Yankees-Indians ALDS Game 5: In Real Life

Yankees-Indians ALDS Game 5: In Real Life

The Yankees rode two homers from Didi Gregorius to beat the Indians, 5-2, on Wednesday and win the American League Division Series presented by Doosan. We were at the scene in and around Progressive Field.

11:49 p.m. ET: Start spreading the news

The Yankees added two runs in the ninth on two costly Indians errors, then relied on Aroldis Chapman to seal the deal and lift New York into the AL Championship Series presented by Camping World against the Astros.

New York strung together a 30-minute top of the frame in order to secure the two insurance runs, and the win wasn't without an early scare on defense when Chapman walked the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the inning. Chapman rallied to ring up Edwin Encarnacion, used a Carlos Santana fielder's choice to nab the lead runner and caught Austin Jackson looking at strike three to send the Yankees into celebration.

Cleveland, which led the regular season in fielding percentage, committed seven errors over the final two games of the series. The Yankees seemed to heat up as they went, falling behind 2-0 in the series before winning the final three games to send the Indians packing.

10:52 p.m. ET: A little of this, a little of that

Some interesting tidbits about this series:

• Since the start of Game 2 -- which New York lost after losing a five-run lead -- the Yanks have only trailed in two innings of the ALDS. New York hasn't trailed at all since the series shifted to the Bronx on Sunday, winning 1-0 and 7-3 to force the decisive Game 5.

• The matchup between team aces Corey Kluber and CC Sabathia marked the first time two Cy Young Award winners have dueled in a winner-take-all postseason game since 2001, when the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter faced off against the Phillies' Roy Halladay, with Carpenter earning the win after a shutout.

• Entering Game 5, Cleveland was 10-9 against the Yankees in postseason play.

• Prior to the ALDS, Kluber had never allowed multiple home runs in consecutive starts. After Wednesday, he had allowed multiple homers in three consecutive postseason starts dating back to Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

• Tribe reliever Andrew Miller fanned five in his two innings Wednesday, his third career postseason outing of five or more strikeouts in two or fewer innings. No one else in MLB history has more than one.

Jacoby Ellsbury holds the career record for reaching base via catcher's interference, and added another free bag during Game 5.

10:01 p.m. ET: Let's hear it for the (birthday) boy

Cleveland laced four consecutive singles to get on the board with a two-run fifth inning and revitalize the crowd.

Indians get on the board

It was sweet redemption for Giovanny Urshela, who redeemed himself from a two-error Game 4 with an RBI single up the right side that knocked Sabathia from action and pulled Cleveland to within one, 3-2.

With the RBI knock, Urshela became the first Indians player to record a postseason RBI on his birthday, which only sweetened the deal.

9:34 p.m. ET: Kluber gets the hook

While the matchup of two elite former AL Cy Young Award winners didn't exactly live up to its hype, the Yankees certainly aren't complaining. While Sabathia was perfect through three innings, his counterpart, Kluber, didn't fare nearly as well. The Tribe ace was replaced by Andrew Miller after just 3 2/3 innings upon allowing three runs -- via Gregorius' two homers -- on three hits and two walks. He struck out six, and threw 67 pitches. More >

8:57 p.m. ET: Didi 3, Indians 0

What on earth did this guy have for breakfast? Gregorius went deep again in the third inning to push the Yankees' lead to 3-0.

Gregorius joined some pretty elite company with his second swat. Just nine hitters all-time and two other Yankees have enjoyed multiple-homer games in a winner-take-all postseason situation: Jason Giambi (2003 AL Championship Series) and Yogi Berra (1956 World Series).

Entering this game, Gregorius was just 2-for-15 (.133) in his career vs. Kluber.

8:55 p.m. ET: Not the way you'd like to be remembered

When Aaron Judge struck out in the top of the third inning, the Yankees rookie made history ... just not the kind he was aiming for.

 

8:29 p.m. ET: Now you CC me, now you don't

Sabathia wasted no time getting down to business, using 14 pitches to collect two strikeouts as he sat down the side in order in the first inning.

8:19 p.m. ET: Dialing it in

We're live here at Progressive Field, where Gregorius jacked a hung four-seamer from Kluber into the right-field bleachers to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kluber cruised through his first two outs, retiring leadoff hitter Brett Gardner on one pitch -- Gardner bunted up the first-base line -- and fanning Judge before the home run.

Gregorius' solo home run

According to Statcast™, Gregorius' home run had an exit velocity of 95.9 mph, a launch angle of 32 degrees, a hit probability of 27 percent and traveled a projected 375 feet.

Kluber recovered to ring up Gary Sanchez and close out the frame.

6:43 p.m. ET: Juuuuust a bit outside

Man, these Cleveland fans are really ... wild.

6:19 p.m. ET: It's nothing personal

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the decision to leave Ellsbury in the lineup over Matt Holliday or Chase Headley had more to do with long rests and career numbers against Kluber than anything else.

Though Ellsbury is hitless in four ALDS at-bats, he is 5-for-20 (.250) in his career against Kluber, while Headley is 1-for-14 (.071). Holliday has yet to start in the postseason, which worked against him when it came down to creating a Game 5 lineup.

"[Holliday] hasn't had an at-bat in eight days; that's kind of difficult," Girardi said. "I think he's faced [Kluber] once in his career. He hasn't really seen him, and we look at Matty as more of a DH vs. lefties." More >

5:24 p.m. ET: Atta boy, EE

Slugger Edwin Encarnacion's return to the lineup is certainly a welcome sight for the Indians, who benefited greatly from his 38 homers and 107 RBIs in the regular season. Encarnacion worked out at Progressive Field on Tuesday, and manager Terry Francona said his DH was moving without restriction from the right ankle sprain he suffered Friday in Game 2.

"I watched him in the cage and I really came away thinking, 'Man, if I really wasn't looking for it, I wouldn't have known [about his ankle],' which is really uplifting," Francona said.

4:57 p.m. ET: No pressure

Some impressive numbers from tonight's pitcher-catcher combo on the Tribe's side:

4:49 p.m. ET: Keeping it under wraps

A small front blew into Cleveland this afternoon, but officials don't expect it to impact the game. Still, the grounds crew was on top of the situation:

4:25 p.m. ET: Dare we ask what else could happen?

It has been an action-packed series so far: Jason Kipnis used his glove -- and an all-out dive -- to silence the peanut gallery. Vintage Sabathia emerged in Game 2. Greg Bird erupted onto the postseason scene. Francisco Lindor looked grand in Game 2. Judge stood tall to rob Lindor in Game 3. Yan Gomes made 13 a lucky number. Luis Severino bounced back with a dominant Game 4. Oh, and NPH sang the national anthem. More >

And now, in a final game of the season for either the Tribe or Yankees, bets are with Game 5 to top everything we've seen so far.

4:14 p.m. ET: Line 'em up

The Indians and Yanks have announced their lineups for tonight's contest, and, just as Francona had hoped, Encarnacion has returned to action for the first time since he sprained his right ankle in the first inning of Game 2 of the ALDS on Friday night.

First pitch is set for 8 p.m. ET. In the meantime ... how cute was baby CC?