Yankees: 3 biggest surprises of wild 2020 NYY season

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J.A. Happ #33 of the New York Yankees (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

2. JA Happ’s Spectacular Run

The Yankees have gotten much more than they anticipated from JA Happ.

Somehow, JA Happ has flipped the conversation from, “How can we make absolutely certain he’s nowhere near the 2021 roster through manipulation?” to, “Hey…uh…do we all kind of sort of want JA Happ back?”

Odds are unlikely it’ll happen, seeing as the lefty was less than thrilled with the way the team attempted to flip-flop his starts around to prevent him from hitting his adjusted milestones, and he will not be returning at the high price that was previously agreed to.

With eight starts under his belt, Happ is rocking a 3.25 ERA, at least a full run lower than even the rosiest projections. He’s also probably tossed … three of the five best starts by any Yankee this year? His 1-0 gem to break at seven-game losing streak against the Mets altered the season’s trajectory, and he similarly dominated the Blue Jays at a severe hitter’s park in Buffalo as well as Boston at the bandbox known as Fenway on Saturday night.

With off days removed from the equation for potential ALDS and ALCS games, Happ will certainly be appearing in any postseason series beyond the three-game Wild Card round. And he’s actually earned our confidence.

Of course, the second he falters, Yankees fans will be back in alarmist mode. It’s what they do. But you can’t say Happ hasn’t been surprisingly excellent more often than not this season.