McCoy: Votto on game-winning hit vs. Dodgers -- ‘Sometimes you just gotta get the job done’

Cincinnati Reds' Jesse Winker (33) celebrates with Joey Votto (19) after Winker hit a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Cincinnati Reds' Jesse Winker (33) celebrates with Joey Votto (19) after Winker hit a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Credit: Ashley Landis

Credit: Ashley Landis

When he is on point, Joey Votto with a bat in his hand is like Faulkner with a pen or van Gogh with a paint brush.

The Cincinnati Reds first baseman isn’t there now, far from it. He was 0 for 14 and 2 for 26 when he sunk his spikes into the Dodger Stadium batter’s box Tuesday night in the seventh inning.

But he pulled a double to right field that turned a one-run deficit into a 6-5 lead that survived the final two innings for a second straight win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

After the Votto’s big blow, LA’s Matt Beaty drew a walk, which meant a conversation with Votto, who conducts a non-stop, stand-up monologue with anybody near first base during.

“I was talking to Beaty and I said, ‘You know what my plan was up there? To get a hit.’ And he goes, ‘That’s good, you just kind of went into compete mode, huh?’  And I go, ‘No, no, no, no. I wasn’t in compete mode. I was in I have to get a hit mode,’” said Votto.

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Votto, a technique perfectionist, pulled the plug on that approach as he sought to find that hit.

“Sometimes we get so focused on technique, timing, what the pitcher has, being competitive. . .and sometimes, you just gotta get the job done,” he said.

“Sometimes you don’t get the job done and then you have to pray,” he added. “And I’m up on prayer mode.”

Votto continues to have these mini-slumps and insists and insists he will snap to it soon.

“I’m going to get hits. It is going to come,” he said for at least the dozenth time this season. “When you get a little bit cold, you wonder where they go. I’ve been through lots of cold spells in my career.

“In my prime, I felt the same way. Where the heck are they (hits)?” he added. “I remember in 2010, my MVP year, I was worried about getting sent down at times. It’s crazy how this game pushes you to a place where you are doubting yourself. It is very challenging. Hitting is challenging. It takes up a lot of my time and energy.”

The magic numbers Tuesday night for the Reds must have been 0 for 14. Like Votto, Kyle Farmer was 0 for 14 when he doubled in the fifth and scored a run. Then he singled home a run in the seventh prior to Votto’s two-run game-winning double.

Farmer, who plays nearly every position on the field, loves shortstop the most and started there Tuesday night when manager David Bell gave starting shortstop Eugenio Suarez the night off.

And what he did was extra-special because he formerly played for the Dodgers, who made him part of the trade that also sent Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood to the Reds for Homer Bailey. Farmer is the only one left standing in a Reds uniform.

He scrambled for words like somebody working the New York Times crossword puzzle while trying to explain his emotions over playing shortstop against the Dodgers.

“Oh, man, gosh, there are really no words I can describe it,” he said. “I got drafted as a catcher there and they didn’t think I could play shortstop. Then I came in here and played short and got two big knocks.

“If you told me I was going to start at shortstop against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, after going through what I went through, I’d call you crazy,” he said. “It is pretty cool that it happened to me.”

So in the first two games, the Reds have won when the Dodgers started Julio Urias and Walker

Buehler. And they face Clayton Kershaw in the series finale Wednesday.

“Our lineup is very, very, very good,” said Farmer. “I’ll put our lineup up against anybody. I’ll put our lineup up against anybody, any pitcher, any day of the week.”

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