Luke Voit was back in the Yankees’ lineup Sunday — albeit with a face guard — one day after being hit in the face by a fastball from Rockies righthander Chad Bettis.
But for the slumping Voit, that was the extent of the good news.
The first baseman was dejected about his performance, which included two strikeouts in four hitless at-bats and a key error on a third-inning bunt that contributed to three unearned runs in the Yankees’ 8-4 loss to Colorado.
“Just a bad day,’’ Voit said. “Feel like I let my team down today. Got to get back to the drawing board tomorrow and have a fresh week.
“Ever since I came back off the [injured list], I’ve been striking out, swinging at a lot of bad stuff. Usually I’m getting my walks and driving the ball. Right now, I feel like I’m underneath it. Just gotta get your timing back. I think I’m trying to do too much. I’m swinging at pitches I usually don’t. I’m making weak contact.’’
Voit, who suffered an abdominal strain during the London Series, is 6-for-31 (.194) with a home run and two RBIs in nine games since returning from the injured list. He has struck out 13 times.
Overall, Voit is batting .272 with 18 homers and 52 RBIs.
Voit, who bats righthanded, spoke as if the jury is out on whether he’ll continue to use a guard that protects the left side of his face when he is batting. Teammates Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres wear similar headgear.
“I’ll see how it goes,’’ he said. “If I don’t feel right . . . But I don’t think it really bothered me today. It’s just getting used to having another object kind of in your vision, so after maybe three or four days, to see how it feels. I do get pitched up and in a lot. It could happen again — hopefully it won’t — but you never know. So maybe if I get comfortable with it, I won’t even notice, and that’s what a lot of the guys said. It takes like three or four games to get used to it.’’
Voit, like everyone else, thought the injury could have been a severe one. The pitch grazed his left shoulder and continued across the lower part of his face.
“I still took it pretty good,’’ he said. “If you look at the slow-motion replay, you can see the shirt [ripple] a little bit. So it mostly hit my chin and my lip . . .
“When it happened, I grabbed my face and I was like ‘uh-oh.’ But then, I don’t know, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Just a scary thing. The first instinct is I kind of thought broken jaw, my teeth are going to be all scattered everywhere — and [then] nothing. I dodged a bullet. I got lucky.’’
With Roger Rubin