MINNEAPOLIS — The first one took a while. In his third major league game, his third at-bat of the day, DJ LeMahieu grounded a single to second base off Jaime Garcia in the top of the eighth inning of a Cubs loss at St. Louis.
“Albert Pujols was at first base and he was the first one to congratulate me,” LeMahieu said of his first MLB hit back in June of 2011. Pujols went on to wish LeMahieu many more hits in this league. “So, I’ll never forget that.”
Tuesday night, LeMahieu singled twice in the Yankees rout of the Twins to reach 1,500 career hits. He knew he was close, but wasn’t sure until he got congratulated by manager Aaron Boone.
“It’s one of those things I’ll probably look back on after my career, after I’m done. But you know stuff like that is a cool thing,” LeMahieu said.
It’s been a long journey for LeMahieu, who reached his 10th year of service time last month. He’s won two batting titles and went into Wednesday night’s game against the Twins at Target Field one home run shy of 100.
“I mean, they’re all there. It’s all cool stuff, but you know, hopefully, there’s a lot more of all of that to come,” said LeMahieu, who will be 34 next month.
After a brief shutdown with a wrist issue, LeMahieu seems back on track. Over the last two weeks, eight games, LeMahieu is hitting .333/.460/.533 with a .993 OPS and a 175 OPS+.
LeMahieu, who was sidelined last September after trying to play through a sports hernia, has been a consistent player most of his career. The Yankees are seeing that again after a struggle last year.
“I actually feel like he’s been really consistent. I don’t want to say he’s been entirely unlucky. But, even in June, I feel like he’s swinging the bat really well, but there’s been a couple of games like the other day, he smokes a line drive out at second, he smokes a ball at the center fielder,” Boone said. “He’s been really consistent throughout the season. And I do feel like he’s getting to that really good DJ stretch where he starts getting a few hits a couple times a week where now all of a sudden you see him go to that other level from a number standpoint. I feel like he’s kind of scratching the surface of that, but I’ve been …read more
Source:: The Mercury News