clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Joey Votto is back and the Reds are fun again

After announcing his return in epic fashion, Joey Votto helped the Reds to yet another win

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are fun again.

It has been a while since we have been able to say that. The Reds last made the playoffs in the COVID-shortened 2020 season, where they lost in the Wild Card series in two games to the Atlanta Braves. Cincinnati last won a postseason series back in 1995, when they swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series before losing to the Braves in the NLCS.

Their last World Series title? That came back in 1990. At least some of us are old enough to remember it ...

Yet the Reds are fun again, and a big reason is the core of young talent Cincinnati has assembled. That includes Jonathan India, the 2021 National League Rookie of the Year. India is batting .271 this year with ten home runs already to his credit, seven of those having come in the last 30 days. Then there is Alexis Díaz, who has settled into the role as the team’s closer in his second season and already has 19 saves on the campaign. Díaz has posted a WHIP of just 0.867 this season, along with an ERA of just 1.80.

And by now you have probably heard about Elly De La Cruz, who was called up recently and has brought his combination of power and speed to the Reds’ lineup. De La Cruz got off to a hot start, and while he has cooled in recent days, his ability to hit for power, combined with his ability to turn grounders to the first baseman into singles thanks to his elite speed, is a joy to watch.

But beyond being fun, the Reds are good. Entering play Monday night the Reds had won eight-straight games, and had closed to within a half-game of the Milwaukee Brewers atop the NL Central standings.

To make things even better for Cincinnati, the organization got some good news on Monday.

The return of Joey Votto.

Their leader had been sidelined the entire season with a shoulder injury and has been out for almost a year, but was cleared for Monday night’s game against the Colorado Rockies. Votto announced his return in incredible fashion, posting this video on social media Monday:

When Votto came up for the first time in the bottom of the second, he received an extremely warm welcome from the crowd at Great American Ball Park:

While Votto lined out sharply to center in his first at-bat, his second fared better.

Much better:

Votto’s first hit of the season? A home run launched to right field to give the Reds a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Colorado would put a crooked number on the board in the top of the sixth, scoring three runs to take a 4-3 lead over the Reds.

It did not last for long.

India reached on an error, and then De La Cruz beat out an infield single on a chopper to third base:

Spencer Steer walked which loaded the bases for who else, but Votto:

Votto’s single gave the Reds a one-run lead, and Cincinnati salted away the win, with Díaz coming on in the ninth to close out their ninth-straight victory.

As all of this was happening, the Brewers lost to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Meaning the Reds are in first place in the Central.

Votto is back, and the Reds are fun again.

You might want to start watching them.