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Yankees’ players react to Joe Girardi’s non-challenge gaffe in Game 2


Before the Yankees lost in devastating fashion to the Cleveland Indians in Game 2 of the ALDS at Progressive Field, manager Joe Girardi had wittingly placed himself in between a rock and a hard place.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, with New York ahead 8-3, home plate umpire Dan Iassogna signaled that a Chad Green fastball grazed pinch-hitter Lonnie Chisenhall’s hands, resulting in a hit-by-pitch to load the bases up for Francisco Lindor, who ultimately hit a grand slam two pitches later to trim the Indians’ deficit to one.

But prior to Lindor’s at-bat, Girardi was trapped like a deer in headlights. In the dugout, Girardi waited for replay coordinator Brett Weber’s judgement on whether to challenge the play. But when the Yankees’ allotted 30 seconds had expired, Weber said — according to Girardi — that he had found no conclusive evidence to get the call overturned. Thus, Girardi told Iassogna to resume play, and the ensuing at-bat altered all momentum.

Following the game, which ended in a 9-8 loss for the Yankees in 13 innings, Girardi offered an explanation on why he didn’t roll the dice with a challenge. His reasoning can be found in the video below, courtesy of the YES Network.

While the dust is in the midst of settling, Girardi’s reasoning remains erroneous and confounding. Regardless of whether the ball hit the knob of the bat or not (slow-motion replay suggests the ball did not hit Chisenhall), there was no way to justify his reluctance to roll the dice. Several blunders and gaffes allowed the Indians to rally and escape Cleveland with a commanding 2-0 lead in the series, but Girardi’s oversight in the sixth will be discussed throughout the offseason.

Randy Miller, who covers the Yankees for NJ.com, discussed the incident with six players, and their responses are below: