With a five-run lead and the bases empty, Chicago Cubs Manager Joe Maddon is working his way towards throwing the kitchen sink at Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto. He put on the rare shift of playing with four outfielders and three infielders – and Votto still hit a double.
In a game that Chicago would win 15-5, the at bat is just a footnote because Votto would be stranded on third by the innings end. And in his next at bat the Cubs would play him straight up again.
But it made for a great side-story in a blowout.
After the game, Maddon was able to reference four other times that he gave left-handed sluggers that look in the outfield: Jim Thome, David Ortiz, Travis Hafner and Josh Hamilton. It was during his time with the Tampa Bay Rays that he developed his reputation as a mad scientist.
Votto would go 3-5 in Monday night’s game, and this year he is batting nearly .400 against Chicago with 10 RBI in 10 games.
“Votto right now is ungodly, so whatever you do, you’re taking chances anyhow,” Maddon said after the game.