The affable rookie who loves SpongeBob SquarePants has backed the New York Yankees into a postseason corner.
Gonzalez, a postseason hero just a week ago, lined a 1-2 pitch from Clarke Schmidt through the middle to score rookie Steven Kwan and Amed Rosario as the young Guardians, who have shown no fear during this storybook season, rallied once again and pushed the Yankees to the brink of elimination.
“We’ve seen it in two series so far from this guy,” Guardians starter Triston McKenzie said. “He comes up in the 15th inning and hits a home run, has a game-winning hit in another game, has the hit tonight.
“There’s a maturity level at the plate you don’t see all the time.”
Before Cleveland’s comeback, the Yankees were 167-0 in the postseason when entering the ninth inning with a multiple-run lead.
The win followed a familiar formula for the Guardians, who led the majors with 29 wins in their final at-bat and have now done it twice in a week – both times with Gonzalez delivering the game-winning hit.
Gonzalez walks to the plate to the theme for “SpongeBob SquarePants,” a fitting anthem for baseball’s youngest team.
“I go there singing the song because I have a big body,” Gonzalez said through a translator. “But deep inside I feel like a kid.”
Following the game, Gonzalez rode a scooter down one of the hallways inside Progressive Field.