A season in which the New York Yankees won 103 games and earned their first AL East crown since 2012 should be considered a success. It didn’t quite end the way fans had hoped, however, when the Bombers swept the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series and took the first game of the Championship Series in Houston against the Astros.
However, there are a few moments that team members and fans would like to erase from their memories. Injuries, bad breaks, slumps, a lack of productivity in specific moments, and painful losses are things that every club experiences throughout the long season.
Without further ado, here are the five worst moments of the season for the Yankees (and a couple of “dishonorable” mentions):
- April 8-10: Houston swept the Yankees 3-0 at Minute Maid Park and outscored them 18-12. The Bombers’ record after the three straight losses stood at 5-7, and the team dropped the first game of the Chicago White Sox series, as well.
- April 20: Yankees’ star outfielder Aaron Judge injured himself on a swing in a game against the Kansas City Royals. An MRI a day later showed a strained left oblique, an issue that kept him away from the team for two months.
- June 26: Stanton went down with a PCL strain in his right knee, just hours after Aaron Boone downplayed the injury. He ended up missing the next three months. Overall, the outfielder suffered ailments in his calf, biceps, knee, shoulder, and quad. He played only 18 regular season games and missed a lot of action in the ALCS.
- September 17: After missing the first 24 weeks of the season with lat and shoulder issues, Dellin Betances was diagnosed with a partial tear in his left Achilles’ tendon, ending his year after his first game back from injury. The Yankees missed him in the postseason, especially against Houston.
- October 19: Jose Altuve hit a walk-off two-run shot against closer Aroldis Chapman to send the Yankees home and end their season in dramatic fashion. DJ LeMahieu had tied the game in the top of the frame with a two-run home run of his own against Roberto Osuna, injecting hope to a team that had been stymied by Brad Peacock, Josh James, Ryan Pressly, Jose Urquidy, Joe Smith, and Will Harris. “I couldn’t believe it,” said Chapman after the game.
- July 25-28: Red Sox won the first Fenway Park series of the season 3-1, but the Yankees were thoroughly outplayed and were outscored 44-22. They lost three straight and allowed no fewer than nine runs in those three games.
- July 31: The Yankees were shut out at the trade deadline and watched several contenders add important pieces, such as the Astros acquiring Zack Greinke, the Rays getting relief ace Nick Anderson and the Nationals welcoming Daniel Hudson. New York missed on Trevor Bauer (who went to the Reds), Marcus Stroman (traded to the Mets), Matthew Boyd, Madison Bumgarner, and Mike Minor. The three last hurlers ended up staying on their respective teams. They were also in on Ken Giles, but were reluctant to meet the Blue Jays’ asking price and backed out over concerns with the health of his right elbow.
- October 13: Carlos Correa hit a walk-off home run off J.A. Happ in the bottom of the 11th inning to tie the ALCS 1-1. The Yankees’ bullpen had fired 7.2 frames of one-run ball but the dreams of stealing both games in Houston vanished with Correa’s blast. Can you imagine what would have happened if they took a 2-0 lead to the Bronx?