Yankees SS Didi Gregorius sent two homers over the right field fence on Wednesday night to help lead the Yankees over the Indians in Game 5 of the ALDS.
Indians starter Corey Kluber had a rough outing in Game 2, only making it through 2 2/3 innings before exiting. He was fully rested in Game 5, and was expected to turn things around in the decisive game.
Gregorius had other plans for Kluber as he quieted the crowd, launching a solo shot with two outs in his first at-bat to put the Yankees up 1-0.
But he wasn't done. Gregorius stepped up to the plate -- this time with Brett Gardner on first -- and completely silenced the crowd with a two-run shot to extend the Yankees' lead to three.
Manager Joe Girardi needed a spark from one of his players, and it just so happened to be one that was struggling entering the game.
"Well I mean, just a huge lift. To give us a lead and then to give us the 3-0 lead was even bigger," Girardi said after the game. "One of the bigger plays might have been the double play he turned. So Didi had an incredible night tonight."
Since arriving on the Yankees in 2015, Gregorius was immediately under a microscope having taken over future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter's coveted shortstop position. Now, Gregorius has left many fans to forget about Jeter as he continues to come up in big spots.
Gregorius just wants to follow in the footsteps of a Yankee great.
"That question never gets old," Gregorius told ESPN's Andrew Marchand. "To be honest, I mean, it was just after he played his long, successful career here in New York, I'm the guy to follow him."
Gregorius entered Wednesday's game hitting .077 in the series. But after a three-hit, three RBI night, it rose to .235.
Girardi knows his team wasn't expected to make the playoffs let alone beat the red-hot Indians to advance to the ALCS. But the team has defied odds all season long, and no matter who steps up in big spots, the Yankees seem to come out on top. It was Gregorius on Wednesday night.
"And that's the other thing. It comes from different places, and you get in the playoffs sometimes and you look up, and a guy's hitting .150 or .200, but they won a game for you by themselves," Girardi said. And that's the way it is. That's the great thing about this team. There are so many players that can do it. Tonight, it was Didi."