The Cincinnati Reds have endured their fair share of struggles throughout 2015, but Joey Votto's superlative campaign has offered the franchise and its fans a reason to remain optimistic as the team's regular-season slate nears a conclusion.
Friday, Votto tied Pete Rose's franchise record by reaching base safely in 48 straight games, thanks to an infield single in the third inning, per the team's official Twitter account.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer's C. Trent Rosecrans, Votto has now reached base safely in 143 of 156 appearances this season.
Entering Friday night's showdown with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Votto was batting .317 while posting a league-leading .463 on-base percentage and career-high 142 walks.
The first baseman's numbers since the All-Star break have been particularly ridiculous.
Over the season's second half, Votto's batting .372, with a .641 slugging percentage and massive 1.188 OPS. He's also racked up 14 home runs and 37 RBI during that span. Since the Midsummer Classic, Votto's OPS ranks tops among all NL players with at least 100 at-bats.
|Joey Votto Before and After the All-Star Break|
"He's been terrific," manager Bryan Price said on Sept. 28, according to the Associated Press (via FoxSports.com). "It's a huge bounce-back year after missing 100 games last year, and that's been great to see."
Shortly before Friday's contest, Rose and Hall of Famer Frank Thomas engaged in a lengthy debate regarding Votto's standing among MLB's elite hitters, per Fox Sports 1:
The four-time All-Star will have a chance to extend his streak and shatter Rose's mark Saturday when the Pirates host the Reds at 7:05 p.m. ET.
And if the slugger's production over the past few months has been any indication, it shouldn't come as a surprise if he leapfrogs the legend and pens his name atop an esteemed list in the Reds record books.