2020 will be a year we will never forget. The entire world and most of our lives were put on hold while we tried and continue to try to get past COVID. The season didn’t start until the end of July and we were only given an abbreviated 60 game season. The season was beyond weird. With no fans in the stands, last-minute cancellations due to teams having a COVID breakout, and seven inning doubleheaders, it was all brand new for us.
In a year full of sickness, hardships, and lockdown, let’s take a look back at some of the New York Yankees moments that made this year a little better.
5. July 23, 2020: Opening Day/Gerrit Cole’s first start
After having to wait an additional four months, we finally got to see the first baseball game of 2020 and the first in the COVID era. It was bizarre to say the least. No fans in the stands, the umpires and coaches had to wear masks and Aroldis Chapman and Juan Soto were sidelined because they had COVID. To top it off, the game was only five innings due to a two-hour rain delay.
Despite all of this, we got to experience Gerrit Cole’s first start in pinstripes. After surrendering a first-inning home run to Adam Eaton, Cole went the next 4.2 innings without giving up a hit. The Yankees went on to win 4-1 and we finally got a taste of what it would be like to have a true ace on this team.
4. Sept. 15 – Sept. 17: Yankees manhandle the Blue Jays
The Yankees offense came to life at the end of the season and they showed it in this series. The Yankees set an MLB record for most home runs in a three-game series with 19. They outscored the Toronto Blue Jays in this series 43-15 and hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in this series as well. It was an all-out blood bath in the Bronx. This series gave the Yankees the momentum to cement themselves in the Postseason.
3. July 29 – Aug. 2: Judge homers in 5 straight
Aaron Judge started the season in midseason form. He became the first Yankee since A-Rod to hit a home run in 5 consecutive games. Judge quickly seemed to be the MVP favorite before injuries sidelined him for a part of the season.
Judge’s tear brought back memories of his 2017 season where he was seemingly unstoppable. On Aug. 2, on Sunday Night Baseball against the Boston Red Sox, Judge hit his fifth consecutive home run and later on hit his sixth home run in five games that left us with one of the calls of the year by Matt Vasgersian.
2. Sept. 29: Yankees route Bieber and the Indians in Game 1
Game 1 of the Wild Card Series seemed like it was going to be an all-out pitchers duel. Cy Young winner Shane Bieber was going up against Gerrit Cole. While Cole pitched a gem, it did not go as planned for Cleveland. Judge immediately set the tone with a two-run home run on the first pitch he saw in the first inning. Everything clicked for the Yankees and they went on to win 12-3 thanks to everyone in the lineup besides Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka driving in runs. Cole struck out 13 and only allowed two runs in seven innings. Nothing seemed like it could top this game, until Game 2.
Aaron Judge just gave Shane Bieber the business @short_porch
First off, it has to be said that the Yankees top moment of 2020 coming in the Wild Card round is sad. However, this game had everything; comebacks, a rain delay, a revenge grand slam, another rain delay, beautiful defense, a blown save, and another comeback. It was the longest nine-inning game in major league baseball history at four hours and 50 minutes plus another 76 minutes in rain delays.
The game opened with Masahiro Tanaka surrendering four runs in a first-inning that was interrupted by a rain delay. Giancarlo Stanton answered with a solo shot in the second stanza. Then Gio Urshela, the player of the game had a response of his own. The former Indian, who was DFA’d by them in 2018, hit a go-ahead grand slam in the fourth frame along with an epic bat flip that nearly broke Yankees Twitter. After this, he turned a beautiful double play in the 8th that saved an insurance run from scoring for Cleveland.
The two teams traded shots until who else but DJ LeMahieu laid the knockout punch on the Indians and their season with a single up the middle off of Brad Hand. It was Hand’s first blown save of the season and also ended up likely being the pitch he would throw in an Indians uniform.
Are there any moments you think I left out? Respond to the post or tweet me @sashalueck and let me know!
Although the season ended in disappointment, the Yankees still gave us plenty of fun moments. Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year! Hopefully next year the Yankees will give us even better highlights and we’ll be allowed in the stadium.