With 10 games left in the season, the Cincinnati Reds still find themselves right in the thick of the playoff hunt. With a 79-73 record, they're currently behind the Chicago Cubs by a few percentage points in the NL Wild Card race. While there's always a possibility that the Reds manage to break through and nab the final Wild Card spot, it's going to be a tough uphill battle from here. This then opens up the probability that the Reds' next five games will be the final five home games of their promising 2023 season.
That, however, will be bittersweet for Reds lifer Joey Votto. Votto, the 40-year old first baseman, is approaching the last legs of his career, as his output at the plate has declined considerably over the past two seasons. But for now, Votto is relishing the moment, the here and now, especially with the Reds still within striking distance of a spot in the 2023 postseason.
“As far as this being a last homestand, if that's the case, […] I'm having a really good time playing in meaningful baseball with some fun teammates and so however it shakes out, I'm good. I'm good. I just wanna help out. I just wanna play. All I've ever wanted to do was play. It's the most important thing to me,” the Reds first baseman said.
(Skip to 1:08 for the relevant part.)
For the inside story on the next Shohei Ohtani, listen below:
Joey Votto spoke for nearly two minutes after being asked if he’s thought about this potentially being his last homestand in Cincinnati pic.twitter.com/DUPnaUso1N
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 19, 2023
To Joey Votto's credit, he was truly instrumental in the Reds' 7-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday night. He had two hits on the night, and he drove in two runs — a solid return for someone who hit in the sixth spot in the batting order. His composure and veteran presence will be crucial in keeping the Reds focused on the task at hand, which includes two more games against the Twins at home after tonight.
After their series against the Twins, the Reds' final eight games will be coming against teams with a losing record (the last three games of their homestand against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and then they travel on the road to face the Cleveland Guardians and St. Louis Cardinals), so they will surely be threatening for a playoff spot until the final day of the regular season as long as they take care of business.