Votto comes through

Who else could have saved the Reds like Joey Votto on Thursday?

In a 7-5 win, Votto was massive with a 4-for-5, three RBI game. His seventh-inning home run was the game-winner and it was huge for the Reds.

  • It helped prevent a Toronto sweep.
  • It saved Johnny Cueto after he blew a 4-0 lead.
  • It helped the Reds take advantage of losses by the Cardinals, Brewers and Cubs. They picked up a game and are now only 3 1/2 games out in the NL Central despite a 35-36 record.
  • It also stopped a four-game losing streak.

“I was running out of material,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s the hardest thing about losing, talking after losing.”

During his long ball, there were a smattering of cheers among the 15,329 fans at Rogers Centre for Votto, the hometown guy. Many were probably aware of his personal issues that were revealed on Tuesday.

“I always want to play well, definitely in front of family and friends I wanted to play well,” Votto said. “But had I had that big game tonight and we would have lost, it would have been really disappointing to left here swept. Getting the ‘W’ was far more important.”

Votto admitted life wasn’t back to normal yet, but it was getting there.

“The beautiful thing about baseball is there’s always a new day and always a game, one after another,” Votto said. “It kind of parallels life sometimes. Every single day, you always get a new one. It’s nice feeling good without having to think of the problems I’ve been having.  Yesterday was a good step and today was an even better step.”

  •  I’m off this weekend while the Reds are in Cleveland.

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23 Comments

Bravo for Votto. He sure deserves. And it’s about time the bats get going! 15+ hits? Excellent…
Also, Mark, it sucks that you’re off for the series against the Tribe. Oh well, you take ‘em when you get ‘em… I look forward to when you’re back in business.

Nice to see Votto out there tearing it up so soon. He has the fastest bat speed that I have ever seen. He is destined to be in the caliber of George Brett in my opinion. Someone with high average and good (but not great) home run power.

Okay, it’s up to us to keep this going in Mark’s absence. I have a suggested topic. The Reds are 35-36, and have 20 games between now and July 19 (1 week after the All-Star break, and 12 days before the trading deadline). I have arbitrarily selected that as the date by which Reds’ management has to decide if it’s buying or selling in the trading market. (Suggest an alternate date, if you like). The question is this, what does the Reds record need to be (or how many games out of 1st), for them to trade up, versus trading down for future prospects.

Great job Joey! I wish him well.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

“The question is this, what does the Reds record need to be (or how many games out of 1st), for them to trade up, versus trading down for future prospects.”

Hmm… I’m not sure, really. I think it all depends on how the team is playing at that time. Because, I mean, if we’re under .500 but starting to heat up, I think we can still be buyers. But, on the other hand, if we’re under .500 but playing like crap, perhaps we’d be sellers. I hope that we end up being buyers, because that’ll mean we’re still in the race.

Actually it is all going to be how close to first place we are and how close we are to the wild card slot. I’m guessing that if we are somewhere within 5-7 of either that the Reds management will consider us contenders. If we out 7 games then I would expect a for sale sign to go up on the Reds for any player that has free agency on the horizon.

Who do you think the Reds will send down once Encarnacion comes back? Rosales would be my guess.

I would guess Rosales. Certainly not Hairston, since he can play both infield AND outfield, whereas Rosales only plays infield. I can’t wait to see Edwin again….

Todays performance against the indians is just pathetic. Just about the Worst performance out of Harang that I have ever seen. I wonder if our pitchers are just hitting a rough spot or whether there is something to the American league just being a better hitting league. I’m suprised to find Dickerson at the bottom of the lineup once again. Wouldn’t he make a better #1 or #2 man instead of Taveras/Hairston? Johnny Gomes is just plain smacking the ball around, I hope he get the start once we head back to playing the National league in place of either Taveras/Bruce.

Good luck tomorrow Homer, we need a good outing from a pitcher now!

Yeah… not a good game all around. Kudos to Johnny, though. He’s killing right now.

I’m UBER excited to see Homer pitch tonight. Also, I found something interesting on ESPN:
“Volquez affects the Reds trade interests”
This obviously suggests Eddie may be in trade talks. I know it’s ESPN, but let’s go ahead and speculate just for the lol’s. How do you feel about that?
Me… I have mixed opinions. I love Eddie, but I also love Cueto. I think Cueto has better overall stuff than Eddie, and I think he has much better control than Eddie as well. Also, Cueto is several years younger, which is a major plus. Both are stellar young pitchers. However, I can’t imagine the Reds being able to pay them both long, lucrative contracts. Just doesn’t make sense, seeing that they’ll both be wanting huge deals (and rightfully so). So… having Eddie as a bargaining chip actually makes a lot of sense to me. We have an EXCELLENT farm system when it comes to pitchers (and prospects in general). If Eddie could give us some good bats in return, I wouldn’t be angry if we dealt him.
What do you all think?

I would be shocked if we trade Volquez. I would say that Cueto and Volquez would be the two starting pitchers that we have that are untouchable. Both young and fireballers. Interesting enough the scouting reports on both of them are fairly similar and also that the potential for arm injury is the same.

What did you guys think about Bailey today? 7 walks 2 wp? thank goodness he only gave up 3 hits otherwise they would have smoked us. I wasn’t able to watch the game live only on gamecast but I was curious to know how he looked in real time. He still dropped his era buy 3 points though so definitely better than his last outing.

“I would say that Cueto and Volquez would be the two starting pitchers that we have that are untouchable.”
Perhaps, but are they both signable? I wouldn’t think so, since the Reds are a small market team. I envision both players wanting 3+ years and 20+ Mil once they’re able to make a new deal. Of course, I have no idea what their contract situations are right now, so hopefully we have them tied up for a few more years.

I suppose I’m in agreement with you, but not as much. I would be surprised if we traded away Eddie, but I wouldn’t be shocked. The way baseball works, you will never be able to keep all of your best SP. It just doesn’t work like that, especially for small market teams like Cincy.

Also… Bailey’s pitches looked sick. His fastball got all the way up to 98mph, and both his curve and splitter were filthy. I was very impressed with the splitter, actually. But he was wilder than hell. Hopefully he can bring it all together his next start. So, yeah… stuff-wise he was great, but accuracy not so much.

Great day for the Reds, and happy birthday to B-Phil!
It was good to see Owings have a nice outing.

Once they have aged and brewed a little we’ll see how healthy the are over the long haul. Volquez is already showing that maybe he is going to be injury prown. Second game of the season I was there watching Volquez warm up at GABP and I told my sister that Volquez was acting like his back was hurting him…. constantly stretching and twisting side to side as if he was always trying to loosen up a stiff back. I think that others noticed as well and now our ace from last year has a big red question mark next to his name. I think that the first starting pitcher and most over priced player on the Reds is Bronson Arroyo. Of late he has been a batting practice pitcher at best. Which historically for the Reds Bronson has pitched one good game and then pitched 3 or 4 bad ones in a row. We should aim to keep guys who have an ERA around 4.5 max in the starting rotation.
I’m not a big fan of Harang either but he can dominate like no other at times. I think Harangs best years are already behind him. If we are only in the market to hold 2 starting pitchers of excellent caliber Cueto and Volquez are the best we could have and the rest trade bait or rentals.

On Bailey being wild can be a very good thing especially if you fastball is clocking 98 mph! I hope he continues to work on his changeup and maybe if the Reds will keep him at the MLB level long enough he can improve his controls a little bit better by being around the one or two pitchers on our staff that aren’t wild themselves.

I have heard postive things from Louisville that Homer has a great work ethic and is constantly working to perfect his craft. If that is true then he has only begun to scratch the surface.

Bailey being effectively wild can be good, but not seven walks in five innings. :P
And I am a HUGE fan of Harang. If he gets traded I’ll…. well, I’ll do nothing. I’d still be a Reds fan, but I would be terribly shaken.

Good to see back to back double digit hit games. Possible that Bruce is Dave Kingman reborn? Hoping he’s more like Dwight Evans, a smooth fielding rightfielder for the Red Sox in the 70’s and 80’s. He began as power but no average but improved every year well into his 3o’s till he was a consistent .275 / 25 hr guy.

I think the Reds need to be over .500, within 4 games of the division lead, and no more than 3rd place, for them to be a ‘buyer.’

Regardless, I don’t believe they’ll trade starting pitching; relief pitching is what they’ve got to offer, I think.

I definitely don’t think Bruce is another Kingman. Kingman from what I recall didn’t have an upside on the defense for one. I can’t remember the guys name from the Brewers back in the 80’s 90’s but he could hit tape measure homeruns or strikeout plus he has a killer arm. Bruce is only what 21 or 22? He still has a few years to figure things out. I personally think that he should be at AAA playing down there. I think Bruce needs to work on his type of swing. He has the big long time consuming swing and there just isn’t any bat speed to adjust during a pitch to the plate. Votto is the exact opposite of Bruce. I have timed several batters this year on my Tivo and I have clocked Votto as having the fastest bat speed of anyone we have played against this year. I think Baker should take Bruce aside if he is going to stay at the MLB level. Baker was an excellent hitter and I think that the two could relate on technique.

When is Sheldon coming back to blogging again? He didn’t retire did he?

No, he hasn’t retired. :P He said that he would be off for the Cleveland series.

HM, you’re right about Kingman’s defense, and I don’t really think Bruce will hit for Kong’s low average, but we’ll see. I don’t remember who you mean from the Brewers, but I’m sitting here thinking I couldn’t name 5 Brewers from the 80’s and 90’s anyway. Which is pretty awful. Anyway, if Edwin comes back and hits (.270, .470 slugging, for example), what does this team really need? And what’s the long term answer at shortstop?

If we’re dumping players by mid-July, the Phillies are desperate for pitching, and maybe Tampa Bay, too.

Rob Deer just came to me. Yeah he had a rocket hard, could hit gopher balls and batted near the Mendoza line. Bruce has a long way to go maybe he needs to get his eyes checked and start wearing some Chris Sabo glasses! I think we all know that the long term super star of the Reds is going to be Joey Votto. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again he has incredibly fast bat speed and that is usually the tell tale sign of a hitter that is never going to go into long slumps.

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