New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius refused to let his team go home as losers on Wednesday night. He launched not one, but two home runs to power the Yankees to a division series win over the Cleveland Indians.
Gregorius, who’d had only one hit in all previous four games of the series combined, smashed a homer off Indians ace Corey Kluber that put the Cleveland crowd into utter silence. Cleveland, to its own credit, fought back from a 3-0 deficit to make it 3-2 going into the 9th inning, but Yankees LF Brett Gardner uncorked a 2-run single to put the game and the series out of reach.
The Yankees became only the 10th team in MLB history to wipe away an 0-2 game deficit in a best-of-5 series and likely saved manager Joe Girardi from tough offseason questions, as Girardi made several bad decisions during the series - especially in Game 2.
The Indians, on the other hand, melted down for a second straight year. Last year, they had a 3-1 game lead over the Chicago Cubs in the World Series and allowed the Cubs to crawl all the way back and win in one of the most electric Game 7s ever played. The Indians were the overwhelming favorite to win the ALDS after achieving the best regular season record in the American League this year.
It’s a disappointing end for Indians manager Terry Francona and the best regular season team in the AL. Kluber, the probable Cy Young winner, was yanked after giving up 3 runs in 3.2 innings. Overall, he ended with a playoff ERA of 12.79.
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