BOSTON – Wednesday night’s American League wild-card game can’t get here soon enough for Luke Voit.
“I’m sure I’ll have butterflies, but I’m excited about it,” Voit said after hitting a two-run homer as the Yankees lost to the Red Sox, 10-2, in the regular-season finale on Sunday. “All the guys have been talking about how Yankee Stadium’s awesome. I can’t wait. I can’t wait for the ‘Luuuke’ chants, and hopefully there’s a lot of them.”
There have been plenty of them both at home and on the road since Voit joined the Yankees Aug. 2, especially since he took over as the everyday first baseman in late August.
Voit has hit 14 homers and driven in 31 runs in his last 32 games, including seven homers and 16 RBIs (along with a 1.445 OPS) in his last 11 games. He has a 1.095 OPS in 39 games overall.
The righthanded-hitting Voit, brought over from the Cardinals along with international draft pool money on July 28 in exchange for relievers Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos, said from Day 1 with the Yankees that he knew he’d hit in the big leagues and that all he needed was playing time. He's proved that.
“This is the first time I’ve gotten an opportunity,” Voit said. “Things are finally clicking. I’ve gotten right with my hitting coaches, learned a lot about myself and just sticking to it. I’ve always known I could hit.”
On second thought
After putting Giancarlo Stanton in the lineup on Sunday, intending to have him split the DH duties with Miguel Andujar, Boone chose to start the rookie instead and give Stanton, who is not injured but played in a team-high 158 games, a full day off. Andujar went 1-for-4 with a double, giving him 47, which tied him with Fred Lynn for the American League rookie record, set in 1975 with Boston.
Voit’s homer allowed the Yankees to extend their single-season record to 267. The previous record was 264 by the 1997 Mariners. The Yankees hit 11 home runs in their last four games and 15 in their last six . . . Beyond individual players coming in for treatment, the Yankees will be off Monday, then work out on Tuesday at the Stadium, as will the A’s.