Yankees Takeaways from 10-9 AL Wild Card Game 2 win over Indians, including Gio Urshela’s clutch grand slam


Yankees Takeaways from 10-9 AL Wild Card Game 2 win over Indians, including Gio Urshela’s clutch grand slam

In an absolutely wild Game 2 in Cleveland, the Yankees came away with a 10-9 win to advance to the ALDS. >> Box scoreEight things to know fro

Mad Bets: MLB Wild Card Upset Picks
Wild Card Round preview and prediction to start 2020 MLB postseason
Yankees set to face off against Indians in Wild Card round

In an absolutely wild Game 2 in Cleveland, the Yankees came away with a 10-9 win to advance to the ALDS. >> Box score

Eight things to know from Wednesday’s win

1. With it raining sideways in Cleveland and the conditions worsening, the Yankees went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first against Carlos Carrasco. The Indians then jumped on Masahiro Tanaka quickly, as Cesar Hernadez and Jose Ramirez notched back-to-back doubles to give Cleveland a quick 1-0 lead. At that point, the tarp was brought back on the field for a second time (the game was delayed about 50 minutes before first pitch for the threat of poor weather).

But the 33-minute delay did not help Tanaka settle in. Once the game resumed, Franmil Reyes worked a two-out walk, and Josh Naylor – fresh off a strong Game 1 – delivered with a two-run double to right-center, giving the Indians a 3-0 lead. A Roberto Perez hot shot past Gleyber Torres at shortstop made it a 4-0 lead, capping off a nightmare first inning for Tanaka.

2. After homering in Game 1, Giancarlo Stanton went yard again in Game 2, putting the Yankees on the board in the top of the second with an opposite field blast. After homering just once in nine regular season games after landing on the Injured List in August, the former MVP going deep in back-to-back at-bats going back to Game 1 is certainly a good sign for the Yankees’ lineup.

3. Leading off the top of the fourth inning, Aaron Hicks lined a ball right at Delino DeShields in center field, but DeShields broke in on the ball and lost his footing, as it sailed over his head, allowing Hicks to reach third with a triple. Luke Voit and Stanton then both walked, and with the bases loaded and nobody out, Carrasco was pulled from the game.

James Karinchak was brought in to try to get the Tribe out of the jam, but his 3-2 pitch to Gio Urshela was absolutely launched over the wall in left field for a grand slam. Urshela, who spent nine seasons in the Indians’ system, gave the Yankees’ a 5-4 lead with his absolute blast deep into the Cleveland night, the first go-ahead grand slam in Yankees’ postseason history.

4. The Yankees added a sixth run in the top of the fifth inning on a Stanton sac fly, but Voit was later caught in a rundown between third and home and tagged out to take another potential run off the board.

Tanaka, to his credit, did settle in after his rough first inning, holding the Indians scoreless in innings two-through-four. But Cleveland got to him in the fifth, as Francisco Lindor doubled and Hernandez walked, ending Tanaka’s night. Chad Green came into the game and immediately allowed a two-run double to Ramirez, knotting the game 6-6, but Green limited the damage from getting any worse.

5. In the top of the sixth, Gary Sanchez proved exactly why Aaron Boone wanted him in the Game 2 lineup after not playing on Tuesday. After a Gardner walk, Sanchez looked got just enough of a ball to right, aided by the wind for a crucial two-run home run, giving the Yankees the lead back at 8-6. Sanchez hit just .147 this season, but Boone said prior to the game that the impact Sanchez can make with one swing is why he was in the lineup, and that came true in the top of the sixth.

6. Zack Britton got the Yankees four big outs, but after he walked two hitters with two out in the seventh, Sandy Alomar Jr. elected to pull back Naylor for pinch-hitter Jordan Luplow, which in turn allowed Boone to go to Jonathan Loaisiga. But Loaisiga hung a breaking pitch, and Luplow drilled it off the wall in center field, tying the game 8-8.

7. With the game tied in the top of the eighth, the Yankees put two men on base after a pair of walks, but with runners on the corners and two outs, pinch-hitter Clint Frazier struck out on three pitches to end the threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, Loaisiga walked the first two hitters of the frame, forcing Boone to go to Aroldis Chapman. But Chapman’s first pitch to Hernadez was blooped into left for a hit, scoring DeShields to put Cleveland up 9-8. Urshela made a terrific play to turn two to end the inning, but the Indians took the lead into the ninth.

8. In the top of the ninth, Stanton walked and Urshela singled to put two runners on with nobody out against Brad Hand, followed by a Torres comebacker that couldn’t be handled to load the bases. After a good at-bat, Gardner went down swinging for the first out, but Sanchez got enough of a fly ball to tie the game 9-9 on a sac fly. D.J. LeMahieu, who had been 0-for-4, singled up the middle to give the Yankees another lead at 10-9.

Chapman, working in his second inning, shut the Indians down in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Yankees the series win.

What’s next

Following the 2-0 series sweep, the Yankees will now face the rival Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS. All games will be played at Petco Park in San Diego, beginning on Monday.