Joey. Votto. Bangs. After 10 long months of rehab and recovery, our beloved Joey Votto made his return to the Cincinnati Reds lineup and brought back the Votto of old. He made 4 plate appearances and went 2-3 with a solo home run, a 2-run single, and a walk. He also added a line-out that left the bat at 104 MPH in his first at-bat. Votto himself said he would not return if he wasn’t 100% healthy, and if there was still any doubt, he put those concerns to bed in one night. He obviously earns our Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game award. Here’s to many more of this season.
Joey Votto wasn’t the only contributor to the Reds’ offense tonight, as there were multiple contributors tonight just as there have been all season. Kevin Newman led off the bottom of the first by smoking a ball to left-center and giving the Reds an early 1-0 lead. Then, in the bottom of the 2nd, Nick Senzel thought he’d join in on the fun and sent one to the left field seats for his first hit sicne returning from the injured list to give the Reds a 2-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Reds’ starter Brandon Williamson was doing his part in keeping the Rockies at bay. He held them scoreless through the 1st 3 innings until, with 1-out in the top of the 4th, Elias Diaz got to him and sent a ball into the left-field seats to cut the lead to 2-1. After Joey Votto’s aforementioned solo home run put the Reds up 3-1, the Rockies put together a rally of their own. In the top of the 6th, Williamson allowed 2 hits to start the inning and was lifted for Buck Farmer. Farmer gave up a couple hits himself and all of a sudden the Rockies tied the game at 3-3. A Noah Jones walk loaded the bases. After a couple of strikeouts, the Reds would replace Farmer with Alex Young, who would walk Mike Moustakis to give the Rockies a 4-3 lead.
Enter Joey Votto. An error by Moustakis and an infield single by Elly De La Cruz would put runners on 1st and 2nd. A walk to Spencer Steer would load the bases and bring up our MVP. Votto would take a 1-0 pitch and smack it right up the middle for a 2-run single to give the Reds the lead for good. The bullpen combination of Lucas Sims and Alexis Diaz would hold the Rockies scoreless in the 8th and 9th to give the Reds a 5-4 victory.
The vibes around this team are just incredible right now. Joey said it best after the game: The young guys show up every day expecting to win. They don’t care who is in front of them, they just know they’re going to win. And that has brought us the most exciting team we’ve had in a decade. Who knows what is going to happen over the next 90 games, but for now your Cincinnati Reds are in first place. And I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it.
Joey Votto's exit velocities tonight:— The Riverfront: A Cincinnati Reds Podcast (@riverfrontcincy) June 20, 2023
Liner to CF: 104mph
RBI single: 108.7mph
- The Reds did receive some unfortunate news, as Hunter Greene hit the injured list for right hip pain. Hopefully this is just a short stint and he can get back out there pumping 100 MPH heaters. Lord knows we need starting pitching right now.
- Ben Lively gets the start tomorrow in game 2. He’ll face off against Noah Davis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT. Go Reds