We at Pinstripe Alley are wrapping up our thorough review of the 2020 season, one that once again ended too soon. I, for whatever reason, elected to handle this review, where we look back on the five worst moments of the Yankees’ season. Bet you can’t guess which one gets the number one spot! Actually, that should be a no-brainer. Anyways, here we go:
5: Injury wave hits the Bronx, the sequel
Things couldn’t get much worse than 2019 on the injury front, right? Wrong. After setting a record for IL stints in the previous season, the 2020 campaign brought all kinds of new deflating injuries to the Yanks, starting with back-breaking injuries like Luis Severino and Tommy Kahnle requiring Tommy John surgery, ending their seasons. James Paxton, who struggled with back issues during the offseason, suffered a forearm flexor strain in August and missed the rest of the year as well. Given how thin and top-heavy the rotation and bullpen was in the postseason, those three injuries very well may have kept the Yankees from a World Series appearance.
Of course, those weren’t the only injuries. Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, both of whom were mashing baseballs at the time, went down with injuries as well, shining a brighter light on health concerns for both of the dynamic sluggers.
4: That Gary is (not at all) scary
In what was a year-long worst moment, Gary Sánchez was a shell of himself for the entire season. He had a couple big plays, like a pinch-hit grand slam, that some thought would finally break him out of his brutal slump, but it never happened. In the end, Sánchez finished with an OPS of .618 and struck out a team-high 64 times, while also being replaced by Kyle Higashioka as Gerrit Cole’s personal catcher. Sánchez was so bad in the regular season that he barely factored into the playoffs, and now it’s a wonder what his role will look like moving forward. Given how he performed in 2016, 2017 and 2019, this was a major bummer.
3: Aug. 28: Chapman flops, Yanks walked off in the Bronx
If you needed a reminder of how weird 2020 was/is, remember when the Mets walked it off on the Yankees, in Yankee Stadium? With the Yankees desperately trying to end a six-game losing skid, Aroldis Chapman came on in the bottom of the seventh (it was the second game of a doubleheader, so this was really the ninth) to try and hold a one-run lead. He did no such thing, losing the strike zone before serving up a two-run blast to Amed Rosario, extending the Yankees’ losing streak to seven.
Oh, and the Mets walked it off on the Yankees again less than a week later, this time at Citi Field on a Pete Alonso home run in the 10th inning.
2: Brosseau’s “revenge,” part one:
The Yankees finally won a game against the Rays on September 1, but it ended with boiling emotions after a fastball from Chapman sailed high near the head of Mike Brosseau, who seemed to think the pitch was intentional, and that Chapman was willing to deliberately bring the tying run to the plate in a game the Yankees had to have against a team the Yankees couldn’t beat. Anyway, benches emptied, though players for the most part remained socially distanced on the field, and after the game, Rays manager Kevin Cash went on his “stable” tirade. Then, less than 24 hours later, Brosseau smashed two home runs in a win for Tampa Bay, which all but buried the Yankees in the division race. Of course, that was far from Brosseau’s most annoying performance against the Bombers. Which brings us to...
1: Chapman surrenders another crippling postseason home run
Let’s just get this over with. Watch if you must: