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Thread: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates
    Listen to this article or download audio file.Click-2-Listen

    By Hal McCoy

    Staff Writer

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    CHICAGO — There was no cask dangling around his neck, but Joey Votto was an award-winning St. Bernard rescue dog Thursday afternoon, April 17, in Wrigley Field for the Cincinnati Reds.

    Just when his team needed rescuing the most, withering on a five-game losing streak, Votto hoisted his Louisville Slugger and lifted his teammates with it, driving in the first five runs of a 9-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

    His three-run double in the fourth turned a 1-0 deficit into a 3-1 lead and his two-run homer in the sixth made it 5-1.

    Point of emphasis was added by Ken Griffey Jr.'s 596th career home run, a three-run rip in the seventh.

    Manager Dusty Baker resorted to doggerel about snapping the losing streak: "When losses start mounting, people start counting."

    The run-recipient was starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (2-0, 1.17), who wasn't at his economical best but made his stands when he needed to make his stands.

    Matters were dire in the second inning when Volquez walked opposing pitcher Ted Lilly with the bases loaded and two outs. He got the next out.

    He also encountered a fourth-inning dilemma — two on nobody out — but worked out of that mess run-free.

    It took its toll, though, and he was finished after five innings, having thrown 112 pitches.

    "He threw a lot of pitches in a short period of time, but had great stuff," said Baker. "You can work your way out of jams when you have stuff. We still have to get him to cut down on pitches.

    "If he cut down today with the stuff he had he could have very easily gone into the seventh inning, thrown 15 to 20 less pitches. But he is learning and he'll learn how to do that."

    Volquez, all smiles on this 'V' (Volquez, Votto) for victory day, acknowledged that he feared his time would be short on the mound this day.

    "Before I pitched to the last hitters in the fifth inning, I saw I was at 99 pitches and thought, 'Man, I'm not gonna make it.' I just wanted to get out of the inning."

    And the problem? "My release point," he said. "That happens with me when I get an extra day of rest, like this time. It seems like I'm pitching with a different rhythm and a different routine. I just try to make an adjustment, but I threw a lot of pitches for five innings.

    "The best thing about it? We got a win," he said.


    Votto was ecstatic that his offensive explosion made a direct hit on a victory.

    "Absolutely, I'm glad I came through in that situation," he said of his bases-clearing double.

    "It was left-hander vs. left-hander and a situation where I really wanted to come through. I would have been very disappointed had I not. I'm glad I did that for the team and that was a big situation."

    The home run was nice, but Votto added, "The double was 100 percent more important."

    Griffey, as usual, was reticent over chatting about creeping up on 600 and when asked if he was thinking about it, he said, "No."

    Asked if he would do it at home when the Reds open a seven-game homestand tonight against Milwaukee, he said, "Why is that such a big deal? I hit 100 in Seattle, 200 in Boston, 300 in Cleveland, 400 in Colorado and 500 in St. Louis. So what are the odds that I hit 600 in Cincinnati?"

    Baker, though, is pumped. "I'm more excited than he is because he doesn't show much excitement," said Baker. "This guy has done some tremendous things in his career and in his life and I'm pulling for him to get those 600 soon."

    And there was that sweet victory to savor on the flight back to Cincinnati.

    "It has been a tough five days and we needed this one badly," said Baker. "We didn't want back-to-back sweeps. Six in a row would have been bad and five in a row felt like a month."

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/con...spredsweb.html

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  3. #2
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Really glad to see Votto start to hit the ball. Hopefully he forces Baker to play him most games.

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    Member Spring~Fields's Avatar
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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    I was too. Votto and his good performance today renewed my energy for the team.

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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Joey Votto has shown these last few games why he should be the everyday starting first baseman. I think he'll hit 20-25 homeruns and 30 doubles this year while posting a .365+ OBP if given 500 atbats. And what about his defense? His defense has been great to this point. That diving play he made in the first inning today was the number three web gem on Baseball Tonight. He also made a nice leaping grab to save two runs in the fourth inning of todays game. I'd like to know who those people in the minor leagues were that said he couldn't play defense.

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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Great news!

    Even though Scott Hatteberg has more experience against lefties, Baker stuck with Votto as he has for the past several days. Baker informed Hatteberg that Votto would be his main man at first base going forward.

    "Today was a big day for him because of that left-handed pitcher," Baker said. "It was a great day. I told you it was coming. I just had to see a little more aggressiveness and bat speed, which we've seen coming the last couple of weeks."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin

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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Sit him against LHP!!! This is an instance where if Dusty follows his normal inane instincts, we lose yet another winnable game. Hopefully this opens his eyes, and he starts Votto 90% of the time going forward.

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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Great news!

    Even though Scott Hatteberg has more experience against lefties, Baker stuck with Votto as he has for the past several days. Baker informed Hatteberg that Votto would be his main man at first base going forward.

    "Today was a big day for him because of that left-handed pitcher," Baker said. "It was a great day. I told you it was coming. I just had to see a little more aggressiveness and bat speed, which we've seen coming the last couple of weeks."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin


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    Manliness Personified HumnHilghtFreel's Avatar
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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Quote Originally Posted by OnBaseMachine View Post
    Great news!

    Even though Scott Hatteberg has more experience against lefties, Baker stuck with Votto as he has for the past several days. Baker informed Hatteberg that Votto would be his main man at first base going forward.

    "Today was a big day for him because of that left-handed pitcher," Baker said. "It was a great day. I told you it was coming. I just had to see a little more aggressiveness and bat speed, which we've seen coming the last couple of weeks."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin
    Happy to see Dusty breaking some of the old notions he had working against him by choosing youth.

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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    This Dusty guy really hates the young players. Votto and Hatteberg split time until Votto go hot and took the job, who could have seen that coming?

    I give it until the end of June until Bruce is the everyday Center Fielder.
    Last edited by reds44; 04-18-2008 at 01:15 AM.
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    Pitching is the thing WVRedsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    If this shows me anything, it shows me that Dusty wants to win and if playing Votto more means more wins, that's what he is going to do. Good.

    Although I'm not totally sold on Dusty (for obvious reasons), I find something in him I haven't seen in the Reds dugout for too long. He roots for his players. The players are not the manager's enemies. At times over the past few years, during the reigns of Boone, Miley, and Narron, I actually thought the players were the enemy. Pete Mackanin should be given credit for changing this somewhat, bu,t Dusty acually roots for his guys. I like that. Whether this translates into wins is a long way from being answered, but at least he is rooting for his players.

    I have to believe that Dusty looks out at the team he's been given and wants to make it better. Despite his insistence on playing Patterson in center (of course, who else is going to play there?), I find little fault with what he's done. I found it telling that he didn't know that the Reds were going to acquire Josh Fogg until it was over (according to Fay). That just might be the beginning of a power stuggle. If one begins, we have to hope it for the betterment of the team, but at least we seem to have a manager who wants to win and knows how--for now. For all of our sakes, let's hope it happens.
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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    "Before I pitched to the last hitters in the fifth inning, I saw I was at 99 pitches and thought, 'Man, I'm not gonna make it.' I just wanted to get out of the inning."

    And the problem? "My release point," he said. "That happens with me when I get an extra day of rest, like this time. It seems like I'm pitching with a different rhythm and a different routine. I just try to make an adjustment, but I threw a lot of pitches for five innings.

    "The best thing about it? We got a win," he said.
    I like EV. This kid is fully grounded and seems to have his 'stuff' together.

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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBurn View Post
    I like EV. This kid is fully grounded and seems to have his 'stuff' together.
    In every quote I've seen from him, he seems like a sharp guy who's really studying the game.

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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Quote Originally Posted by HumnHilghtFreel View Post
    Happy to see Dusty breaking some of the old notions he had working against him by choosing youth.
    I call them "bunk" notions.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    Quote Originally Posted by WVRedsFan View Post
    If this shows me anything, it shows me that Dusty wants to win and if playing Votto more means more wins, that's what he is going to do. Good.

    Although I'm not totally sold on Dusty (for obvious reasons), I find something in him I haven't seen in the Reds dugout for too long. He roots for his players. The players are not the manager's enemies. At times over the past few years, during the reigns of Boone, Miley, and Narron, I actually thought the players were the enemy. Pete Mackanin should be given credit for changing this somewhat, bu,t Dusty acually roots for his guys. I like that. Whether this translates into wins is a long way from being answered, but at least he is rooting for his players.

    I have to believe that Dusty looks out at the team he's been given and wants to make it better. Despite his insistence on playing Patterson in center (of course, who else is going to play there?), I find little fault with what he's done. I found it telling that he didn't know that the Reds were going to acquire Josh Fogg until it was over (according to Fay). That just might be the beginning of a power stuggle. If one begins, we have to hope it for the betterment of the team, but at least we seem to have a manager who wants to win and knows how--for now. For all of our sakes, let's hope it happens.
    I don't think you can underestimate the difference in philosphy that you mentioned. While folks may not agree on every move, he's intent on winning and, as you note, seems able to translate that fervor for his players' success into drawing more out of them.

    Regarding the Fogg signing and an impending "power struggle" as you called it, it may well just be the difference in two individuals learning how to work with one another. It may well be that Dusty says to Wayne, let me have some input the next time and we can avoid something like this again. Or it could, in fact, be a potential power struggle. I'm inclined toward the former though - learning pains, if you will.

    I agree with those that have said we're on a vastly different track with a Fogg than we have been in the past. We do have players ready to step in and we don't have to throw other dreck out there. Belisle can easily fit into Fogg's slot and the ML rules viz free agents signing will relegate Fogg to the pen or on the street without much of a financial hit.
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    Re: Votto steps up to save Reds, lifts teammates

    I'll give Dusty some credit, whenever I hear him interviewed he's usually taking about some specific tactic or philosophy. I may not agree with a specific tactic, but it's refreshing to hear concrete ideas out of the manager instead of the neblous PTGTRW gibberish of Narrron and the like.
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