Giovanny Urshela put on a defensive masterclass with two amazing plays at third
Instead of having Giovanny Urshela man third base against the Yankees on Friday, the Indians may as well have put up a sign to say "Abandon all hope ye who hit balls here." It would have had about the same general effect. That's because Urshela was part vacuum cleaner, part black hole and part human highlight reel in the Tribe's 7-2 win.
He started in the top of the fifth. With the Indians leading, 4-1, the Yankees were threatening with runners on the corners. Clint Frazier hit a high chopper down the line. On a good day, that ball bounces into left field for an RBI single. On a bad day, it's fielded, but the run still scores.
This was a remarkable day as Urshela not only gloved the ball, but with his momentum pulling him into foul territory, he somehow jumped and fired an accurate laser beam to home plate to nail Ronald Torreyes for the out.
"I had no angle," Urshela told MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "With the runner, I had to throw above him. Thank God that was a smaller runner."
"Without that play, you don't know [what happens]," Indians manager Terry Francona added. "I don't think it's an overstatement that it's a game saver."
Urshela was back at it the next inning. Matt Holliday surely thought he had a hit to left field, but no. After going down the line the last inning, Urshela this time dove to his left before popping up to make the throw.
Perhaps even better was how he shocked his equally-adept-at-highlight-reel-defense teammate Francisco Lindor.
"I just completely dove for it. I thought I was going to catch it and then the next thing you know I didnt feel anything in my glove. I'm like, 'Where's the ball?' And I looked up and the ball was at first base. That's pretty cool. It makes my job a little easier."
Yeah, the Yankees may want to avoid hitting any balls to the left side of the infield for the rest of the series.