Reds first baseman Joey Votto has a .320 batting average, a .423 on-base percentage that ranks second in the majors, a .590 slugging percentage, 33 home runs and 101 RBI this season over 490 at-bats.
Still not convinced that Votto is one of the top hitters in all of baseball? Try this:
According to Rob Neyer of ESPN.com, the Cincinnati slugger has yet to hit an infield pop-up this season. Seriously.
FanGraphs, an excellent resource for stats both advanced and old-fashioned, has Votto at a 0.0% IFFB (infield fly ball) rate this season over 581 plate appearances. The great Albert Pujols has a 13.5% IFFB this year. American League MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera has a 7.5% IFFB. Josh Hamilton has a 3.3% IFFB.
Votto hit walkoff home run in the 10th inning of Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Pirates. His Reds currently own a seven-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central and appear to be locked in for their first postseason appearance since 1995. Votto and his smooth swing might just nab the NL MVP.
h/t Baseball Think Factory
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.
Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.
The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.