CLEVELAND — New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he did not challenge a call that resulted in a Cleveland Indians hit batsman instead of a strike three because his replay personnel did not have enough time to see the correct shot and he didn’t want to ruin the rhythm of his pitcher.
The Indians’ batter, Lonnie Chisenhall, went to first to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday night. Next, reliever Chad Green gave up a grand slam to the Indians’ Francisco Lindor to cut the Yankees’ lead from five runs to one.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez caught the ball that replay showed hit off the knob of Chisenhall’s bat on the 0-2 pitch. It should have been strike three to end the inning.
Sanchez said he yelled “Foul!” and he looked over to the dugout.
Still, Girardi did not call for a replay.
“There was nothing that told us that he was not hit by the pitch,” Girardi said after the Yankees lost 9-8 in 13 innings to fall behind two games in the best-of-five American League Division Series. “By the time we got the super slow-mo, we are beyond a minute. It was too late. They tell us we have 30 seconds.”
Yankees official Brett Weber is the one who fastidiously studies each replay. He didn’t see one in time to call for the challenge, according to Girardi.
Girardi, with two challenges remaining and the game already in the sixth, could have challenged just to see if he was right.
“I think about the rhythm and never want to take a pitcher out of rhythm and have them stand over there to tell me he wasn’t hit,” Girardi said.
The Yankees declined to make Weber available to speak with the media. Weber and the Yankees had the best percentage of overturning replays in all of baseball in 2017 at a 75 percent success clip.
This time, the Yankees didn’t use one, leaving Girardi frustrated.
“We had no super slow-mo at that time,” Girardi said. “Again, I’m going to reiterate, I think about keeping a pitcher in rhythm. Maybe I’ll think different now.”