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Girardi blunder puts Yankees in hard spot

08 October 2017

The pitching matchup for Game 2 of the American League Division series between the New York Yankees and Cleveland on Friday will feature two of the last three Indians pitchers to win the Cy Young Award: CC Sabathia (2007) and Corey Kluber (2014).

Two days ago I lauded Yankees manager Joe Girardi for making all the right moves in a A.L. Wild Card win over Minnesota.

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After Cleveland took an early 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning, things started to fall apart for the Indians. Headley is just 1 of 14 against Kluber. It's about us winning three games before they do.

The Indians will have a chance to eliminate the Yankees when they meet for Game 3 in NY on Sunday. "Whichever way that happens, and if it happens and we advance, it doesn't matter who pitches when, in my mind". Yet in this weird, 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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In 11 career starts against his former team, Sabathia is 4-3 with a 3.65 ERA. He joined me to discuss C.C. Sabathia and the series as a whole. "So I'm not really too concerned about it".

When Terry Francona kept his ace on the bench for Game 1, we wondered what he was thinking. He threw 77 pitches. Kluber was tagged for six runs on seven hits including two home runs - one by Gary Sanchez in the first inning and one by Aaron Hicks in the third inning on the 76th pitch of his outing that knocked him out the game. Ellsbury has batted.263 (5-19) in his career against Kluber, who went 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in two starts against NY this season.

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Girardi said that nothing indicated that the call of a hit-by-pitch was not the correct call. Austin Jackson will start in left field against NY left-hander CC Sabathia, and Yan Gomes will catch Kluber. "I'm excited for him because past year he missed out".

Girardi blunder puts Yankees in hard spot