Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 8/29/12
DAYTON -- Jeff Ferrell experienced a lifetime memory Tuesday night at Fifth Third Field, home of the low Class A Dayton Dragons, a high even higher than a Rocky Mountain high. On a 3-and-2 pitch, the 21-year-old righthanded pitcher for the West Michigan Whitecaps struck out Joey Votto, the 2010 National League Most Valuable Player for the Cincinnati Reds. While he was still on the mound feeling the exhilaration of his accomplishment, the next two low Class A Dayton Dragons, Yorman Rodriguez and Juan Silva, hit home runs. Baseball is a fickle game. Votto was in Dayton on a rehabilitation assignment, testing his surgically repaired left knee, preparatory to return to the Reds this weekend after missing nearly six weeks. Votto played 4 innings and batted twice, walking his first time and striking out his second time. And he played first base, without much action. Actually, it wasn't much of a test because he wasn't called upon to do much, but he'll play again Wednesday and plans to take three at-bats. "It went all right, but I still have a ways to go," said Votto. "It was nice to hear the reaction of the fans in Dayton. I was very appreciative of that." There was a sellout, but not because Votto was there. The Dragons are on a 10-year streak of 816 straight sellouts. And there were more than 9,400 Tuesday night. They cheered loudly when Votto popped out of the dugout before the game to stretch in the outfield. And they cheered vigorously each time he came to bat. They booed West Michigan's Ferrell when he walked Votto on five pitches in the first inning and they booed when he fell behind 3-and-1 when Vottl led off the fourth inning -- before he struck him out swinging. "It was so nice to be back on the field," said Votto. "I've been off for almost six weeks now, so it's not too comfortable yet, but I don't think it'll take too long." When it was mentioned that he didn't get to test his knee aggressively, he said, "No, I didn't. I was too busy swinging and missing." But didn't he set up for the next two batters to hit home runs? He laughed and said, "It was just like the Reds. I've noticed that when I leave games or leave the team, the teams just start playing really, really well. So that was just me being a good teammate and letting somebody else take it over." The Reds are 29-14 since Votto wrecked his knee June 28 sliding into third base in San Francisco. As for not batting in the fifth, Votto said, "You'll have to ask someone else on why I didn't bat," he said. "There was no reason physically. "It was nice to face live pitching and I don't think it will take long for me to get back into the swing of things," he said. "I felt pretty good at the plate, but the concern is not necessarily my swing but it is more the other things like running the bases (which he didn't get to do, even after the walk because he was stranded at first base), playing defense (he caught a couple of thrown balls, but didn't field any) and not being concerned about how my knee reacts." Votto played a year-and-a-half in Dayton, wearing No. 29, but he had his familiar No. 19 on his Dragons uniform Tuesday. And he was the only player on the field with high pants, exposing his socks and said, "I don't have my own Dayton Dragons pants at home, so I just play it by ear." His beginning in Dayton in 2003 was not eye-popping after he was the team's No. 2 draft choice. In 60 games (195 at-bats) he hit .231 with one homer and 20 RBI. But he displayed his future possibilities in 2004 when he hit .302 with 14 homers and 72 RBI. "This brought back memories a little bit," he said. "They certainly didn't treat me as well when I was here and they are now, but it is nice to be back and I continue to be astonished with the great conditions of this field, the grounds crew does an amazing job and the fans turn out in droves, so it is a great place to play." He plans to arrive at Fifth Third early Wednesday, "To do some things on the field by myself and hopefully not strike out every other at bat. The goal is three at-bats and five, six or seven innings. I want to be on the field as long as I'm comfortable and it is leading me in the right direction. "I'm glad I'm finally back out there playing ball," he said. "Ths is the first step toward getting back to Great American Ball Park and hopefully win the World Series this year. I'm not sure they need me to win the World Series. They're playing great baseball." They need him.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eddie Lacy defends Mike McCarthy for weight loss comments

Red Sox nearly had serious catcher emergency in loss to Tigers

Ohio State DL Dylan Thompson ineligible for season

Roger Federer will miss Olympics, U.S. Open with knee injury

Seahawks extend Pete Carroll through 2019

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LSU kicker Colby Delahoussaye releases first statement following car crash

Report: Brock Osweiler could have made more money staying with Broncos

Andrew Luck: Feels `as good as I've ever felt` for training camp

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Five NFL teams set to rise up in 2016

Jeremy Lin reportedly looking to trademark phrase ‘Brook-Lin’

Matt Leinart engaged to actress Josie Loren

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

Report: Paul Pierce to return to Clippers

Jimbo Fisher: You come to FSU to win national championships

Andre Johnson worked out for Tennessee Titans

Shattenkirk for Krejci trade rumor still floating around

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman denies link to C.T.E.

Michael Vick: Cam Newton can’t beat me in 40-yard dash

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

Odell Beckham Jr. says Giants will play in Super Bowl LI

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker