DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela and Gary Sanchez save the day and send Yankees to ALDS
The Yankees won a frantic Game 2 of the Wild Card series to advance to the ALDS.
This once started at 7:50 p.m. ET and ended at 1:15 a.m. ET. That’s the kind of night it was. The horrific start led many to believe the New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians were destined for a Game 3, but the Bombers remained resilient and dodged all of the witchcraft that characterized the wild evening.
The Yankees trailed 9-8 heading into the top of the ninth after relinquishing the lead in the seventh and giving it up in the eighth. But we will not recap this in chronological order.
Before we get into the details, DJ LeMahieu came up in the clutch, taking an 0-2 pitch up the middle off Brad Hand to score Gio Urshela and make it a 10-9 Yankees lead in the top of the ninth. You can’t keep the man hitless for an entire evening! Despite looking downright bad at the plate all night, DJ came through when it mattered most.
But before DJLM’s heroics came a number of other key plays. First, it was Giancarlo Stanton working a walk. Then game an Urshela single on an 0-2 pitch. Gleyber Torres reached base on an infield single. After Brett Gardner struck out, everyone was nervous Gary Sanchez would ground into a game-ending double play, but his sac fly to center field tied it at 9-9.
That’s three RBI for Sanchez in a game where he really needed to show manager Aaron Boone something. His two-run homer in the sixth inning that broke the tie could very well take him out of his funk (though we can’t get our hopes up because we’ve seen this before).
But you know what really made this all possible? Urshela’s defensive heroics in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Boone was forced to bring in Aroldis Chapman with no outs and runners on first and second, Urshela made this incredible diving stop that led to a double play and saved a run.
If he doesn’t make that play, this is either a tie game going to extras or the Yankees need to keep digging themselves out of a hole in the top of the ninth.
Despite limping into the playoffs after dropping six of their last eight, the Yankees have scored 22 runs to kick off the postseason and will have a meeting with the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. Bring. It. On.