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In a game where Tyler Mahle gutted out five innings and the new guys in the pen looked good, Joey Votto steals the show to take the series from the Cubs.

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

JOEY VOTTO - 2 for 3, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB

If that isn’t a vintage Joey Votto batting line, I don’t know what else is. It obviously looked dark for Joey Votto the past couple of seasons until he started standing tall and banging roughly a calendar year ago. I am a person that is very romantic about baseball and sports in general. To see the greatest pure hitter of my generation play for my favorite team has been a privilege. To see him have a career resurgence at the age of 37 by just crushing the ball and having fun is icing on the cake to this Reds fan. There is no doubt in my mind that if Joey Votto is not the Comeback Player of the Year they need to retire the award. As of the posting of this article, Joey Votto is hitting .276/.373/.548. He has a .272 ISO which is the highest it’s been since his 2010 MVP season. His wRC+ is 142. Oh, and he’s still walking 12.5% of the time.

In a point in time where the team needed some feel good and fire to continue the push into August, Joey Votto wrote up the correct prescription. He’s the absolute best and always has been. Consider yourself lucky that you not only got to witness his career but also this outpouring of power from one on the game’s greatest players.

Honorable Mention: Tyler Mahle who didn’t have his best stuff but battled for six innings and put up zeroes. He gave up five hits, a walk, and struck out two. Jesse Winker who doubled twice and drove in a run, Tyler Stephenson for singling in two runs and getting a walk, and Shogo Akiyama for doubling, knocking in two runs, and taking a hit by pitch. I’ll also give Kyle Farmer some credit for a 2 for 4 night with a doubled and a run scored while playing with an injury that looks like it really hurts. Out of the bullpen, Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson tossed scoreless frames in the pen in their Reds debut which was very cool.

Key Plays

  • Tyler Mahle got himself into a bit of trouble in the bottom of the 1st. He gave up a ground rule double at one point with guys on base, luckily it got stuck in the ivy to save the Reds a run. Mahle then was able to coax his way out of the inning.
  • That was really good for the Reds because Joey Votto BANGS and he led off the top of the 2nd, and he BANGED a dinger into deep left center field. There is nothing better in baseball when Votto is on a roll and knows it. It was his sixth dinger in five games. Reds lead, 1-0.
  • In the top of the 3rd, Jonathan India walked and then Jesse Winker smashed a pitch up against the wall. This one did not get caught in the ivy and India motored around to score. Tyler Stephenson grounded out, Joey Votto was intentionally walked, and then Suarez grounded out to end the threat. Reds lead, 2-0.
  • In the top of the 5th, the dynamic duo of India and Winker got to work again. India led off the inning with a single and then Winker laced a doubled to right field. Heyward made a quick play in right to hold India at third. Tyler Stephenson then drove a ball into the gap of left center field scoring both India and Winker but Stephenson was thrown out in a close play at second. Reds lead, 4-0.
  • Luis Cessa made his debut for the Reds in the bottom of the 7th. It was a clean inning with a strikeout.
  • Suarez led off with a double, Farmer was hit by a pitch, Naquin grounded out which advanced the runners, Max Schrock was walked, and then Shogo Akiyama was hit by a pitch to score a run. Dylan Maples had no idea where the ball was going. He almost hit India too but in the end he got India to pop out and Winker to ground out. But, the Reds did score a run to extend out a 5-0 lead.
  • Justin Wilson then made his Reds debut and he looked really good. He was hitting 94-95 on the gun with his four seam fastball. So, Reds fans got a good look at two of their new relievers which was pretty cool.
  • Tyler Stephenson walked to lead off the inning and then Joey Votto continued his torrid power streak. Votto launched another dinger into right field. It was his second two homerun game in a row. His last seven hits have been homeruns. That’s insane. Then Kyle Farmer singled, Tyler Naquin walked, and Mike Freeman flew out. Shogo Akiyama hit a ball in the gap for a double, scoring Farmer. Jonathan India hit a soft liner to left that Ian Happ made a great play to catch otherwise the Reds would have continued to pile on. Reds lead, 8-0.
  • Ryan Hendrix gave up two runs in the ninth. He seemed to be throwing as hard as he possibly could. He has the stuff but is really struggling right now. I think it’s time for him to get some work in AAA to calm his mind. He needed almost 30 pitches to get through the inning. Reds win, 8-2.

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • I’ll let a tweet from C. Trent on the Baez non-suspension speak for itself.
  • Brad Brach was warming up in the 6th inning. I’ll be honest, it’s just really nice seeing a guy like him warming up in an earlier inning and not necessarily in a high pressure situation. The trades the Reds made were not huge in the sense that they brought in awesome players. However, they provided adequate depth to a bullpen running on empty. It adds just a little bit of confidence to the team. Brach also never came in the game so maybe he was just getting some work in.
  • Before tonight’s game Jose Barrero was hitting .281/.385/.494 with four doubles and five homeruns in 110 plate appearances. He could force the Reds’ hand.
  • We don’t deserve him.