DJ LeMahieu put his name among the greats who have played in the Bronx this season. Sunday, going 2-for-3 in the Yankees’ 5-0 loss to the Marlins, LeMahieu finished the season hitting .364 — the best in all of baseball. He became just the fourth player in the Yankees’ long history to lead MLB overall, joining Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.
But the question is will LeMahieu just be history to the Yankees after this season. The free agent-to be said Sunday he would like to return to the Yankees next season, but there is nothing in place.
“I want to stay here. I’ve said that a few times, but, you never know how it goes,” LeMahieu said. “I thought I was gonna stay in Colorado and I didn’t. So obviously, I’m hoping to be back here, but you just never know how it goes.”
LeMahieu likely added to his price this winter after breaking out with the Yankees during his two-year, $24 million deal. He just missed out on the batting title last year as well and there is no doubt that he was the Yankees’ most consistent player over those two seasons.
LeMahieu also won a batting title with the Rockies in 2016 — meaning that despite the pandemic-shortened season, he made baseball history.
He is the first player in the modern era to win batting titles in both leagues. Ed Delahanty was also credited with doing it back in 1899 and 1902.
“I got a lot of texts after the game. My teammates were really excited. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was trying to try not to focus on it and just have good at-bats,” LeMahieu said. “I think the more things I see and talk to people, it’ll be a pretty cool thing.”
LeMahieu lamented that it was in the coronavirus-shortened, 60-game season.
“I wish it was over 162 games. I wish there were fans in the stands,” LeMahieu said, “but it is what it is. And you know, I’m definitely proud of it.”
LeMahieu finished the season hitting .364/.421/.590 with 10 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 27 RBI. He is the ninth player in franchise history to win the AL batting title, the first since Bernie Williams in 1998.
LeMahieu and Luke Voit were definitely the heart of the Yankees’ offense this season. Voit, who went 0-for-3 Sunday, finished the season with a major league-leading 22 home runs.
“It is definitely well-deserved. I feel like he not only hit a bunch of homers, but had some huge homers for us and really carried us this year,” LeMahieu said of Voit. “And he’s a complete hitter. I said that before. He’s a complete hitter and is not just a home run hitter… So I’m really happy for him.”
LeMahieu and Voit are the first pair of teammates to lead the majors in batting average and home runs since Hank Aaron (.355) and Eddie Mathews (46) for the 1959 Braves.
“I mean they’ve been the pillars in our lineup, the rocks in our lineup,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. «DJ and Luke just put together amazing seasons. I think both guys are worthy of MVP consideration, obviously. What DJ has meant at the top of our order now for two years… he just has amazing consistency and what he brings with his defensive versatility.
“We’re not getting on a plane and going to the playoffs, without the performance of those two guys.”
It obviously wasn’t the first major league start Clarke Schmidt had dreamed about, but nothing is ideal this season. The rookie took the loss and took it as an experience that will help him if he gets a chance to pitch in the playoffs.
“It’s not up to me, but I think that I’m capable of getting outs. So I think that if they needed me in any situation, (I’d be ready),” Schmidt said. «I think especially with the lack off days throughout the length of the postseason, I think it tests all your facets of the game, and I think it relies a lot on pitching. So if my number’s called I’ll be ready for sure.
“I’m excited to get back out there again,” Schmidt said. “I felt like my stuff was really good today. And hopefully I get a few more outings before we call it quits.”
Schmidt allowed three earned runs on four hits. He struck out four over four innings.