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Joey Votto reaches base twice in 20th consecutive game, one game shy of Ted Williams’ record

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Reds first baseman Joey Votto drew a walk in the first inning and walked again in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Cubs. That marked the 20th consecutive game in which he has reached base twice, leaving him one shy of the modern era record Ted Williams set in 1948. The last hitter to reach base twice in 20 consecutive games was Barry Bonds in 2004.

In the 19 previous games, Votto was batting .450/.612/.767 with 23 walks, four doubles, five home runs, 14 RBI, and 17 runs scored in 85 plate appearances. On the season, Votto entered the night batting .317/.447/.603 with 31 home runs, 83 RBI, and 82 runs scored in 519 PA.

Votto has certainly put up MVP-esque numbers, but he has a lot of competition in the National League in Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rendon, Bryce Harper, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Giancarlo Stanton, among others.

Bryce Harper defeats Kyle Schwarber 19-18 to win the 2018 Home Run Derby

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Bryce Harper, who said he was tired after taking his cuts in the first round, certainly appeared gassed in the final round. So, too, did his dad, who was throwing to him. But Harper caught fire, going on a tear and tying Kyle Schwarber with 18 home runs before time expired in the final round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. Harper unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time by hitting two home runs at least 440 feet. With his second swing in bonus time, Harper homered to straightaway center field for No. 19. He tossed his bat in celebration, grabbed his trophy, then gave it to his dad before he was mobbed on the field by his All-Star teammates.

Harper hit 13 home runs in the first round, eliminating Freddie Freeman and advancing to the semifinals. In the semis, Harper topped Max Muncy 13-12 to advance to the finals. On Schwarber’s side of the bracket, he bested Alex Bregman 16-15, then defeated Rhys Hoskins 21-20.

Harper is the first member of the Nationals (or Expos) to win the Home Run Derby. Harper participated in the 2013 Derby but finished in second place behind Yoenis Céspedes. Harper is also the first left-handed hitter to win the Derby since Prince Fielder in 2012. The only players to win the Derby in their home park are Todd Frazier in 2015 and Ryne Sandberg in 1990.

As a spectator, the 2018 Home Run Derby was tons of fun. The four-minute clock adds a lot of tension and intrigue even to the initial rounds. Seeing teammates cheer and get excited for their teammates in the Derby is really fun. Of course, watching dinger after dinger is cool, too. Can’t wait for next year.