CINCINNATI -- Joey Vottojust missed winning his second National League Most Valuable Player Award.Miami's Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP on Thursday in one of the closest voting results by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Votto was second, while Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt finished third.:: NL Most Valuable Player voting
CINCINNATI -- Joey Vottojust missed winning his second National League Most Valuable Player Award.
Miami's Giancarlo Stanton won the NL MVP on Thursday in one of the closest voting results by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Votto was second, while Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt finished third.
:: NL Most Valuable Player voting totals ::
In the closest MVP vote since 1979 and the fourth closest all-time, Votto and Stanton both received 10 first-place votes, with Votto falling two points short of Stanton's 302 total. Goldschmidt had 239 points.
"Just so close," Votto said after learning the outcome. "[I'm] really, really grateful for the support. I cannot believe how close it was. I just can't believe coming up two points short. It's so cool in a way coming up that short. Most of the time it's a landslide or it's clear. This wasn't that. That was one of the entertaining aspects of it. Because Giancarlo and I did things so differently and because we're both on losing clubs, it was for me a very interesting vote."
Votto appeared on all 30 ballots and also garnered nine second-place votes, four third-place, five fourth-place votes and two for fifth.
"I don't feel terribly disappointed, not really because I think that it was just two very, very good seasons that went head-to-head," Votto said. "The subject was more individual performance than team wins. ... Had the Marlins won or the Reds won, this would have been near-unanimous. To me, this is just a pick 'em.
"People basically said, 'We loved them both.' That's something I'm grateful for. Giancarlo plays in a monster ballpark and hit all those home runs, and I was cheering for him. I played every day, and I felt like I put together a nice, well-rounded season. We did it from the beginning to the end. We both stayed healthy, and I think the fans appreciated it."
Stanton slashed .281/.376/.631, leading the Majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBIs. While starting all 162 games, the 34-year-old Votto batted .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBIs, 106 runs scored and reached base a Major League-leading 321 times. He also led the Majors with a 1.032 OPS, 134 walks and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 1.61.
Votto was the 2010 NL MVP, when he helped lead the Reds to a NL Central division title. In '17, the circumstances were different as rebuilding Cincinnati didn't contend and lost 94 games. But Votto considered this year the best of his career, especially because he started every game, cut down on his strikeouts and improved defensively. He was an NL Gold Glove finalist at first base.
"I think the season I put up would have been relevant in any era," Votto said. "The feedback I got was, 'He played well.' Only now can they realize that a player can do these sorts of things and get credit for it. The season I just put up would have worked in the 40's, the 10's and the 70's."
Votto did not reach base in just 12 games, and he posted streaks where he reached safely in 32, 29 and 27 consecutive contests. In August, he equaled the NL record by reaching safely at least twice in 20 straight games, one shy of Ted Williams' 1948 modern Major League record.
This season, Votto was the only player in the Majors to produce at least 26 homers and 100 RBIs while hitting at least .300, with an OBP of .400 and slugging .500.
This marked the sixth time a Reds player finished second for MVP. The others were Ewell Blackwell in 1947, Ted Kluszewski in '54, Pete Rose in '68, George Foster in '76 and Dave Parker in '85. Votto said he didn't think he would win going into the evening.
"It feels exactly kind of how I thought it would turn out with it being that close," Votto said. "It's a little bit of an experience having it that close and coming up short."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.