Votto, Choo on-base machines
Joey Votto has two home runs and three RBIs over the last two games while going 7-for-11. His batting line is .328/.522/.516. Can we finally agree that Votto isn’t in a funk? Personally, I didn’t think he was before.
Add in that Devin Mesoraco is going to play everyday for a while because of Ryan Hanigan’s injury. The two things I’ve gotten the most questions about seemed to be settled. So, does this mean the Worrywarts Express is off of its tracks for a while? Maybe, but I suspect only temporarily.
Three stars from a 10-6 victory over the Marlins:
No. 3 star: Brandon Phillips, 1-for-3, 1 RBI — Phillips had the go-ahead run with a single to right field to get his 21st RBI of the season.
No. 2 star: Shin-Soo Choo, 2-for-2, 2 HBP, 1 BB, 2 runs scored — Here’s an amazing clip for you…Choo has reached base safely in 11 of his last 12 plate appearances (four walks, two hit-by-pitches, three singles and doubles). It’s really incredible.
“He had a great series against us,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “Obviously he’s a big pick-up for this team. You think about Bruce and Votto and those guys in the middle of that order and not wanting them to beat you, but you forget about Choo. He’s a grinder. He does a lot of different things. He’s a nice piece for those guys and we weren’t bale to hold him down.”
Through his 18 games he has played, Choo has reached safely in all 18. His nine hit-by-pitches are more than what any one team has in the NL. He’s already tied the club record for HBPs in one month. It was held solo by “Turkey” Mike Donlin in May 1903.
“There’s no art to it unless your name is Ron Hunt,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He used to get hit on purpose. Choo ain’t getting hit on purpose.”
Hunt led the league in HBP each season from 1968-74, including 50 in 1971 alone while with the Expos.
“Maybe he thinks he’s a turtle because he just turns and goes in his shell,” Baker joked of Choo.
Choo was asked to explain why it keeps happening.
“Can you ask the pitcher? I don’t know,” Choo said. “They try to throw the inside pitch. I don’t think I’m too close to home plate. I’ve talked a lot to catchers and our pitchers. Pitchers know better than to throw the outside pitch because I can go to the opposite field.”
Choo now has a .523 on-base percentage, which is best in the Majors. It’s a tick above the No. 1 star.
No. 1 star: Joey Votto, 3-for-5, HR, 2 runs scored. As noted above, Votto has a .522 OBP. His homer off of Alex Sanabia gave him homers on consecutive days for the first time since Sept. 10-11, 2011.
There will be much more on Votto in the final version of my story on MLB.com. Click here to read it once it’s up.
*With a 10-3 record at GABP, the Reds have more home wins than any team in MLB this season. It’s their best home start since 1994.
*The Reds have struck out at least 10 batters in 4 consecutive games for the first time since May 23-27, 2008:
*The eight-run seventh inning was the Reds’ third inning of the season of at least seven runs.