Yankees blow five-run lead and lose to a poised Cleveland Indians club, 9-8, in 13 innings in Game 2 of the ALDS. The Yankees took a two-run lead in the top of the first on a two-run home run by Gary Sanchez after Aaron Judge had walked on batter earlier. Yankees’ starter C.C. Sabathia pitched a gem after giving up tying runs in the 2nd inning settling down allowing just 4 runs (2 earned) and five strikeouts in 5.1 innings for the stability the Yankees needed from their seasoned ace. After 77 pitches manager Joe Girardi made his first of many mistakes on the night removing Sabathia for Chad Greene. Inheriting a baserunner from a Sabathia walk to Santana, and then giving up a double to Gomes, and hitting Lonnie Chisenhall, Greene proceeded to give up a Grand Slam to Francisco Lindor to make the score 8-7. However, a replay of the Chisenhall at-bat prior to Lindor’s grand slam, showed the ball hitting the knob of the bat which, having gone into Gary Sanchez’s glove with a 2-strike count and two outs, would have been the final out. Girardi didn’t challenge and after the game explained, “he didn’t want to disrupt the pitcher’s rhythm,” for the reason not to challenge.
David Robertson was left in one pitch too long, surrendered the game-tying HR on a 3-2 fastball to former Mets and Cincinnati Reds’ All-Star Jay Bruce in the 8th inning before Girardi brought in Tommy Kahnle who managed to get out of the inning retiring Gomes and Gonzalez.
In the top of the 11th inning, Ronald Torreyes, pinch-running for Todd Frazier who had been awarded second base on a Lindor overthrow, got picked off by catcher Yan Gomes. Originally called safe, Terry “Tito” Francona asked for a reply-review and the-on-field call was overturned as it showed Torreyes was out by inches due to a quick tag by Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor. Francona didn’t needed reassurance from his bench coaches to make the request.
Girardi looked nervous in the dugout all night even with a 5-run lead while Francona, chewing a copious amount of bubble gum outwardly looked more in control knowing his team’s ability to make a comeback. He was right. And now the only thing that can help the Yankees and their pitching is a report of inclement weather for the New York area mid- week which may provide the necessary rest their bullpen will need to mount a comeback with a 2-0 deficit in a five-game series.