Not to say that Joey Votto’s stats aren’t impressive but he isn’t the MVP of the National League. However good you might view his 2013 season, there can be little doubt that he isn’t really in that conversation this season. He could be every year for the next decade and might be, but not this year. The Cincinnati Reds shouldn’t care anything about that as they need him to play like an MVP against the Pittsburgh Pirates for the last four games of the season.
It must be a strange feeling for these two teams as they prepare to play three basically meaningless tune-up games before the only game that matters for the rest of the season. Votto is a leader among the Reds for a reasons and they need him to pummel the Pirates all weekend long and especially in that wildcard playoff game. Luckily for the Reds, Votto has had a good year against their wildcard foes.
In 16 games played he is hitting .315 with 3 home runs and 8 RBI. That isn’t out of this world but Votto only has more RBI against one other team; the Milwaukee Brewers who they have played 19 times. That basically means that Votto is as good against the Pirates as he is against anyone this season and that news couldn’t be better going into the season’s final series.
As with all of the games they will play before the wildcard playoff game however, what Votto has done against this Bucs team this season won’t matter at all if he gets shut down by them this time. He has to be the first one to step up and do something because that is the job of a team MVP and he certainly can be called that.