The nature of baseball inherently contains a lot of luck. With that in mind, a bad break here or there is going to happen, and has to just be an accepted part of the game. The 2022 Yankees had their fair share of bad breaks, whether they were from poor luck or just plain ol’ poor play. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see what the five biggest instances of this were, meaning the five unluckiest outs they made this season.
I filtered all of the outs they made by expected batting average, with the caveat that they needed to be hard-hit, or have an exit velocity over 95 mph. Otherwise, there are a bunch of soft-ish line drives that typically would get down, or got eaten up by a shift. So, without further adieu, here are the five unluckiest outs made by the 2022 Yankees.
5. Jose Trevino, April 27th
Exit Velocity: 100.9
Trevino was a pleasant surprise offensively in the first half of the season, as he also tied his career best in average exit velocity. He hit this ball hard and on a line, but a shallow-playing Ryan McKenna made it all for nothing. That’s baseball, Suzyn.
4. DJ LeMahieu, April 28th
Exit Velocity: 108.2
This is a good one, and the video is pretty shocking. A day after Trevino’s tough luck, LeMahieu roped this ball over 108 mph, and it never really got too far off the ground. Even the Orioles’ shortstop Jorge Mateo made an instinctive half-jump at the screaming liner. It seems like it won’t be caught basically right until it is. It seems fair to say this is some real tough luck.
3. Josh Donaldson, April 22nd
Exit Velocity: 111.7
In case it wasn’t obvious, 2022 was not Josh Donaldson’s season. The veteran laced this ball, with what looked like some topspin that killed it at the warning track. This unfortunate out was actually the hardest hit ball Donaldson had all season. Despite this, and Steven Kwan taking a questionable route to the ball, Donaldson could do nothing to convince lady luck.
2. Anthony Rizzo, May 10th
Exit Velocity: 108.2
This blast seems promising off the bat, but ultimately doesn’t amount to much. It’s promising on paper too, as batted balls with an exit velocity of 108 and a launch angle of 24 degrees, such as this one, have gone for a homer over 90 percent of the time in the Statcast era. This ball seems to have a sinking effect, considering the fact it was not a homer and that George Springer almost overran the ball in center. It may have also just been the wrong part of the ballpark. All things considered, Rizzo’s duel with fate was not a fortuitous one.
1. Joey Gallo, April 10th
Exit Velocity: 112.5
Ah, our old friend Joey Gallo. If there is anything certain about him, it’s that he can hit the ball incredibly hard, and that he couldn’t seem to catch a break this year, especially with the Yankees. Both of these things are explicitly displayed in the video above. This liner appears to have some extreme topspin, easily finding the right fielder’s glove. This was something that really hindered him early in the year. Gallo could never seem to fully find it in New York, and the bad luck was visible at times, as it often can be in this cruel, cruel game.