Wednesday, October 20, 2021
HomeSports'Like a Flying Missile' - Yankees infielder Gio Urshela makes an incredible...

‘Like a Flying Missile’ – Yankees infielder Gio Urshela makes an incredible catch in game 162 to help send the team to the wild card game

By most defensive metrics, Gio Urshela has been one of the best third basemen in the American League since he became a full-time player for the Yankees in 2019.

And even though the metrics are on Urshela’s side, she passed the vision test Sunday when she made one of the plays of the year in the Yankees’ 1-0 win on the walk to secure a spot as the wild card. American League. The Yankees finished 92-70 and will face the Red Sox, who also finished 92-70, in Tuesday’s wild card game.

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It was in the top of the sixth inning in a game the Yankees must win when Rays outfielder Ausin Meadows hit a ball into foul territory. Urshela sped forward to catch, tumbling down the steps into the Rays’ dugout as a result.

After the play, Urshela was replaced defensively at shortstop by Andrew Velázquez as a preventive measure.

But Yankees manager Aaron Boone said it could have been a lot worse.

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“I think, all things considered, we were very lucky,” Boone said after the game. “From my point of view, it looked like a missile flying there and it scared me to death. I jumped up and ran straight there, not knowing what I was going to see.”

Boone went on to say that the extent of Urshela’s injury appears to be just a bruise that hardened him, but that shouldn’t stop him from playing in Tuesday’s wild-card game against the Red Sox at Fenway.

Urshela hit .267 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs in 116 games for the Yankees this season splitting time between third base and shortstop.

The Yankees already took a major hit on their draw when they announced that star second baseman DJ LeMahieu landed on the disabled list with a hernia and won’t be available until the ALCS at the earliest.

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LeMahieu is a two-time batting champion and finished in the top 5 in MVP voting in each of his first two seasons with the Yankees, along with three All-Star Game nominations and three Golden Gloves.

Urshela will likely help anchor the Yankees’ draw in LeMahieu’s absence as the Yankees look to win the wild card game and ultimately advance to the World Series for the first time since 2009.

Urshela came to the Yankees from the Blue Jays in 2018 and made his debut in 2019. Before his arrival in New York, he was worth -1.2 wins over replacement, but has been worth 6.3 wins over replacement since who dressed in pinstripes. He has also been second on the team to hit in each of the past two seasons.

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