The New York Yankees posted a 100 win season in 2018 for the first time since 2009. But was that good enough especially after over-achieving in 2017?
Looking at the high points for the New York Yankees:
There were some incredible high points. Notable of course were the balls flying out of major league venues all over the country as the Bombers did just that, setting a new MLB team home run record of 267.
Who could forget the home opener in which short stop Didi Gregorius homered twice and mashed for 8 RBI’s on his way to capturing the AL Player of the Month honors for April?
Anticipation was high for reigning NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton’s debut in Pinstripes. Stanton would lead the team in his rookie season in the Bronx with 100 RBIs and a respectable .266 batting average. He “earned” his Pinstripes with his first walk-off home run on June 20 in a 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners, blasting an absolute moon shot 453′ with an exit velocity of 117.9 mph. Stanton would carry the team offensively after teammate Aaron Judge was sidelined with a fractured wrist in late July.
Speaking of which, Judge made a child in Toronto a social media star when he hit a go-ahead homer at Rogers Centre in the 13th inning after the boy had sported an “All Rise” sign the entire game. It was destined to happen. What a memory!
Then there was the curtain call for Didi in Anaheim, 3000 miles away from home after the mad emoji tweeter belted the go-ahead home run in a 4-3, 10 inning win on the west coast. Teammates pushed Didi out of the dug-out to receive his just reward so far from home.
A youth duo:
The “kids” some were concerned about having on the team in Andujar and Torres provided solid play and much excitement. Andujar, who won the Sporting News and Players Choice ROY, was a double producing machine, eclipsing Joe DiMaggio’s record for doubles (47) by a Yankee that stood from 1936 (44). And Torres became the 4th youngest Yankee to hit home runs in 4 consecutive games on May 25.
Gary Sanchez had an off year for him, appearing in only 89 games, with a 186 BA, 697 OPS and record 18 passed balls behind the plate. However, he had bright points such as the home run in Houston which prompted closer Ken Giles to smack himself in the face after Sanchez smacked a 3-run bomb to propel the Yankees to a 4-0 victory.
Look for a healthy, trimmed down version of Sanchez in 2019 who is capable of leading the team offensively. Sanchez underwent off-season shoulder surgery to treat a nagging injury which should have the 25 year old in top form for the 2019 campaign.
On the pitching side, the 2018 Yankees staff had a combined team ERA of 3.78 for 5th in the AL. At the beginning of the season, questions loomed about the staff as a unit. The ace, Luis Severino, had an impressive first half with the second-lowest ERA in baseball at 1.98. But the second half brought woes as it was thought that Sevy was tipping and opposing batters had figured him out. Sevy finished the year with a 19-8 record and 3.39 ERA. Hopefully off-season work can correct his issues.
CC Sabathia had his best season since 2012, finishing with a 9-7 record and 3.65 ERA. The ultimate teammate and leader among the staff, CC almost forfeited a $500,000 bonus for throwing 155 innings when he was ejected following hitting Sycre of the Rays in retaliation for Rays pitcher Kittredge nearly beaning catcher Austin Romine. The big guy then pointed to the Rays dug out and said some words.
All in all the Yankees 2018 season was action-packed and did not disappoint this fan overall. Of course it didn’t culminate in a trip through the Canyin of Heroes but there is much to build on and anticipate for this new year.
Thank you to the 2018 memories. Can’t wait to see you this year and create more. LET’S GO YANKEES!