- Eric Yu, AIT
Recap of the 2022 MLB Season
The 2022 Major League Baseball season, a season with lots of ups and downs, historic moments, and excitement.
Even before the season began, the major event happening was the lockout. A lockout is where no MLB baseball activities can happen such as team workouts, signings, trades. The collective bargaining agreement between the players and the owners had expired and needed to be renewed. After months of negotiations, a new deal was agreed upon. Major changes included 12 team playoffs, universal designated hitters, and draft lottery. The season was set to begin on April 7th and would span 7 months.
A major storyline at the beginning of the season was the Yankees. They were off to a historic start, and were on track to beat the single season wins record. They were led by Aaron Judge, who was in the last year of his contract and playing at an MVP level. Some other teams off to a hot start were the Mets, who had just spent a boatload of money in free agency, as well as the Dodgers, the Brewers, the Astros, and the Twins.
By the all star break, some teams stayed at the top, but some fell off. The Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, Mets, and Braves, who bounced back incredibly, were at the top of the standings. In the American League, the two favorites for the Cy Young, the award for the best pitcher in each league, were Justin Verlander and Shane McClanahan, both of whom had earned run averages of under 2 and were two of the best pitchers in the league. On the National League side, Sandy Alcantara was the clear front-runner also with an ERA under 2. For MVP, in the AL, it was a race between Shohei Othani, who was having a historic two way year, doing both pitch and hitting, and Aaron Judge, who was also having a historic year with home runs. In the NL, there was a clear frontrunner in Paul Goldschmidt. At the all star game, the AL came out on top with a 3-2 win, extending their winning streak to nine years. Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees was awarded the all star game MVP with a 2 run homer to tie up the game.
Nearing the end of the season, there were two major milestones about to be hit; Aaron Judge passing Roger Marris for the AL home run lead, and Albert Pujols hitting his 700th home run. Pujols was first to achieve his milestone on Sep 23, 2022 against the Dodgers, off of Phil Bickford. Aaron Judge followed shortly with his milestone on Oct 4, 2022 against the Rangers, off of Jesus Tinoco.
By the end of the season, the top teams in the league were the Dodgers, Astros, Mets, Braves, and Yankees, similar to the all star break. The MLB postseason is split into 4 rounds, the wild card, the division series(ALDS/NLDS), the championship series(ALCS/NLCS), and the world series. The Dodgers, Braves, Astros, and Yankees received a bye to the division series. In the wild card, the Guardians, Mariners, Padres, and Phillies advanced, all of whom were sweeps, except the Padres over the Mets. Next was the division series, where the first matchup was the Yankees versus the Guardians. It was a close series, but it ended with the Yankees on top in 5 games. The second matchup was an easy sweep of the Astros over the Mariners. However, game 3 of that series went a playoff record 18 innings until the Astros beat the Mariners to advance to the ALCS. On the NL side, both series went 4 games with the red hot Phillies beating the Braves, while the Dodgers were upset by the Padres. In the ALCS, the Yankees were swept by the Astros, and in the NLCS, the Phillies stayed hot and won the series in 5 games. The world series was an exciting matchup, but ultimately, the juggernaut Astros took home the championship.
This 2022 MLB season was an exciting with many records, including: Aaron Judge reaching 62 homers, Spencer Strider becoming the fastest to 200 strikeouts with 130 innings, the Nationals going 43 games without a win from a starter, Molina and Wainwright becoming the longest catcher-starter duo with 324, and the Dodgers beating the record for the most wins in the NL live ball era with 111. Many milestones were also hit with Albert Pujols hitting 700 home runs along with 2200 RBIs, and Miguel Cabrera getting 3000 hits. The award winners are Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt for MVP and Justin Verlander and Sandy Alcantara for Cy Young. The 2022 MLB season was very memorable and hopefully next season will be just as exciting.
“Baseball Standings.” MLB.com, MLB.com, 2022, https://www.mlb.com/standings.
Li, David K. “Aaron Judge Hits Al Record 62nd Home Run, Breaking Tie with Roger Maris.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 Oct. 2022, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/aaron-judge-hits-record-62nd-home-run-breaking-tie-roger-maris-rcna49214.
“MLB Postseason: Playoff Bracket and World Series Schedule.” MLB.com, MLB.com, 6 Nov. 2022, https://www.mlb.com/postseason.
Rymer, Zachary D. “MLB's 10 Most Intriguing Storylines to Track Post-All-Star Break.” Bleacher Report, Bleacher Report, 20 July 2022, https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10042602-mlbs-10-most-intriguing-storylines-to-track-post-all-star-break.
Sergent, Jim, and Gabe Lacques. “22 Historic Moments of the 2022 Baseball Season.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 6 Oct. 2022, https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/graphics/2022/10/06/2022-mlb-records-judge-pujols-top-list/8122641001/.