Joey Votto Leans Into Pitch, Gets Hit By A Strike

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Joey Votto just recently returned to the Cincinnati Reds active roster.

And boy is he up to his old tricks already.

Votto has a reputation as one of Major League Baseball’s most colorful players. A reputation he does his best to live up to.


During Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Rockies, he took his usual antics to another level, appearing to purposefully get by a pitch. That’s not entirely surprising, considering Chase Utley perfected the same strategy years ago.

But what had to be frustrating for Rockies fans was that the pitch, according to the automatic zone, was actually a strike.

No, seriously.

It’s certainly a borderline pitch that could have gone either way. But at the same time, it’s clearly viewed as a strike by the automatic zone.

MLB’s own Gameday application also shows pitch five squarely within the strike zone.

Classic Joey Votto.

Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JUNE 19: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds acknowledges the crowd before his first at bat of the season in the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Great American Ball Park on June 19, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Joey Votto Takes Advantage Of Opportunities

It takes a bit of bravery to lean into a 91mph fastball. But then again, that’s why you wear the elbow pad.

Votto stands close to the plate and his pre-pitch routine causes his elbow to drift over the plate naturally.

All it took was a little exaggeration towards the plate and he got a free base out of it.

As the screenshot showed, the hit by pitch actually increased the Reds’ win expectancy by 4.4%, a pretty sizable increase for minimal sacrifice.

And sure enough, the leadoff baserunner wound up contributing to a three-run inning for Cincinnati.

The Reds wound up beating the Rockies 5-3 for their 11th consecutive win, thanks in no small part to Votto’s, shall we say, aggressive efforts.

Written by Ian Miller

Ian Miller is a former award watching high school actor, author, and long suffering Dodgers fan. He spends most of his time golfing, traveling, reading about World War I history, and trying to get the remote back from his dog. Follow him on Twitter @ianmSC

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