Yankees’ Gio Urshela places on present in Cleveland return
Gio Urshela did the whole lot he might to make his return to Cleveland memorable.
The third baseman got here up by means of the Indians’ group and broke into the majors with Cleveland, and on Wednesday he hit a grand slam that gave the Yankees the lead and scored the go-ahead run within the Bombers’ series-clinching 10-9 win in Recreation 2 at Progressive Subject. He additionally made a terrific diving play to finish the underside of the eighth and hold the Yankees’ deficit at one run with Aroldis Chapman on the mound.
“He was in all probability the star of the sport amongst many big-time performances,’’ Aaron Boone mentioned after the Yankees superior to the ALDS in San Diego.
Urshela referred to as it “among the finest video games I ever performed in my life.”
It could be arduous to argue. His single within the high of the ninth sparked their rally and he scored on DJ LeMahieu’s single. Urshela’s fourth-inning grand slam off right-hander James Karinchak gave the Yankees a 5-4 lead.
It got here after Aaron Hicks began the inning off Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco with a triple over the pinnacle of Delino DeShields. Luke Voit and Giancarlo Stanton walked to load the bases.
Performing supervisor Sandy Alomar Jr. went to the bullpen for Karinchak, who went to a full rely towards Urshela earlier than Urshela took him deep on a fastball with a shot that traveled 432 ft.
Afterward, Urshela mentioned he didn’t know what was going by means of his thoughts as he rounded the bases.
“To be sincere, I can’t bear in mind,’’ Urshela mentioned. “I simply bear in mind I hit the ball after which was giving high-fives to my teammates.”
He nearly topped it together with his play on Carlos Santana’s shot to 3rd, which Urshela stopped and he made a throw to second from the bottom to begin the double play.
“It’s no secret, everyone knows what Gio is able to,’’ Chapman mentioned by means of an interpreter. “I actually suppose he saved the sport there. If the ball goes by him, at the very least one run is available in. It was a tremendous play.”
The primary time Urshela performed within the postseason, he was an all-field, no-hit third baseman for the Indians who went on to make two key errors within the 2017 ALDS that helped the Yankees advance.
Now, he’s a a lot completely different participant.
Requested previous to Recreation 2 how he’s grown since his time with the Indians, Urshela mentioned, “I suppose loads. I really feel like a special participant [with a] completely different mentality.”
The enhancements have come on each side of the ball and persuaded the Yankees to stay with Urshela even after Miguel Andujar returned to well being this season.
And he continues to impress his teammates, together with DJ LeMahieu, who likened Urshela’s play at third to Nolan Arenado.
LeMahieu performed with the perennial All-Star and Gold Glove-winner in Colorado earlier than coming to The Bronx earlier than final season.
“He’s a particular defender,’’ LeMahieu mentioned. “I’d put him within the Nolan class defensively. Offensively, it looks like he hits the ball arduous each time up. He’s been large for us all 12 months. He’s only a actually good participant. I actually respect his recreation.”
It’s a good distance from 2018, when Urshela was designated for task by the Indians after which traded to the Blue Jays in Might. Later that season, Toronto shipped Urshela to the Yankees for money issues, about $25,000.
The funding has paid off for the Yankees.
“He makes some acrobatic performs you suppose he has no probability on and is constant on balls proper at him,” LeMahieu mentioned.
Boone has marveled at Urshela whereas managing him the final two seasons.
“He has a very robust and actually correct arm from a variety of completely different angles,’’ Boone mentioned. “He has good fingers. And I really feel like this 12 months, his vary has ticked up. He’s particular at third base. It’s enjoyable to look at.”
And whereas the defensive metrics haven’t all the time agreed that Urshela is nicely above common on the place, Boone mentioned the Yankees’ inner measurements have proven an enchancment.
“He’s fairly elite over there,’’ Boone mentioned.
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