Cincinnati All-Star first baseman Joey Votto came off the 15-day disabled list on June 10th, and was in the Reds’ lineup that night for their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Votto, the 2010 National League MVP, went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts as the Reds’ No. 3 hitter in their 6-1 loss to the Dodgers.
Votto had missed 23 games with a strained quadriceps in his left knee, and had just completed his rehab assignment with the Triple-A Louisville Bats the day before.
Ahhh…speaking of that rehab assignment…he also went 1-for-3 in his first rehab game on June 8th, and that one hit was notable because it broke up a no-hit bid by Pawtucket Red Sox left-hander Chris Hernandez.
Votto’s single to center leading off the seventh proved to be the only hit given up by Hernandez in his 7.1 innings, and Pawtucket went on to win 4-3 despite the bullpen giving up four more hits over the final two frames.
Doesn’t seem fair that a four-time All-Star — and former MVP — like Votto, who by the way has also led the National League in on-base percentage in each of the past four seasons, should break up a Triple-A no-hitter. We’ve seen before where a minor-league call-up breaks up a no-hitter in his first month in the majors, but to see it happen the way it did in the Louisville-Pawtucket game is just unusual.
One other interesting fact from that game: Hernandez outpitched former big-leaguer Chien-Ming Wang, who is currently toiling in the Reds’ minor-league system with Louisville. No, Hernandez., who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in 2010 and has never gotten to the big leagues, didn’t get that no-hitter. Still, he at least was on the winning end against a former major-league 19-game winner, as Wang reached that mark in both 2006 and 2007 with the Yankees.
“Tom Candiotti: A Life of Knuckleballs,” a biography of former big-league pitcher Tom Candiotti, will be released in July of 2014. You may pick up a copy either from Amazon.com or through the McFarland & Company website.