One heroic performance saved the Yankees from potential doom

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Gio Urshela
Sep 30, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Gio Urshela (29) celebrates his grand slam in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

If not for DJ LeMahieu’s two outs single in the ninth inning, the New York Yankees would have given the Cleavland Indians one more chance to walk away with a victory. Of course, extra innings were possible at that point, despite the game going six hours due to a rain delay early on. Overall, the contest was full of strange factors and decisions on both sides, but it was an instant classic, with the Yankees securing the Wild Card series 10-9.

However, LeMahieu wasn’t the hero of the day, despite his single in the ninth-inning. In fact, it was third baseman Gio Urshela, who finished the evening with two hits over five at-bats. While that might not spark your imagination, Urshela utilized one of those hits to clear the fence and drive in four runs for a grand slam. He is currently hitting .333 over two games in the postseason.

Gio Urshela stated following the New York Yankees’ win on Wednesday evening:

“That was one of the best games I ever played in my life.”

Aroldis Chapman further stated, “Gio saved the game.”

When the Yankees acquired Urshela from the Toronto Blue Jays two years ago, nobody thought he would become such an integral part of the team. Many believed the move flew under the radar, as the Yankees offered Toronto cash considerations for his talents. Earlier that year, he was designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians and was only hitting .233 at a time over 46 plate appearances.

Fast forward to the present day, Urshela hit .314 in 2019 and .298 this past regular season. He has been one of the more motivating acquisitions for general manager Brian Cashman, especially with Miguel Andujar struggling to hold his own on the hot corner.

Gio has always been known for his defense, but he showed his versatility against the Indians, displaying excellence in both categories. A double-play laying on his back in the eighth inning limited the Indians significantly, keeping the Yankees within two and offering a glimmer of hope. He proceeded to single and was drove in by LeMahieu, securing the lead in the ninth.

Without Urshela, there’s no way the Yankees walk away with a victory on Wednesday. He was their hero and continues to be a staple in the lineup every day.