Girardi's blunder proves costly as Bombers blow five run lead to lose 9-8 in 13

The Yankees came into this game looking for a bounce-back win for some momentum heading back to the Bronx. The Bombers would strike early and often, holding an 8-3 lead heading into the sixth, but after a horrible no-challenge decision by Joe Girardi, a grand slam by Francisco Lindor, a solo home run by Jay Bruce, the Yankees head to extras. Heartbreakingly, New York would lose the game in the bottom of the 13th inning, returning home down 0-2 in the series.

Randy Miller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com



The game started off with a bang with Gary Sanchez’ two-run laser off Cy Young favorite Corey Kluber, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead. However, just as quickly the Yanks got on the board, so would the Indians. Lindor started by reaching on an error by Todd Frazier, and after a walk and hit by pitch, the bases were loaded for Carlos Santana. Starting Pitcher CC Sabathia, starting to struggle, would let up a line drive single to left field to tie the game at two.

The defensive struggles didn’t seem to end there another Frazier error would eventually lead to another left-field single to give the Indians an early 3-2 lead. Cleveland’s DH Edwin Encarnacion left the game due to a nasty looking ankle injury, the righty’s power will be missed in the Indians lineup, as he has 38 HRs on the year.


Randy Miller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Although the defense started off slow, the offense was ready to make up for it. After a Starlin Castro doubles to tie the game at three, center fielder Aaron Hicks hits a three-run home run to give the Bombers a 6-3 lead in the third. That would end Kluber’s day at only 2.2 IP, another addition to the list of opposing starters who could not last more than five innings against the Yanks.

CC, to the delight of New York fans, would return to the form they are used to seeing, retiring the side to end the third inning. The lefty continued his excellent form into the fourth inning, striking out three batters in these two innings while retiring all six batters he faced.

Greg Bird must’ve felt left out of all the fun, as he would hit a monster home run in the top of the fifth to give the Yankees a commanding 8-3 lead. Sabathia continued his excellent performance, forcing two groundouts and a strikeout in the fifth, his 11th straight force out since the third inning.

Joshua Gunter, cleveland.com

The game would take a decisive turn in the bottom of the sixth, after a walk and a lineout, manager Joe Girardi replaces CC for Chad Green after 77 pitches. The righty would force a flyout, but relinquish a double and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with two outs. The hit-by-pitch may go down as the most significant blunder of Girardi’s career, as it seemed painfully evident on camera and to catcher Gary Sanchez, that the ball did not hit the batter, but the knob of the bat, which would’ve resulted in a foul tip strikeout to end the inning. For some reason, Girardi thought he ran out of time to challenge, despite the pleas of his catcher, bringing up Lindor. The phenom shortstop sent the second pitch to the second deck in right field for a colossal grand slam to cut the lead to one.

The momentum had swayed back to the home team, as the Yankee offense would go MIA the rest of the way, but the Indians had no plans of stopping. In the eighth inning, last night’s hero for Cleveland, Jay Bruce, sent David Robertson’s pitch to the seats in left field to tie the game at eight.

The Yankees had a chance to score with a runner on second and one out, but groundout by Aaron Judge and looking strikeout for Sanchez would end any threat for the Bombers. Aroldis Chapman came in the bottom of the ninth in hopes of sending the game to extras, and that he did. The lefty recording two strikeouts while surrendering just one hit to end the inning.

Chuck Crow, The Plain Dealer
The next gaffe by the Yankees occurred in the 11th inning when pinch runner Ronald Torreyes was picked off by catcher Yan Gomes at second base with no outs, ruining an ideal scoring chance for the Yanks. Dellin Betances came in the bottom of the inning and pitched great for two innings until the 13th inning. The righty reliever would surrender a walk and Gomes single to end the game in gut-wrenching fashion.

This game was an utter disaster for the Yankees, who looked poised to turn the series around on the reigning AL champs, but a boneheaded decision by manager Joe Girardi, an unforgivable mistake by Torreyes,  and an implosion by the otherwise stellar Yankee bullpen would ruin those hopes. The Bombers will look to pull off the improbable and run the table to save their season. Game three is Sunday at 7:30 in the Bronx as Masahiro Tanaka faces off against Carlos Carrasco in a do-or-die game for the Yanks.

Winning Pitcher: Josh Tomlin (1-0 0.00 ERA): 2.0 IP 3 K
Losing Pitcher: Dellin Betances (0-1 3.00 ERA): 2.0 IP H, ER, BB, 2 K

Notables:
Gary Sanchez: 2-6, 2 R, 2 RBI (2), HR (1)
Aaron Hicks: 2-6, R, 3 RBI (3), HR (1)
Starlin Castro: 6-2, R, RBI (1)
Greg Bird: 2-5, 2 R, BB, 2 RBI

Article by: Maxx Hotton

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