The “5-3” out was on the scorecards Saturday at Yankee Stadium. It was the seventh inning. There would be no more at-bats.
The Streak was over.
Luke Voit had reached base on a hit, walk or hit-by-pitch in his first 31 games of this season and 42 straight dating to last season before going 0-for-4 in the Yankees' loss to Minnesota. The 42-game run tied for the third-longest streak by a Yankee in the last 75 seasons.
“It’s hard, man, especially with how good the pitchers are today,” Voit said Sunday before going 0-for-4 again in the Yankees’ series-closing 4-1 win.
“It’s a weird feat, but at the end of the day, it’s something that I’m really proud of because it shows that I’m having good at-bats, controlling the strike zone and doing everything I can to help the team win. … It was fun while it lasted.”
The Cardinals played their former 22nd-round pick in 62 games in 2017 and eight last year, but they were stocked at first and traded him to the Yankees last July 28. He arrived from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for a second time on Aug. 21 and took over the first-base job from Greg Bird three days later. Voit led the AL in homers the rest of the way with 14 in 114 at-bats in 32 games. He finished at .333 with 33 RBIs in 39 games.
OK, so could he do it again -- and for a full season?
He’s off to a good start at showing that he can. He has nine homers and 27 RBIs to go with a .260/.377/.504 slash line in 33 games. Also enter that continuation of his streak into evidence.
“It’s really impressive, and it’s consistent with what we’ve seen,” Aaron Boone said. “I think he’s proving that he’s a frontline hitter in this game. … He’s been an impact player for us.”
The on-base streak was the longest active one in the majors. It dated to Sept. 19 and came with a .316/.416/.658 slash line, 16 homers, 43 RBIs, 50 hits, 24 walks and three hit by pitches. Only Derek Jeter (57 games) and Alex Rodriguez (53) stood ahead of him on that 75-season list.
“It’s cool to be in that company,” Voit said. “Who’d have thought I would’ve done that?”
The fans have enjoyed the view, filling the Bronx air with chants of “Luuuuuke!”
“It’s something that you never think you’ll ever get, and then you get it,” Voit said. “It’s awesome.”
The 28-year-old Missouri native, whose brother, John, was an Army defensive lineman from 2014-17, has gotten satisfaction from proving that “Luke isn't a fluke.” He sensed there were doubters.
“I’ve always had a chip on my shoulder, obviously just being an older guy that got to the big leagues,” he said. “I got to the big leagues at 26. I wasn’t a first-rounder, wasn’t like a prospect coming up. I kind of just had to figure it out. … I’ve come a long way.”