Going into their series with Houston this week, Votto leads the National league in walks at 119, and Shin-Soo Choo is second in the league with 101, for a combined total of 220 walks. The walks that have been generated by these two are the third most by two Reds teammates in one season, behind Joe Morgan and Pete Rose in 1974 (226) and Morgan and Rose again in 1975 (221). The duo has an opportunity to set a new combined Cincinnati club record this season with twelve games remaining.
Making history is exciting and provides a rare chance to establish a piece of a team’s legacy, but have their keen eyes at the plate equated to runs and wins? And what about down the stretch and the playoffs?
To a small degree, they have.
Joey Votto has scored a run in fifty of seventy-four games, in which he has had at least one walk. Shoo has scored in forty-five of he seventy-six games in which he had at least one free pass.
The Reds’ win-loss record in games where Votto has had at least one walk is 39-35. In games where Choo has had at least one walk, the Reds record is 58-36. Obviously, as the leadoff hitter, it has been vital for Choo to get on base for those hitting behind him to drive him in (i.e. Brandon Phillips, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce).
As for Votto, he will likely pass 100 runs scored by season’s end, so the opportunities he has had to get on base via walk or hit have afforded him chances to score.
One of the biggest issues that have plagued this Reds team in 2013 is their batting average with RISP. Going into the last two weeks of the season, the Reds are hitting .250 with RISP. Only Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto are hitting in excess of .300 with RISP. Votto and Choo will likely continue to get on base via the walk (and hit) and will get chances to score, but will they be at the right time, when it counts as the season winds down and moves into the playoffs?