With the year of 2022 coming to a close, we take a closer look at five standout moments of the MLB season that has passed.
The postseason did not turn out as expected for this all-conquering Dodgers side, perhaps the greatest assembled side in LA history, and they flattered to deceive when it counted in the playoffs. However, we should give this side a nod towards greatness with their total dominance of the regular season.
Prior to the 2022 season, only six teams had reached 110 wins or more in MLB history, and only two in the last 67 years; the 2001 Seattle Mariners (which was the last time that they had reached the playoffs prior to 2022) and the 1998 New York Yankees.
The Dodgers became the second National League team to win at least 111 games joining the 1906 Chicago Cubs, who set the all-time record of 116. The NL dates to 1876, when Major League Baseball began.
Over the last three full seasons, the Dodgers have set a franchise record with 106 wins in 2019. They tied that record in 2021 and then set the record this year. The Dodgers are the second team to win at least 105 wins in three straight seasons, along with the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals.
In April, Detroit Tigers legend Miguel Cabrera notched his 3,000th hit becoming only the 33rd player to join the elite club featuring names such as Rickey Henderson and Derek Jeter.
The 20-year-veteran joined the Tigers in 2008 following time with the Miami Marlins between 2003 and 2007. He’s a two-time American League MVP in 2012 and 2013.
Cabrera also became the seventh player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits and 500 home runs joining Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, Eddie Murray and the late Hank Aaron.
The baseball world watched on closely as Aaron Judge closed in on Roger Maris’ 1961 home run target of 61. The 30-year-old hit his 62nd against the Texas Rangers to go ahead of Maris and set the single-season American League record.
Judge was also on course for the triple-crown bid for a while just to top an excellent season. Although, Judge didn’t win the AL batting title, he did lead MLB in home runs, runs, extra-base hits, and tied for the lead in RBI’s. He became the first player with a share of the MLB lead in all four categories since Mickey Mantle in 1956.
Judge won the American League MVP for the season and managed to get his big contract with the Yankees, a whopping $360million over the next nine seasons.
Judge helped the Yankees to 99 wins which included the AL East title (only the second Division crown in 10 seasons since Derek Jeter’s last playoff game in 2012) and, while their nemesis over recent seasons, the Houston Astros, knocked the Bronx Bombers out of playoff contention again, the Yankees managed to keep Judge.
Not only did the Cardinals slugger reach 700, he surpassed that and ended the season on 703. Pujols also put together his best offensive season for a while. He had a 154 OPS, his highest since 2010 which was a his second-to-last season before his move to the Los Angeles Angels.
Pujols hit 24 home runs in the season and, with that total, he became the second player to appear in at least 10 seasons and hit 20-plus home runs in his first and last seasons, joining the great Ted Williams.
The Japanese two-way star had a season to remember despite not winning the American League MVP - he came second to Judge. This past season Ohtani hit 34 home runs, with a batting average of .273 and as a pitcher he had an ERA of 2.33 with 219 strikeouts in 166 innings.
Ohtani ranked sixth amongst all pitchers in strikeouts and tied for 11th in amongst hitters in home runs, becoming the first player to finish in the top-15 in both categories in a season since the mound was moved to its current distance in 1893.