2022 New York Yankees
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2022 New York Yankees / Franchise: New York Yankees / BR Team Page
Record: 99-63, Finished 1st in AL Eastern Division (2022 AL)
Clinched Division: September 27, 2022, At Toronto Blue Jays
Managed by Aaron Boone
Coaches: Matt Blake, Travis Chapman, Desi Druschel, Casey Dykes, Mike Harkey, Dillon Lawson, Carlos Mendoza, Hensley Meulens, Luis Rojas and Tanner Swanson
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2022 New York Yankees were coming off a 92-win season in 2021, but one that they considered to have been a major disappointment. That win total only gave them a tie for second place in the AL East, and the tiebreaker went in favor of their eternal rivals, the Boston Red Sox, forcing them to play the Wild Card Game at Fenway Park. They lost that game, making for an early postseason exit.
Many observers expected the Yankees to be major splurgers on the free agent market before the season, especially because their biggest need appeared to be for a shortstop, in a year when there were a number of star players at the position all hitting the market at once. They were also expected to make a push to sign 1B Freddie Freeman, yet they did not sign anyone, either before or after the 2021-2022 lockout. In fact they had not made a single notable transaction before the lockout, but General Manager Brian Cashman got busy after the labor conflict was resolved, with a series of moves. Sensing that Freeman was out of his price range, Cashman instead re-signed Anthony Rizzo, who had been a trading deadline acquisition the year before, then pulled off a major trade on March 13th, sending C Gary Sanchez and 3B Giovanny Urshela to the Minnesota Twins in return for 3B Josh Donaldson, SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa and C Ben Rortvedt. This opened the starting catching job for Kyle Higashioka and led to a significant defensive upgrade at two important positions - shortstop and catcher. The return from injury of CF Aaron Hicks was another significant improvement, as well as having a healthy Luis Severino in the starting rotation.
The Yankees started their season by defeating the Red Sox, 6-5, in 11 innings on April 8th and went on to have an excellent first month, going 15-6 in April and ending the month on a string of eight straight wins. This gave them the best record in the majors at that point. They added another win on May 1st, highlighted by a pair of homers from Aaron Judge, who was on an absolute tear, having already hit 8 long balls and whose OPS+ was 198. They had won five of their first six series, the only exception being a four-game split at home against the Toronto Blue Jays, and were now heading to Toronto for a showdown with the Jays, who were only 1.5 games behind in the standings in spite of all those consecutive wins. The Yankees won the first game of the series on May 2nd, 3-2, with Gleyber Torres driving all three runs, to make it 10 straight wins. They won the next day as well before the streak ended with a 2-1 loss to the Jays on May 4th. However, they kept on winning after that, winning 22 of their first 30 games to post the best record in the majors at that early point of the season. Every time but one when they had started off that well in their glorious history, they had ended up winning the World Series.
On May 13th, both of their big sluggers homered in a 10-4 win over the Chicago White Sox, giving Judge 12 and Giancarlo Stanton 10. It was only the third time in team history that they had had a pair of sluggers in double digits in homers after 32 games, and the other two instances were mythical: Babe Ruth (14) and Lou Gehrig (10) in 1930 and Mickey Mantle (16) and Yogi Berra (12) in 1956. They continued to dominate over the next few months, going 19-9 in May and 22-6 in June before a 13-13 month of July. And then the wheels fell off in August as they lost 15 of 19 games at one point. They had been 64-28 at the All-Star break, but had since seen their lead of 15 1/2 games fall to 7 games on August 20th. While still in no danger of missing the postseason, it was still the first time since 1995 that a Yankees team had lost six straight series. Thay had also been shut out 5 times in 17 games since the beginning of August. They broke the skein by winning the final game of the series against Toronto and then sweeping a two-game set against the crosstown New York Mets on August 22-23, calming down their fan base which had started to become agitated.
With Judge having reached 60 home runs, and looking for the elusive record-tying 61 for the past week while also in the running for the Triple Crown, the Yankees clinched a postseason slot on September 27th, when they defeated the Blue Jays, 5-2, at the Rogers Centre. Barring a total collapse, they were also almost certain of finishing first in the division and thus earning a bye for the Wild Card Series. Not everything was right yet, but the return from injury of a few key players, most notable Stanton, Rizzo and Harrison Bader, finally activated after having been acquired at the trade deadline, made the team's offence much less one-dimensional than it had been during the skid. D.J. LeMahieu was also close to making his return and Zack Britton had just made his first outings of the year in the bullpen, providing help in an area that had been shaky as well.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Clay Holmes, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Trevino
- AL MVP: Aaron Judge
- AL Gold Glove: D.J. LeMahieu (UT) and Jose Trevino (C)
- AL Silver Slugger Award: Aaron Judge (OF)
- Associated Press: "Yanks should field better, pitching, hitting roughly same", Yahoo! News, March 30, 2022. 
- Bryan Hoch: "Yankees clinch AL East title: 'This is step one'", mlb.com, September 28, 2022. 
- Gabe Lacques: "'There's no stopping this team': How the Yankees cleaned up their act and became baseball's most dominant squad", USA Today, May 18, 2022. 
- Mike Petriello: "The Yankees' path to the all-time wins record: 51-18 Bombers are off to third-best start in team history", mlb.com, June 23, 2022. 
- Mike Petriello: "The Yankees' summer slump, explained: New York is an AL-worst 6-14 in August", mlb.com, August 22, 2022. 
- Joey Pollizze: "Judge and Stanton match Murderers' Row Yankees: Each slugger reaches double-digit HRs through 32nd game of season", mlb.com, May 14, 2022. 
- David Waldstein: "Yankees Clinch a First-Round Bye as Judge’s Wait Continues", New York Times, September 28, 2022
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