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As Yankees fans would tell you, the 2019-2021 Yankees were more bark than bite. They were good, don’t get me wrong but they were not built to overcome adversity. These Yankees are different.
The Yankees overcame a 3 run deficit to walk it off against the Astros last night. This has been common place so far this season. The 2022 New York Yankees don’t go down without a fight. For the first quarter of the season, the common criticism is that they only beat upon bad teams. First off, that’s what great teams do, they bury that bad ones. Second, in their last 10 games they have played the Rays, Blue Jays and Astros. They are 8-2 in those 10 games and continue to show a resiliency that gives this team a different aura.
At 52-18 obviously a ton of things have gone right. The pitching has been fantastic, leading the majors in XSLG, XWOBA, XWOBACON and runs allowed per game. While being second in ERA and slew of other categories only trailing the Dodgers. The off-season acquisitions have paid off big time with Jose Trevino looking like an all-star while IKF brings a gritty bat-to-ball skill set that was missing from last year’s team. Just like last night, they walk it off a ton (My favorite thing in baseball right now is Nestor Cortes sneaking out of the dugout with the gum bucket every time) showing a competitive edge that the past teams lacked. Aaron Judge playing like an MVP has not hurt either. On a separate note, can we retire the “Judge is injury prone” narrative please? In his 4 full seasons (This year and 2020 not withstanding) as a regular, he is averaging 129 games played.
There is still a lot of season to be played but the Yankees have now proven that they are at the top of the league and it really is World Series or bust for them. In the offseason the band could get broken up pretty easily. Aaron Judge and Jameson Taillon will be free agents and there will be a decision to be made regarding Luis Severino’s future with the club. Two of those guys (Judge and Severino) were founding members of the “Baby Bombers” that looked to set up the next great Yankee dynasty. It has to start this year, or changes will come fast. These Yankees are a ton of fun and whether you love them or hate them, they are must watch baseball.