Replays confirmed what appeared to have happened in real time.
Luke Voit was hit by a fastball in the face in the fourth inning Saturday and actually stayed in the game, walking down to first base and scoring a run later in the inning. The pitch appeared to graze his left shoulder and continue across his mouth in the bottom lip/chin area.
Though the first baseman was removed before the top of the fifth, indications were he and the Yankees avoided what could have been a far more serious injury. Voit passed concussion protocol testing and possibly could play Sunday.
“It doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think it surprised you guys either,” Austin Romine said of Voit initially staying in. “The guy’s like a bull out there. Just very happy that it wasn’t worse than it was. That was some dangerous stuff going on up by the face. Kind of dodged a bullet there.”
Voit stepped in against Chad Bettis with one out in the fourth and was hit by an 0-and-2 pitch that came in at 91 mph. There was a bit of blood on Voit’s jersey but, after Aaron Boone and trainer Steve Donohue checked on him, he remained in the game for the rest of the inning.
“Just glad it’s not worse. It could have been really bad,” said DJ LeMahieu, who went from third base to first base in the fifth when Voit came out. “He wanted to stay in the game, he was trying to talk them into letting him stay in the game, but any time you get [hit] like that, it’s pretty dangerous.”
Boone decided for precautionary reasons that Voit should come out.
“Obviously, that’s scary right there, but felt like he was pretty good before we took him out,” Boone said. “And then going through the tests, obviously was fine, and speaking to him right after, I feel like he should be OK.”
Hey, watch it
Rockies righthander Jairo Diaz nearly caused an incident with two outs in the eighth in the Yankees' 11-5 victory. His first pitch to Romine came up and in at 99 mph and hit the bat handle. Pitch No. 2, also 99, nearly hit Romine as well, causing players in the Yankees' dugout to hop to the top step, yelling at Diaz. CC Sabathia, not surprisingly, was the most vocal. Romine struck out to end the inning.
“Lot of balls thrown up and in,” said Romine, referencing the Voit hit-by-pitch. “Any team's going to get a little frustrated at that point. It’s over with. We won. Moving on.”
Aaron Boone didn’t think the pitches were intentional but still sounded irritated afterward.
“We didn’t like it, obviously,” he said. “I don’t think there was intent, but sometimes intent doesn’t matter. Throw the ball over the plate.”
A different view
Banished from the dugout and clubhouse Friday night as he served a one-game suspension, Boone took in the Yankees’ 8-2 victory over the Rockies from the Stadium suite belonging to managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.
“Had a pretty good birds-eye view of the game. It was a nice way to watch the game,” Boone said with a smile Saturday.
Boone earned the one-game suspension after his run-in with plate umpire Brennan Miller in the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader.
He said it was difficult to watch the game, especially in the early going when his team fell behind 2-0. Edwin Encarnacion took care of that with a fourth-inning grand slam.
“It was a little, obviously, to start,” Boone said. “Once Edwin hit the home run, that helped a little bit and I was able to enjoy the game and kind of get a different look about our positioning and for that matter the Rockies and how they positioned and how the ball travels. It’s obviously a different look up there than from the side [in the dugout]. So I tried to enjoy it as much as I could.”
Feeling the heat
With the heat index at about 110 all afternoon, Romine, Rockies catching counterpart Tony Wolters and plate umpire Chris Conroy had the worst spots in the unrelenting blazing sun.
“It was fine when you were walking on the grass, but as soon as you got to the plate, it was like a cone of heat. It was awful,” Romine said. “I was talking to Wolters and laughing and the umpire was battling through it too. It was a struggle out there. Probably one of the more hot games I’ve ever caught.”
Stephen Tarpley was not available after striking out six in three scoreless innings Friday night, but he was not optioned to the minors Saturday.
“We considered some things but we felt we were OK today,” Boone said. “We decided it was best to stand pat.”