What A Surprise, Its the Beginning of May and The Yankees Are in Last Place
On May 2, 2022, the New York Yankees were 17-6 and 2.5 games ahead of the Toronto Blue Jays after having won 10 straight games. New York would go on to win 96 games and win the AL East Division Crown. But what a difference a season makes.
The Yankees entered the 2023 season looking to capitalize on a new season after the 4-0 ALCS defeat to the Houston Astros in the 2022 postseason and finally get back to the World Series for the first time since they won it all in 2009. That is tied for one of the biggest droughts in team history between World Series appearances.
When the New York Highlanders changed their team name to the Yankees in 1913, it took the organization nine seasons to reach the World Series and two to win their first crown. Their next longest droughts came between 1965 to 1975, then 1979 to 1995, 2004 to 2008, and most recently 2010 to date.
Yankees fans are not used to not having winning seasons, as the club last had a sub .500 year in 1992, when they finished 76-86. Since then the Yankees have put together 30 straight above .500 seasons. And over the last 30 years, they have finished no lower than 4th place, which happened only once in 2016 when they ended up 84-78 and nine games behind the Boston Red Sox in fourth place.
But on May 2, 2023, the Bronx Bombers were losers of four straight games and mired in last place in the AL East at 15-15 and just the day before their Captain, Aaron Judge was placed on the 10-day IL with a Right Hip Strain. Judge, who is no stranger to the DL, has not been on it since the middle of the 2021 season.
Even though after their 4-2 win against the Cleveland Indians, put them at 18-17 on this season, they are still in last as the Boston Red Sox also won to keep the Yankees in the basement. They trail a Tampa bay Rays (24-6) by 8.5 games, as the Rays don’t look like they will lose many games this season.
So far in 2023, the Yankees lineup has not been consistent enough in putting runs on the board. Since April 19th, when they put up nine runs on the Los Angeles Angels in a 9-3 victory, they have failed to score more then four runs in 11 of their last 12 games. The one game they put up more than four, they won 12-6 over the Minnesota Twins on April 26th.
A victory on Tuesday was a good sign as they climbed back over .500 at 18-17. Now to keep that momentum going, it will take a huge effort from the offense, having to hold court as Judge sits for a few more days and hopefully returns healthy enough to play.
As the offense is struggling to consistently score runs, the starting pitchers are also not doing their job except for Gerrit Cole who is 5-0 in seven starts, with a 1.35 ERA. The rest of the rotation is 7-10, with the lowest ERA at 4.46. Cole pitched on Tuesday and tossed six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits. walking three and striking out eight batters but was not given a decision. The Yankees scored two in the sixth and one each in the seventh and eighth to earn the victory.
The Yankees fans of this generation are not used to seeing the Bronx Bombers as anything less than a winning team. Maybe the comeback win on Tuesday will set them in the right direction again; we will all see.
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