New York Yankees

New York Yankees

New York Yankees

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 17: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees and the American League celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the second inning against the National League during the 89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard at Nationals Park on July 17, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

The 2022 baseball season was an unforgettable one, especially for those in the Tri-State area as the Mets and Yankees each had signature seasons, and, down the turnpike the Philadelphia Phillies had a stunning run to the World Series. And to think, it might not have happened at all had the lockout continued! Let’s take a look back at the top 10 stories from the past year.

  • 10) The Lockout Ends in Mid March

    Nothing was more frustrating at this time last year going into 2022 than the uncertainty surrounding baseball. Would the lockout wipe out the 2022 season? Would we have a half a season? Would this be 1994 redux?

    After 99 days, the lockout ended March 10, and baseball was soon to return, albiet with the regular season schedule slightly adjusted with the opening week of games pushed back to the last week of the season.

    Still it proved to be a significant change to the sport. Aside from the financials between the owners and players union, we saw the institution of radio transmitters under pitchers hats to prevent sign stealing (thanks Houston); a universal DH and expanded playoffs to name a few.

  • 9) Expanded Playoffs Create Chaos

    Bryce Harper Phillies

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – OCTOBER 15: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates on the field after defeating the Atlanta Braves to win the National League Division Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 15, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    Let’s be honest the expanded playoffs were a mixed bag for fans this year. On one hand it gave fan bases in most cities hope that their team could make a run at the postseason that otherwise wouldn’t have been there before. At the same time it reduced the flux of big time trade deadline deals, and even created a new concern for managers who clinch first round byes — too much rest.

    We saw the significance of playoff expansion hit almost immediately as three teams that won over 100 games in the NL (Mets, Braves, Dodgers) all failed to qualify for the NLCS, instead we had the fourth and sixth seeds make it out of the NL: the Phillies and Padres.

    The Phillies got hot at the right time, and rolled through the National League playoffs before giving Houston a slight scare in the World Series. Like the NFL, NBA and NHL, expanded playoffs proved that just getting in is all one team has to do.

  • 8: Phillies Make "Dancing on my Own" a Smash

    Sports sometimes has a way of ringing the pop culture bell, and that certainly happened with the Phillies run to the World Series. For some reason the Calum Scott song, “Dancing on my Own,” which is about a guy losing his girlfirend to someone else became the rally cry of the Phillies playoff run.

    What started in the clubhouse soon caught fire all over the city of Philadelphia, social media and the world.  To quote William Shakespeare: “There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio, than were dreamt of in your philosophy.”

    In other words: don’t ask, just roll with it.

  • 7: Edwin Diaz and the Trumpet Guy

    Speaking of baseball and music going hand-in-hand, none were bigger in 2022 than the explosion in popularity for Edwin Diaz’s walkout song Narco by Timmy Trumpet and Blasterjax. Diaz has been using that song since he was pitching in Seattle back in 2017 and 2018, but it was not until this year when Diaz became a true lockdown closer that the song exploded for Mets fans.

  • 6: The Brandon Nimmo Catch

    That’s all I have to say: the Brandon Nimmo catch. On the same night Timmy Trumpet performed live at Citi Field before the ninth inning, the Mets center fielder made one of the best catches of the year when he robbed LA Dodgers’ Justin Turner of a home run. The Mets won this game 2-1, — a game that proved to be sadly the last high point of a tremendous Mets season.

  • 5: The Astros Win the World Series

    While it was the final moment of the year, it’s not number 1 — at least not in these parts. But still, give props to the Houston Astros. They were quietly baseball’s best team all year long, winning 106 games. Justin Verlander quietly won a Cy Young award — the year after getting Tommy John Surgery — and Dusty Baker finally won his first World Series title as a manager.

    After having to hear about the 2017 cheating scandal for years, the Astros victory in 2022 quieted the critics.

  • 4: Combined No-Hitters Become a Thing

    Combined no-hitters may not have the gravitas that a no-hitter by a single pitcher carries, but it is still a significant event. We saw four no-hitters in 2022, three of them were of the combined variety in 2022. Two of them were courtesy of the Houston Astros.

    The Astros sent out three pitchers to combine no-hit the Yankees on June 25 by the score of 3-0. Then in Game 4 of the World Series, the Astros combined to no-hit the Phillies 5-0. The common denominator? Cristian Javier started both games.

    The World Series no-no was the first such feat on that stage since Don Larson’s perfect game in 1956.

    Meanwhile, the Mets combined to no-hit the same Philadelphia Phillies team in April as Tylor Megill, Joely Rodrigez, Drew Smith, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz combined to blank the Phils.

  • 3: Somerset Patriots Dominate Double-A, Capture Title

    The Somerset Patriots were the story of the minor league season this year as the Double-A affiliate of the New York Yankees dominated the Eastern League all year capped off by taking care of business in Game 3 of the League Championship Series by the score of 15-0 over the Erie Seawolves.

    Jasson Dominguez became a player to watch hitting long home runs from both sides of the plate. The Patriots scored 9 runs in the opening frame of that game.

    Randy Vasquez dominated with eight no-hit innings. That’s right the Patriots won a league title by not only scoring 15 runs, but tossing a combined no-hitter to boot.

  • 2A: Subway Series Was Dead Even

    The 2022 Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees was a dead heat. Both teams swept two games at their respective ballparks. Both teams score 13 runs a piece.

    Don’t say that the Subway Series lost its luster, because in 2022 the Mets-Yankees battle got its groove back in a big way with big crowds and postseason like tension.

  • 2B: Mets Win 100 Games for First Time since 1988

    Mets Blow Division

    ATLANTA, GA – OCTOBER 2: Buck Showalter #11 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after arguing a call against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning at Truist Park on October 2, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)

    The Mets have always been looked at as the City’s baby brother to the New York Yankees. In 2022, with the free-willing spending of new owner Steve Cohen, and the expertise of manager Buck Schowalter in the dugout the Mets turned things around quickly in 2022, winning 101 games — their most victories in a single season since 1988.

    The Mets were rolling in the NL East until September when the Atlanta Braves caught them and passed them for the division crown. The Mets would eventually fall to San Diego in the playoffs.

  • 1: Aaron Judge Crushes 62 Home Runs

    Of course this is number 1. Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was not only THE story of the 2022 New York Yankees, he became a huge story for baseball, becoming the first player in the American League to slug 62 home runs in a single season, which also broke the franchise record set by Roger Maris in 1961.

    To many the home run was also the first clean home run season since Maris, due to the fact and belief many have that Barry Bonds and Marc McGuire cheated in their home run pursuits.

    Judge’s incredible season resulted in him cashing in on a monster contract, nine years at $360 million from the Yankees in December. Judge also became the 16th captain in Yankee history joining the likes of Derek Jeter, Don Mattingly, Thurman Munson, and Lou Gerhig to name a few.

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