In a year where baseball was on the brink of postponing its entire season, an agreement came about for a 60-game season beginning on July 23 and ending on Sep. 27. The Miami Marlins made the playoffs for the first time since 2003, the Toronto Blue Jays played their home games in Buffalo and all games featured no fans in attendance, but thankfully we still had Yankees baseball.
The Yankees season came with many ups and downs. Gerrit Cole impressed in his first season in pinstripes. DJ LeMahieu and Luke Voit both led the major leagues in batting average and home runs, respectively. Deivi Garcia has emerged as a promising pitcher in the majors.
If there are ups, there will always be some downs. Gary Sanchez had one of the worst seasons in major league history batting and was not able to provide much behind the plate. James Paxton was hurt for most of the season and enters a free agent market with no distinctive value. Most importantly, nearly all position players experienced an I.L. stint at some point during the season.
The concentration will not be on the bad things that happened, but the good. These are the three best moments from the 2020 Yankees’ regular season.
3. Gerrit Cole makes his Yankee debut
After a heartbreaking loss to the Houston Astros in the ALCS last season, the Yankees had one player in mind they wanted to acquire this offseason… Gerrit Cole.
Not only was Cole second in Cy Young Voting in 2019, but he led the league in strikeouts with 326 and had nine consecutive outings with at least 10 strikeouts to end the season. The Yankees were looking to add a pitcher to their already solid pitching rotation, but they were looking for a true ace.
Cole signed with the Yankees to a 9-year, $324 million with an option to top it out at 10-years, $360 million. He was the first big Yankee pitcher signing since Masahiro Tanaka signed before the 2014 season.
Although his debut was delayed four months, Cole finally made his first start with the Yankees on Opening Day against the Washington Nationals. He went five innings allowing one hit, one earned run, one walk, and struck out five for his first win as a Yankee.
The results may not have been splendid, but it gave Yankees fans hope that they could make a deep run in the playoffs in the coming years. This was the start of what could possibly come.
2. Yankees Come Back vs. Crosstown Rival Mets
Things were not going well for the Yankees at all when the Mets came to Yankee Stadium for a five-game series at the end of August. The Bombers had lost seven of their last eight games and were struggling to score runs.
In-Game One of the Sunday doubleheader, the Yankees found themselves down 7-2 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Luke Voit singled to right to cut the Yankee deficit to 7-4. It still seemed like a long shot to win the game, but the odds were even better.
Edwin Diaz delivered a wild pitch to score Thairo Estrada to cut the Mets lead to only two runs, a 7-5 score. Aaron Hicks stepped up to the plate and delivered a rocket two-run home run to the right-field seats to tie the game at 7-7.
Gio Urshela won the game for the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth with a single to right field to give the Yankees a Game 1 victory.
What makes this moment so incredible is that the Yankees were in a major slump and had no life at the plate. Although their slump would continue after the conclusion of this series, it gave fans short-term hope that things would turn around.
However, it would not be long before things began to turn for the Yankees.
1. Yankees win 10 in a row
Any team will gladly take 10 wins in a row. In a shortened season, it is even more acceptable and the Yankees did so in mid-September.
The 10-game winning streak began in Buffalo in the series finale game against Toronto in which the Yankees won to put them one game above .500 at 22-21. They returned home to Yankee Stadium to sweep the Orioles in four games and Toronto in three. They then went onto Boston to win the first two games of a three-game set.
In the series against Toronto, they outscored Toronto 43-15 and hit 19 home runs over three games. In-Game Three they hit five home runs in an inning, which tied the all-time major league record for most in an inning.
During this winning streak, the Yankees seemed unstoppable. The bats had come alive, pitching was solid and the defense was holding their own. Once the streak came to an end, everything went in complete reverse. It was a fun time to be a Yankee fan, nonetheless.