It’s ‘We Love Joey Votto Week’ here at Red Reporter, and no such week would be complete without spending a little time watching Votto do what he does best — get on base. Votto has led the National League in OBP five of the past seven years, and finished second to Bryce Harper in 2015. He’s unquestionably the best player in baseball at doing exactly what hitters are paid to do — get on base. We’ve been lucky enough to watch him do that on a nightly basis since 2007, and despite the opinion of a certain HOF broadcaster, let’s hope that continues for the foreseeable future.
The at bats below aren’t necessarily the flashiest, or most meaningful. In fact, one is a bases-empty single in the bottom of the eighth inning during a game the Reds were already leading 3-0. Instead, these are examples of Votto being Votto. He’s fouling off pitches, hitting the ball where it’s pitched, waiting until he gets exactly what he wants, and just generally driving pitchers crazy.
April 25th vs New York Mets
The Reds entered the top of the seventh trailing Noah Syndergaard 3-1. The Mets removed Syndergard for Antonio Bastardo after he allowed a single to Zack Cozart. Bastardo promptly walked Eugenio Suarez on four pitches to bring Votto to the plate with the tying run at second base.
Votto battled Bastardo to a 3-2 count and then pulled a single into right field to tie the game at 3-3. JC Ramirez would come into the game and give up a 2-run homer in the bottom half of the seventh and the Reds lost 5-3, but Votto did his part in helping the Reds battle back.
May 2nd vs San Francisco Giants
Cueto made quick work of the Reds in the first two innings and the Giants held a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the third. Tucker Barnhart singled and then scored on a Billy Hamilton double, and Ivan De Jesus drew a walk to put runners on first and second for Votto.
Votto eventually worked the count to 3-2, before fouling off a good pitch from Cueto, and then slamming the next pitch over the centerfield wall for a 3-run homer. The Reds would eventually lose the game 9-6 thanks to JC Ramirez allowing four runs to score in the seventh inning.
May 24th vs Los Angeles Dodgers
After a quick out by Zack Cozart, Votto falls behind to Mike Bolsinger 1-2 before working the count back to 3-2. Votto fouls off the 3-2 pitch and then takes a pitch on the outer half of the plate to left field for a double. The Reds eventually lose the game 8-2 with appearances from the following pitchers:
May 30th vs Colorado Rockies
Cincinnati trailed the Rockies 5-1 in the top of fourth before the floodgates began to open. Six of the first seven Reds to bat in the inning reached base to close the gap to 5-3 with the bases loaded, two outs, and Joey Votto coming to the plate.
Votto worked the count to 3-2 before driving the ball deep to center for a 2-run, game-tying double. The Reds would ultimately win the game 11-8.
June 13th vs Atlanta Braves
The Reds led the Braves 6-5 heading into the top of the fifth inning. Votto had batted twice already, striking out in the first and walking in the third.
Votto fell behind to Blair 1-2 in the count before coming back for a 3-2 advantage. Ball three was a pitch that nearly everyone in baseball would’ve swung at, but Votto took it to force a full count. He knocks the next pitch, located in on his hands, into center field for an easy single.
The Reds eventually win the game 9-8, with Votto scoring the winning run after leading off the Top of the ninth inning with a double.
June 29th vs Chicago Cubs
The Reds were already trailing 7-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Votto leads off the inning against Kyle Hendricks. As our own Wick Terrell pointed out yesterday, Votto has owned Kyle Hendricks in his career. This at bat would be no different.
Here is the pitch-by-pitch:
Pitch 1: Ball 1
Pitch 2: Strike
Pitch 3: Foul
Pith 4: Ball 2
Pitch 5: Foul
Pith 6: Foul
Pitch 7: Foul
Pitch 8: Ball 3
Pitch 9: Foul
Pitch 10: Foul
Pitch 11: Foul
Pitch 12: Foul
Pitch 13: Ball 4
Now that is the definition of Joey being Joey.
August 8th vs St. Louis Cardinals
Zack Cozart roped a two-out, 2-run double to give the Reds a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning, bringing Votto to the plate with a runner on third base. Votto fouled off four two-strike pitches before sending a poorly placed pitch on the inner-half of the plate to right field for a triple. He probably should’ve only had a single on the play, but Piscotty misplayed the ball and allowed it to get past him, and Joey to get to third base standing up.
The Reds took a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning before Tony Cingrani and Ross Ohlendorf combined to allow five runs and a Cardinals walk-off victory.
August 23rd vs Texas Rangers
Derek Holland and Dan Straily were locked in a pitcher’s duel in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Holt walked and advanced to second on a bunt by Billy Hamilton. Hamilton was originally called safe, but the call was overturned after a challenge by Texas. Votto came to the plate and quickly fell behind 1-2 in the count to Holland. He took a couple of borderline pitches, before knocking the seventh pitch of the at bat into right field and bringing in the go-ahead run. The Reds would eventually win 3-0, giving Straily his 10th win of the season.
September 12th vs Milwaukee Brewers
Brent Suter works very quickly. This entire eight-pitch at bat lasted just 90 seconds. Votto fell behind 0-2 before working the count full and fouling off a couple of good pitches. He eventually singled to left field on a pitch on the outside of the plate. Votto would get picked off first base, but the Reds still held on to win 3-0.