Joe Girardi says he 'screwed up' by not challenging HBP call

Corey Kluber's absence in Game 1 is a golden opportunity for the Yankees

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi is taking responsibility for not challenging a controversial hit-by-pitch call against Cleveland Indians pinch hitter Lonnie Chisenhall during Friday's American League Division Series Game 2. In six career starts against NY, he is 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA. It looked as if the Yankees were going to pull off an improbable win against the Indians in Cleveland. That's when a showdown between Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber is likely in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series in Cleveland.

J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 and hit a solo home run off Clayton Kershaw in the sixth inning, but the Los Angeles Dodgers won the opener over the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-5.

Yankees pitchers will be throwing to catcher Gary Sanchez, whose defense has been criticized this year, but manager Joe Girardi is happy with the progress Sanchez has made behind the plate. Sabathia was only at 77 pitches, he wasn't falling apart, and the Yankees had a five-run lead.

"I screwed up", Girardi said in a news conference Saturday.

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Austin Jackson flew out, but Yan Gomes hit a double, advancing Santana to third.

The Yankees built up momentum racking up an impressive 8-3 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. He hit 38 home runs during the regular season.

Girardi said Sanchez's reaction was not relevant, pointing out, correctly, that players nearly always want a challenge on close plays. The Yankees offense suddenly forgot how to hit and went back to how they were in Game 1. It's about us winning three games before they do. Whether or not a challenge would have changed the outcome of the game is impossible to tell, and the fact remains that the loss puts the Yankees in a deep hole down two games to none with one more loss resulting in an early exit for the Bronx Bombers. "Not just that, but some of the big games that I needed to pitch that I had the opportunity to pitch this season and, also, just by observing the games, these postseason games, you get a sense of what needs to be done", Tanaka said.

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