Girardi blunder puts Yankees in hard spot

Corey Kluber will try to put the Indians ahead 2-0 in the ALDS

The New York Yankees lost in heart-breaking fashion to the Cleveland Indians during Game 2 of the ALDS, and on Saturday manager Joe Girardi took full responsibility. That's when a showdown between Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber is likely in Game 1 of the AL Championship Series in Cleveland.

The Yankees have found themselves in a 2-0 hole to the Cleveland Indians after a listless performance in Game 1 and a blown five-run lead in Game 2, where Girardi's managing mishaps took the wind out of the team's sails.

Joe Girardi finally said what Yankee fans wanted to hear Friday night.

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It was a decision that doomed the Yankees. They make you throw a lot of pitches.

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

Girardi said in hindsight he should've challenged the hit-by-pitch ruling in the sixth inning that led to Francisco Lindor's grand slam that sparked the Indians comeback win in extra innings. Yet in this freakish, binary season of the strikeout/home run, the Yankees turned Kluber into a game of pepper, pounding the ball off and over walls, with the carousel of runners stomping on home plate six times after three innings.

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Girardi said Sanchez's reaction was not relevant, pointing out, correctly, that players nearly always want a challenge on close plays. After retiring four on three strikeouts, Robertson surrendered a solo shot to Jay Bruce, which tied the game at 8. The Yankees went on to lose 9-8 in 13 innings.

"There was nothing that told us that he was not hit by the pitch", Girardi said after the game.

Plate umpire Dan Iassogna said the pitch grazed Chisenhall's hand, though Chisenhall didn't even react.

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Severino has been in this situation before as a reliever when the Yankees needed him most. Do the Yankees, a year after beginning the stages of a rebuild, have a chance to pull off their biggest playoff upset since the 1996 postseason? They beat the Red Sox 8-2 on Friday to take a 2-0 lead.

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