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A.L.D.S. Game 2: How the Yankees Beat the Twins

Seth Wenig/Associated Press

From 2016 to 2018, Didi Gregorius was a cornerstone for the Yankees. He played slick defense at his demanding shortstop position, improved his plate discipline and smashed at least 20 home runs each year, a crucial left-handed counterbalance in a Yankees’ lineup heavy on right-handers.

But this season was anything but smooth for Gregorius. He missed the first two months after having Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow last fall, for an injury he sustained during last year’s postseason. And when he returned in June, Gregorius couldn’t quite recapture his pre-operation form on either side of the ball.