Marty Brennaman does not think Joey Votto should be trying to lead the league in on-base percentage


Marty Brennaman is a Frick Award winner and, when he wants to be, is still one of the best broadcasters in the game. But his favorite hobby, it seems, is going after the Reds’ best players.

He did this all through the 2000s with Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey Jr., acting as if they were what stood between the Reds and success. In recent years he has decided Joey Votto is the problem. Never mind that he’s their best hitter. I mean, when you rip a guy for his RBI total despite the fact that he’s hitting .330/.441/.525 at the time, you may a bit unhinged on the subject.

Brennaman continued his campaign against Votto today:

He’s right. Votto should make more outs. That’d be the smart play.

Look, I know what some of you will say, mostly because I live in Ohio, I’ve heard Brennaman say it so much and a lot of Reds fans like to parrot it: “Votto should be more aggressive!” Maybe in some situations he should. Votto himself has said as much.

But that’s a totally different thing than Brennaman is saying here. The use of the word “content” is a suggestion about Votto’s character, his desire to win and his baseball I.Q. The fixation on on-base percentage — a stat where, in every possible way, it is better to have a high number than a low number — is a dose of ignorance about which Brennaman should and likely does know better. This is his way of saying Votto is soft and lacks the will to win and, if you know a lot of Reds fans, you know that’s something they say over and over again.

Mostly because the team’s iconic announcer tells them they should think that way.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.