The New York Yankees and Luke Voit won one of the oddest walk-offs in MLB history on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles.
Almost everything about this MLB season is unconventional due to COVID-19. It’s only 60 games long, the stands are empty, and the New York Yankees just won a game on sacrifice fly by a leadoff hitter.
Extra-innings games this year feature automatic runners on second base to start off each frame of free baseball.
DJ LeMahieu got the call on the base paths in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday. A wild pitch and a Luke Voit fly ball to center later, and MLB history was made.
Voit chalked it up to COVID-19 craziness.
“It’s 2020, man,” he said following the game, according to the Associated Press. “Things are weird, and you got to take advantage of what opportunities you get.”
Despite acknowledging the novelty of his accomplishment, Voit noted that it wasn’t his first experience with the free-runner rule.
“Playing in the minors for four years, we have that same thing,” he said, per the AP.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Jenna West, MLB’s minor leagues have placed runners on second base in extras since 2018.
The extra-innings rule change has already resulted in another strange first in 2020. Los Angeles Dodgers’ infielder Edwin Rios blasted the first ever lead-off two-run home run on Jul. 29 against the Houston Astros.
Also, Dodgers’ slugger Max Muncy hit the first non-walk-off sacrifice fly to lead off an inning back in August.
Voit’s heroics delivered the Yankees’ fourth-straight win. The victory also gave the Bombers a solid 4.5-game lead over the Orioles and pulled them within a half-game of the second-place Toronto Blue Jays.
After the Yankees’ hot start to the 2020 season, their position in the standings might be even weirder than the leadoff sac fly.