So Lonnie Chisenhall Was Probably Out

I don’t know if this is ultimately going to matter much. As I write this, the Yankees are still leading the Indians by a run, and they only need to get six more outs. The odds are in the Yankees’ favor. But, not long ago, the odds were even more in the Yankees’ favor. Then we had controversy. Controversy! Our first controversy of the 2017 postseason, as far as I can tell. The scene: the bottom of the sixth, with two on and two out in an 8-3 game. It’s Chad Green, and it’s Lonnie Chisenhall, and the count is 0-and-2.

That’s not where that pitch was supposed to go. The result: the dreaded 0-and-2 HBP. You’d expect better of Green, and he certainly knew right away he didn’t execute like he wanted to, but if you watch that clip over and over, you might notice something. As the umpire signals for Chisenhall to take his base, Chisenhall appears to be surprised. Not that he was going to turn down the opportunity, but he didn’t respond like someone who’d been hit by a pitch in the body. Gary Sanchez immediately thought that something was wrong. Sanchez thought the ball hit the knob of the bat. Upon super-slow-motion instant replay, it looks like the ball did hit the knob of the bat.

And then the ball went into Sanchez’s glove! Which would make it, technically, a foul tip, which would lead to a strikeout. If the ball hit the bat, then Chisenhall should’ve been out, and that would’ve been the end of it. I’m not saying the instant replay makes it 100% incontestable, but it looks a lot more like bat than hand. And as you probably know, these plays are reviewable. Seems like that should’ve come in handy for the Yankees. They could get the umpires to take a look. They…didn’t. I have no idea why. Something tells me it’s going to come up later on. Sanchez thought Chisenhall was hit in the bat, not the hand, and he gestured toward his own dugout. No review was requested. Within seconds, this would loom awfully large.

Instead of 8-3 in the seventh, it became 8-7 in the sixth. Instead of the Indians’ win expectancy being about 3%, it was about 33%. Now, that’s not all on the call. Even after Chisenhall went to first, the Indians’ odds of winning stood at about 8%, and then Francisco Lindor had to do what he did to Chad Green’s delivery. Green, for his part, should’ve made better pitches. But in our sixth playoff game, we have our first real issue related to a call on the field — and instant replay — and now that I check back in, oh, look at that, the Indians have tied the game up. I’m sure Joe Girardi is looking forward to his presser. I can’t imagine what he’s going to be asked.

Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.

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Daniel Kingmember
4 years ago

Just crazy. I have no idea why girardi didn’t challenge. It just makes no sense in a game like this.

4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Sullivan

I think it is over 50 percent, but not incontrovertible evidence.

OddBall Herrera
4 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Sullivan

At the time, the odds of them tying it up were long, challenging and overturning the play would have made them extremely long.

I don’t know why you would let uncertainty stop you from taking an opportunity to basically end the game. What’s the worst that could happen? You lose a challenge that, since you are winning by a bunch and have a dynamite pullpen, you probably don’t need?

I don’t think hindsight is needed to criticise this fairly.

4 years ago

Also in the playoffs you get an additional challenge, AND it was almost the 7th… where challenges basically become free and unlimited (I’ve yet to see the umps decline a challenge request).

Even IF he wanted to save his challenges for later (which is an unimaginable stretch of logic), he would have had one more left and one out away from getting as many as he wanted essentially.

4 years ago
Reply to  Shauncore

8th inning is when it goes to the umps now

4 years ago
Reply to  Daniel King

I’m with Mr. Marley. No good reason not to try and challenge it. Girardi made some, let’s say….”questionable” decisions this game

John Autin
4 years ago

Like, sticking his head up his … ?

Didn’t push a right button all night.