Girardi’s legacy will forever be tainted by this debacle

CLEVELAND — Joe Girardi luxuriated in champagne Tuesday night, a celebratory bath earned with a maestro performance in which he expertly read the moment and his players to piece together 26 winning outs from his bullpen.

The good vibes and goodwill lasted three days — enough distance from wild-card euphoria against the Twins to Division Series anguish against the Indians; Joe McCarthy to Art Howe in a few easy lessons.

Girardi did not have a good Game 2 on Friday night, but his sixth inning stands as the lowest moment in his 10 years as Yankees skipper. A Stump Merrill inning. A Bucky Dent inning. An inning that served as the trigger for a 9-8 Indians win in 13 innings and what is now the Yankees’ likely extinction from the 2017 season, trailing 0-2 in this best-of-five.

A lot was questionable in the bottom of the sixth — removing CC Sabathia after just 77 pitches and sticking with Chad Green when there were overt signs he lacked his best stuff. But this game — this excruciating game for the Yankees — will be remembered for Girardi not challenging a hit-by-pitch, for ignoring clear cues he absolutely should have.

The Yankees led 8-3. There were runners on second and third, two outs. Green delivered an inside pitch to Lonnie Chisenhall that redirected from the hitter

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