It’s been an eventful week for Reds first baseman Joey Votto. The former NL MVP launched a ball into McCovey Cove in San Francisco Monday night, becoming the first Red to accomplish that feat (teammate Mike Moustakas joined him as the second Red to do it the following night).
But what Votto achieved Saturday against Cleveland might even be more impressive. Votto helped the Reds out of an eighth-inning jam with a spectacular grab, snaring a liner off the bat of Indians slugger Josh Naylor and quickly tagging Franmil Reyes before he could get back to first base. Noticing Eddie Rosario had left the bag early, Votto whipped the ball across the diamond to third baseman Max Schrock, who completed the 31st triple play in club history and Cincinnati’s first since July 25, 2017 against the Yankees.
Talk about a heads up play. Though probably best known for his offensive prowess (he’s closing in on 2,000 career hits), the 37-year-old Canadian has always been a reliable fielder at first base, even earning Gold Glove honors in 2011. Votto’s clutch defensive play wound up being the difference in the game, propelling the Reds to a 3-2 victory in extra innings. The six-time All-Star also had a productive day at the dish, reaching in four of his five plate appearances with two singles and a pair of walks.
There have now been 723 triple plays in MLB history with this being the first since Milwaukee tripled up Cardinals backstop Yadier Molina (who slugged two homers against the Phillies this afternoon) last September.