A 2-0 hole was nothing for these young New York Yankees, as they came all the way back to advance past the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. 

  • New York Yankees: 5 (3-2)
  • Cleveland Indians: 2 (2-3)
  • ALDS Game 5, FINAL, Box Score
  • Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH

Here’s something many didn’t expect to hear back in March: the 2017 New York Yankees have advanced past the Cleveland Indians and into the American League Championship Series.

Thanks to two solo home runs by Didi Gregorius and a stellar start by CC Sabathia, New York takes the series despite being down two games to none and are one series away from reaching the Fall Classic.

The Yankees’ shortstop wasted no time jumping on Cy Young favorite Corey Kluber, as he drilled a first-inning home run into the seats in right field to put New York up 1-0 early.

After two scoreless innings by Sabathia, his shortstop decided to award him with yet another bomb. After Brett Gardner ripped a sharp single to right field, Gregorius launched his second homer of the night to put the Yankees up by a score of 3-0 against one of baseball’s best pitchers.

While Didi provided all the offense, Sabathia was at his best. The 37-year-old lefty retired 13 of first 14 and was perfect through three innings but these are the Indians we’re talking about. That’s not an offense that goes down without a fight.

In the bottom of the fifth, Cleveland smacked four straight singles and closed the gap to 3-2. It could have been worse for the Yankees, but reliever David Robertson cleaned up the mess by getting Francisco Lindor to ground into an inning-ending double play. Sabathia’s day was finished after nine strikeouts over 4.2 innings.

Following that escape, Robertson recorded two more hitless innings in the sixth and seventh, handing it over to Aroldis Chapman, who manager Joe Girardi called upon to registered a six-out save.

Chapman struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning before coming out for the ninth he received two runs of insurance thanks to an incredible at-bat by the longest tenured Yankee, Brett Gardner.

Facing Cody Allen with Aaron Hicks on second and Todd Frazier on first, Gardner worked a 12-pitch at-bat featuring six foul balls before slapping a RBI single to right field, scoring Hicks. Jay Bruce‘s throw into the infield ate up Francisco Lindor, allowing Frazier to score an extra insurance run.

Despite the long wait, Chapman came out for the ninth inning. After issuing a leadoff walk to MVP candidate Jose Ramirez, the flamethrowing lefty fanned Edwin Encarnacion before inducing a fielder’s choice to bring the Yankees one out away.

To finish things off, Chapman fanned Austin Jackson to close things out.

With that, the Yankees successfully climbed out of a 2-0 hole for the second time in franchise history and the first time since the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland Athletics. As hard as it is to believe, the Baby Bombers are in the American League Championship Series.

Knight In Shining Armour: 

After taking Kluber deep in the top of the first inning then again in the third, Yankees’ shortstop Didi Gregorius joined Carlos Beltran, Troy O’Leary, and Jim Thome as the only hitters to homer in Game 5 of a league division series in postseason history.

Jacoby’s Specialty: 

Jacoby Ellsbury is the all-time Major League leader in catcher’s interferences and brought what he knows best to October baseball. After reaching on a catcher’s interference in the top of the second inning, he joined Bud Metheny as the only two Yankees’ hitters to reach on that play in franchise history.

This Day In Yankees’ History:

On Oct. 11, 2000, the Yankees used an eight-hit, seven-run
eighth inning capped off by a two-run homer by Derek Jeter to earn a 7-1 victory in Game 2 of the ALCS against Seattle.

What’s Next:

The Yankees will advance to the ALCS to face the Houston Astros on Friday in Houston. Pitching matchups will be announced shortly, but Game 1 will air on Fox Sports 1 at 8:00 p.m. from Minute Maid Park.