Today, Joey Votto cemented himself as the best Reds player of my lifetime. The 2010 Joey Votto is the most dominating version of an offensive player that a team that I’ve pulled for has ever had within its members.
Votto got four hits today. Two backside home runs to left field in a ballpark that doesn’t allow home runs to that part of the ball park. As I was driving home from work Marty Brenneman remarked that in all his years of broadcasting; George Foster had the best power to the opposite field for a right-handed hitter that he’d ever seen. He said today that Joey Votto had the best power the other way for a left handed hitter. We’re seeing something very special take place right in front of our eyes. I can hardly believe that Joey Votto is really a Cincinnati Red. Things like this typically don’t happen to us. After Votto saved us in Los Angeles on Sunday, he saved us in what could have been a monumental collapse that could allow a season to slide.
Not lost in all this is a little bit of fate and magic. In the top of the 9th after the Giants came and got what they wanted in the form of an 11-10 lead; Pablo Sandoval sailed a routine throw with one out over the head of the first baseman. This allowed Drew Stubbs to reach second base. Paul Janish (who I love more every single damn day) got one of the biggest hits all year off Giants closer Brian Wilson. A single to right field allowed the tying run to score.
I was still positive that the Reds would find a way to lose this game. But the hero rose again. On the day before he is immortalized on the cover of Sports Illustrated, he showed that there is no fucking curse.
Coco Cordero hung on in the final inning as the Giants battled until the final out. The Reds did it. They completed the West Coast road trip bloodied and battered, but they emerged 6-3 and with a lead of at least 2 and 1/2 games.
This team has driven me to the brink of insanity sometimes. They test my fandom to the sport at times. But there isn’t an ounce of quit in this bunch.
No matter how long the Cincinnati Reds of 2010 stay together, no matter how long the window stays open to compete; I predict that there will never be a group who fights like this and who refuses to give up like the guys who have put on the Reds uniform this season. Whether they collapse the final few months and break our hearts or go on to postseason play, I’ll never forget the way that this group of guys battled and scrapped until the final out was hung every night.