier is so slow that he can’t score from second on a decent hit to the OF. Second of all, Torreyes isn’t really fast, so any benefit is marginal anyway. Then Torreyes get’s fucking thrown out on a snap throw. What the fuck.

I was livid. I almost left the bar after that. I should have.

Are we sure the hit by pitch would have been overturned?

(5) This was why I wanted Ellsbury on the bench vice as a DH. He’s your best base runner.

Girardi. I don’t want to even hear his name again. He manages robotically is unable to admit obvious mistakes, and has been here to long. Enough.

Relatedly, if Holliday wasn’t sent up to hit for TRO vs Miller, what’s he doing on the roster? Did Girardi just change his mind about the Miller matchup after Headley drew the walk in what was a great PA vs Miller in Game 1? But since there’s really no other situation for Holliday to appear, it’d have been nice if his spot went to Wade or someone fast.

Are we sure the hit by pitch would have been overturned?

Oh, there’s definitely a chance it doesn’t get overturned if they challenge it, but it was still a mistake not to challenge it.

If the Yankees force a game 5, could the narrative shift to the Indians yakking another series?

5 Good point.  No reason to pinch run but that was o e of the worst mental blunders on Toe’s part I can rembember.

As for the non challenge. Did the replay guy say don’t challenge or I can’t tell without the slo mo and I don’t have the slo mo yet?  If it’s the latter case then Joe needs to roll the dice and challenge because the umps will have the slo mo replay. If he’s wrong he STILL has one challenge left (playoff rules).  But if he’s right inning over, threat over.  Seems to me even if he were right only 5% of the time the gamble is more than worth it.

Of course his catcher indicated it WASN’T a HBP so Joe should’ve challenged immediately.

I don’t understand how Webber said not to challenge. If he was just watching the normal broadcast he would have seen it was worth a challenge.

It’s easy to blame Girardi for not overriding Webber, and it’s also easy to let Girardi off the hook because he was just doing what’s worked for them in the past. But man, this probably drives a wedge between some of the players and the manager. Especially Sanchez, who it’s clear Girardi has zero regard for in terms of his baseball intelligence. So in that sense, if Girardi has lost the respect of his players, there’s really no other option than to let him go. Give the job to Tony Pena. Please for the love of god do not hire Mattingly.

And Green allowed 9 fouls balls to the 4 batters he faced. Wasn’t that a sign he was tired? Joe needs to trust someone else besides Green and DRob. Bringing in Betances after the “HBP” would’ve been far too adventurous but why is Kahnle here?

13 Another excellent point. A total diss towards Sanchez. If Romine had said challenge would Joe have ignored him also? I don’t know.

“I just screamed, ‘Foul!’ [to the umpire],” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “I thought I heard something. I wasn’t sure what.”
Sanchez looked over to the dugout, but Girardi didn’t go for a review.

RAB mentioned there are 2 challenges in the playoffs. What was he saving them for given the risk-reward at that point in the game?

Another cruel irony is that its a fine defensive play by Sanchez to catch the tip.

[15] Alright, so maybe Sanchez wasn’t being dissed. In my recollection I thought he was pleading to Giradi to challenge and Girardi coldly blew him off.

Sanchez is providing one of life’s little IQ test for fans and the media. Those who myopically focus on balls that get past him, whether or not they are blockable,  are failing that test.  He’s a truly great player.

[19] I don’t see a physical limitation there either. I would be far from surprised to see the passed ball/blocking issue disappear over the next few years.

19/20 Yep/yep.

Girardi’s done a lot of things really well. Every manager draws ire. I won’t be upset if he’s replaced, though (well, depending upon the replacement).

Chapman, though… what a bonehead thing to do.

Another thing about Sanchez’s “problem,” the Yankees must have the toughest staff to catch in baseball, especially after adding Garcia and Gray, both of whom have had sporadic command over all their pitches. I feel like its been overstated. Some of these breaking balls in the dirt, like the ones Garcia was throwing to Bruce in game one, don’t even have the illusion of being strikes. That makes them ineffective pitches. Sanchez shouldn’t bear all the responsibility to block all of these scattershot deliveries.

Rain in forecast Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. Could get a wash out. Bauer and Kluber ready, series is over folks. Even with no washout Kluber could start Monday.

Denbo heading to the Marlins is almost a lock. They need to replace him with a quality guy or the minor league system will flounder again.

24 They blew it yesterday, just as in the regular season there where extended periods of excellence while this team absolutely gave away more games and failed to win close games at a rate I can not remember.  Last night was emblematic scoring 8 run by the fifth inning then failing to score for the next 8 with 3 opportunities in xtra innings and the best bullpen in history (on paper) coughing up 7 unanswered. On every close decision Girardi either guessed wrong or chose wrong.  Green was not good and there were signs already in that inning, DRob gave up the tying home run but with Green who had been babied most of the season throwing 42 pitches on Tuesday and DRob 51 why didn’t Girardi look elsewhere. As for Toe that was as bad of a boneheaded play as I can remember at least since Knoblauch.

[25] Trade him for Stanton

I have probably been Joe’s biggest fan in recent years. His bullpen management has been good throughout his tenure. It seems to have gotten worse the past few years, but I challenge you to watch other manager’s use their pen.

But last night was bad enough for him to be fired. Starting CC. Leaving CC in through the 6th, not challenging, the PR for Frazier, and so on and so forth. Heck, as much as D-Rob was rolling, why not have a lefty face Bruce? Bring in Chapman for 2 or have Shreeve/Gumby get Bruce then go to Dellin.

And even if his total BS excuse in the presser was an attempt to cover for their video guy, it was obvious he was bs’ing. I can’t believe it’s come to this, especially because we all know about SSS and mistakes happen, that one decision will cost them the season, in addition to all the other terrible decisions. He should be fired.

I will say, the Yankees did everything they could to lose the game. They could have won without the challenge. There were no replays of it, but I find it shocking Castro didn’t score on the first inning error if he was truly hustling. Frazier’s error to start the game. Frazier’s decision to throw to 2nd instead of first not too long after. Frazier attempting to steal with Judge up. Getting picked off second.

Just embarrassing all around.

F man. Up 5 with 10 outs left.

1-1 going home with Tanaka and Severino? Damnit.

Rant over, in closing, fire Joe G, hire Manny Acta, go Dodgers.

[25] Yeah, Denbo leaving could be a big deal.

[26] No disagreement. Of course I have never been a Girardi fan. What made me angry was the BS about what a genius Girardi was on Tuesday, blah, blah, blah. We always beat the Twins.

BTW, did any reporters ask about Todd Frazier’s stolen base attempt? Or was it forgotten after what else went down? Who made the decision to send Frazier?

(30) I didn’t think that was the worst play. I know the outs are precious, but with 2 strikes and a ball in the dirt likely coming, with Judge getting a fresh count if you are caught. Didn’t judge wall the next inning?

It doesn’t help that Girardi looked flustered in the dugout while they were trying to decide whether to challenge, and he was flustered after the game trying to explain what happened. In a situation where he needed to take a breath and slow things down, he let things speed up and get away from him.

I’ve been a solid supporter, but man, I can see where this game could cost him his job.

[31] Yeah, it gives Judge a fresh count. But, it also takes the bat out of Judge’s hand with a man on. I think all things being even, the chance of a 2 run HR is more valuable than resetting the count or maybe getting to 2B.

Go Stros!

I’ll never like the Red Sox hatred. When they never won, they hated the Yankees, but the Yankees fans tended to find them kind of endearing. Your hatred is a kind of tribute I don’t want paid to them. So they won a few? It’ll pass.

More than that, it’s not the dislikeable team it once was. In short, here’s one vote for not flattering another team with such vitriol.

I’d have no problems if Cashman was making the hire if they don’t re-sign Girardi. But given that the Steinbrenners have stubbornly refused to negotiate in-season extensions, the manager, player development guy and the GM will be on the market come this offseason. If I am Jeter, I make the Godfather offer to all three to come onboard to rebuild a new team in a new city and force the Steinbrenners to make Randy Levine the GM.

“make Randy Levine the GM”

Perhaps the most mean-spirited combination of words I have ever encountered.

[EDIT] Well, except, perhaps, the sub-combination “Randy Levine,” of course.

Somebody needs to out whoever told the press Bird was dogging it.

Go Stros!

I was traveling yesterday and had to list to John and Suzie for the whole game. They spent the first 3 innings talking about how you can’t predict baseball because the Yankees were beating Kluber, then spent the next two predicting that there was no way the Yankee bullpen could blow a 5 run lead.

A day late but better than not at all

Bryan Hoch @BryanHoch
Joe Girardi: “I take responsibility for everything, and I feel horrible about it.”

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

Joe’s okay by me. Everybody screws up.

There were lots of errors in the game last night - that was just one of them.

I hope he takes Sanchez aside and apologizes.

1960 worst loss while totally outplaying your opponent.

Girardi should have taken Green out after long battle with Chisenhall. At a minimum green should have been extremely made aware if he stayed in that Lindor would be all over first pitch? Was Robertson ready after the HBP?

Revisiting the early part of the thread on historic bad losses:

Am I the only one here old enough to remember game 7 of the 1960 World Series?
That was the worst loss.
Take a look at the play by play and the win probability chart:

No, yesterday wasn’t worse than the 1981 losses to the Dodgers or the 1980 Brett Homer off Gossage or Luis Gonzalez’s bloop or any of four games in 2004.  Its worse when its late enough in a series when you think there’s a chance to win.

38. Agree. Also isn’t it inexcusable how poorly yankee doctors were (again) ? Bird should have only missed about a month rather than 102 games

Did gray own up to his poor performance? Looked as though like Sevy pressure made him lose feel for slider.

47 See 44. And the pivotal play was when Virdon hit a DP ball with the Pirates trailing that took a bad hop and hit Kubek in the throat.  Kubek was never the same afterwards.

I was 8 years old in1960 and only remember one thing and it was my dad reacting with surprise that Richardson hit a GS. Have studied it with a lot of interest since. Main problem was Ford didn’t start 3 times

Loss to Seattle was hard for me to take after first 2 game wins. Best takeaway is that the next year began a great period of success . There is value for the future for young guys getting exposure to pressure baseball.

Hard to be that upset when the team that beats you is in fact better than you. Unlike 1960 or 2001. (Arizona was not a good team. They just had 2 pitchers and one hitter)

But yeah that non replay is going to haunt them.

I am not a Girardo fan and this is just more ammo for guys like me.He choked under pressure. Just like Sevy (and nick swisher)

(33) 1st and 2nd w 2 out and Sanchez up < Man on 1st w 2 out and 2 strikes on Judge? I don’t think so.

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