Blog Entry

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

Posted on: May 8, 2011 6:13 pm
Edited on: May 9, 2011 1:01 am
By Matt Snyder

You may not have noticed, what with all the hoopla Andre Ethier got for his 30-game hitting streak, that Joey Votto had reached base all 33 games in 2011 entering Sunday. But he had. And that streak for the Reds' first baseman was snapped with an 0-4, two strikeout game at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.

Why so much less attention? It's not like we have some slap hitter diving in front of pitches to scrap his way on base. Votto entered Sunday hitting .345 with a .476 on-base percentage, 27 runs, eight doubles, a triple, five home runs, 18 RBI and a 1.037 OPS. His league-leading 29 walks helped keep the streak alive, but his 40 hits helped as well.

It's true that it's harder to get a hit than to simply get on base, which is why OBP's are always higher than batting average. But it's also true that in many cases, a walk is just as good as a hit. In fact, I could argue a walk is better than a single at times. If there is no one on base, working a seven-pitch walk is much more detrimental to a pitcher than a seeing-eye groundball base hit on the first pitch.

I also believe that it's the traditionalist mindset. The number 56 -- Joe DiMaggio's record hitting streak -- is one of those sacred numbers in sports. Do you know the record for consecutive games on base? I'm guessing no. I was able to find that Ted Williams had an 84-game on-base streak and that's the record, but it took some digging to find the information. That's not the case if you want to find anything on DiMaggio's 56. It's one of the easiest historical feats to find on the Internet.

Maybe it's that it feels more manly to get a hit than to take a walk. You know, the "swing the bat, you [insert chosen expletive]" mindset. We've all heard that at some time or another. Maybe even said it.

Maybe it's that Votto wasn't as close to the record as Ethier was -- though I'd argue hitting streaks start to gain steam in the press once they hit double digits.

Whatever the reason, hitting streaks seem to be far more important to the masses than on-base streaks. I'd just like to give credit to someone for avoiding outs rather than completely disregarding walks like it doesn't help the team -- as I've said before in arguing for on-base percentage to overtake batting average as the most mainstream rate stat.

Regardless of the sentiment of either side of the argument, Joey Votto is having a huge season and just had a really impressive streak snapped. He deserves credit and fanfare, even if an on-base streak is not as universally embraced as a hitting streak.

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Category: MLB

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 4:13 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:08 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

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Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 5:02 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

Very nice writeup and thank you for giving Joey his due.
The kid is quiet,young and does his job very well.He also shows discipline at the plate,is the NL MVP and can carry a team that is now learning how to win.
I'm proud MLB is represented well by Joey V.
Keep up the good work.

Since: Jan 22, 2010
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:28 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

To know that Teddy Ballgame has the record for games in a row on base just cements his rep as the greatest hitter of all time. Those of us who were around when he was in the twilight of his career only remember bits and pieces of his legend.  I was watching the day he hit a bomb in his last AB, what a moment!!!!  Votto doesn't conjure up images Williams but he is still looking like a hitter with a good long future.

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 3:22 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

I'll gladly take Votto tonight in Beat the Streak after a rare O'fer.
Go Reds.

Since: Jun 26, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2011 9:55 am

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

If it doesn't happen in LA or in NY or Boston, it just doesn't happen.

I'm sick and tired of the MSM shoving the major markets down the throats of everybody else and not trying to cover everyone else. MLB TV and ESPN both show the Yankees or Boston, and if their game isn't available, they show someone else. I've stopped looking to check their schedules because they cover those team so much.

Since: May 2, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 11:26 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

joey votto is not about fanfare - not his montro anyway - the guy can just flat out ball - not only one of the best hitters in the baseball but fielding 1st baseman as well - the guy won the league MVP last year and still doesn't get the press he deserves - i agree with the guy that says he thrieves in a small market, he doesn't want alot of attention. If he played in large market he would be a household name, that said i wonder how he would like all the fanfare. Votto is awesome - it's not like he came up from no where - he was awesome all throughout reds farm system days - VOTTO FLAT OUT ONE OF THE BEST 

Since: Mar 17, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:55 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

And as a Red's fan- I agree 100% :)  
He is have a fantastic year- I think Votto thrives in the small market spotlight that shines on Cincinnati.

Since: Jul 6, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 8:09 pm

Impressive, yet underrated, streak ends for Votto

I agree 100% with this article and couldn't have said it better.  I'm a Yankees fan but believe Ted Williams' streak is more impressive than DiMaggio's. 

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