Votto gets the big hit (again)

Joey Votto is a master craftsman when it comes to hitting and that was highlighted a couple of times on Friday vs. the Cardinals. Of course, none was bigger than the final one that ended the game. Votto’s lined RBI single into right field scored Chris Heisey for a 6-5 victory in 10 innings.

With Cardinals reliever Jason Motte throwing gas, Votto looked at his first three pitches and fell into a 1-2 count. Next came a 97 mph fastball that Votto fouled back. Another 97 mph fastball was taken for ball two. And yet another 97 mph fastball was paydirt.

Motte was working up the ladder on each pitch and Votto saw that.

“I got a pretty good pitch to hit later in the at-bat,” Votto said. “He’s always a tough guy to face because he throws so hard and elevates the ball. He’s a guy a lot of guys strike out on. I got two strikes against me. I really felt like I had to fight.

“The previous two pitches were higher and I fouled them both back. So I had it in the back of my mind and I was reacting to them. If he had gone a little higher, maybe I would have got on top and put the ball in play or would’ve fouled it off again hopefully.”

In his previous plate appearance in the seventh inning against St. Louis LOOGY Trever Miller, Votto worked a 10-pitch sequence into a walk. He had a tough time in the Chicago portion of the previous road trip but has seemed to come out of that. In his last three games, Votto is 7-for-14 with four RBIs.

Notes:

*The Reds had a ton of chances throughout the night and kept missing out on the big inning. They were 4-for-18 RISP and stranded 13 for the game.

*The 10th featured other nice at-bats leading to Votto. Ramon Hernandez fouled a pair of two-strike pitches back before working a walk. Edgar Renteria worked a 1-2 count into a walk, but not before fouling a couple of pitches off. Had Renteria not reached, there’s a good chance the Cardinals intentionally walk Votto.

*Scott Rolen had a nice return from the DL, going 3-for-5 with a RBI double in the sixth inning.

*The Reds are 4-0 in extra inning games.

*Tonight was the longest extra-inning game for the Reds, lasting 3:54.

Quotes:

“They weren’t bouncing our way at all, but you keep that pressure and something’s bound to happen, sooner or later. You just got to keep that pressure and pressure and always keep believing that you can get it done. The right man at the right spot was up there at the end of the game.” — Dusty Baker

“They’re one of those teams that really seems to minimize the big innings. I wouldn’t necessarily say that was a product of us coming up short. I think it’s just them doing a very good job executing, making sure instead of giving up the big three run inning, it’s one maybe two. They’re very good at that.” — Joey Votto

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