Joey Votto stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning of a tie game against the D-backs last week. Todd Frazier had just bunted Shin-Soo Choo from second to third and so Votto's Reds had the go-ahead run 90 feet from home with one out and their best hitter at the plate.
This conceivably is the kind of situation the Reds envisioned when they gave Votto a 10-year $225 million contract extension last year. But Votto's pedestrian RBI total this year has left many a Cincinnatian frustrated with his output even as sabermetricians insist he's having a splendid season.
"We can talk about sabermetrics and the importance of RBIs for the next week" radio announcer Thom Brennaman said at that moment "but this is a money at-bat."
And it played out the way so many of Votto's plate appearances do.
Votto diligently waited out rookie reliever Eury De La Rosa. The first pitch was a sinker that Votto who only swings at 28.7 percent of first pitches ...