Joey Votto has gone 4 for 8 with a pair of homers, pair of doubles, 6 ribbies, and - most importantly to some - failed to coax even a single walk in this series against the Milwaukee Brewers. No walks! He’s finally listening!!
Jokes aside, he’s socked homers in 4 of his last 5 games, and since returning on June 19th - #19 returned on the 19th - only Matt Olson and Mookie Betts have driven in more than the 18 runs arby-eyed by noted RBI-guy Joey. Only Betts, Olson, and Shohei Ohtani have a higher ISO than Joey since his return, too, a list that’s comically good when you consider just how many folks had written off Votto completely after last season and his multiple surgeries.
Votto has homered once in his career off old friend Wade Miley, today’s Milwaukee Brewers starter. That came all the way back in 2017 when Miley was plying his trade with the Baltimore Orioles, however, long before the crafty lefty reinvented himself in Milwaukee the first time under the tutelage of then-Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson. We know the rest of the story with that pitching combo and what it brought to the Cincinnati Reds, so surely Joey would like to see if he can best the elder version of Miley with a long ball today.
Ben Lively, meanwhile, was activated by the Reds prior to the start of Sunday’s series finale and will get the start. The recently promoted Michael Mariot was DFA’d to open the roster spot, as the Reds announced on Twitter (and Threads, too, maybe?).
First pitch in this one is set for 2:10 PM ET, and a win would send the Reds into the All Star break 11 games over the .500 mark and with a 3.0 game lead in the National League Central division. I have typed many, many sentences at this here website over the last decade plus, and few have given me the joy that the previous one just did. I’m going to savor that over a cup of coffee while bouncing the 8-week old in the bouncy chair, sip my coffee, and watch the most exciting Reds team in decades go to work in a very, very meaningful July game.