Tonight, against the San Francisco Giants, starting pitcher Homer Bailey threw the 16th no-hitter in the history of the Cincinnati Reds franchise and the first of the 2013 major league baseball season. It was an incredible performance that was just one seventh inning Gregor Blanco walk away from a perfect game. Ironically Blanco made the final out on a ground out to third base.
Bailey masterfully handled the Giants hitters throwing only 109 pitches in nine innings of work. In fact of the 109 pitches he threw 74 for strikes winning his fifth game of the season and lowering his ERA to 3.57. The ironic part of his no-hitter is the last time major league baseball saw a no-hitter was September of last year. Who threw it? You guessed it, Homer Bailey. The last time the same pitcher threw two no-hitters before any other starter was the 1974-75 seasons and that feat was accomplished by Nolan Ryan. Not ironic enough for you? In both of Bailey’ no-hitters he threw exactly 74 strikes.
When Bailey was asked how he felt about the no-hitter he said all the right things.
“To be able to share it with these guys again,” Bailey said, “most of them were here last year, but it’s such a big thrill for me that they get to be a part of it, with the coaching staff and even Dusty, because the last one, he wasn’t there. So for him to be here and see this one, it really makes me feel good.”
But what does this do for Bailey and his confidence. Will he be able to string two quality starts together after this? If you look at June Bailey pitched great every other start only winning one game all month. June 4th against the Rockies he gave up three runs in seven innings of work (technically a quality start but other than impressive). June 10th was a great start against the Cubs pitching eight innings and allowing only one unearned run. He fell on his face June 15th giving up six runs in six innings against the Brewers. He found the magic again on June 20th against the Pirates giving up two runs in six innings of work. Back to the basement on June 26th giving up four runs in six innings against the A’s. Now the No-No so what is next? Hopefully for Bailey and the Reds he can start stringing the wins together.
Bailey joined some pretty good company tonight.
— MLB (@MLB) July 3, 2013
"The only active players with more than one no-hitter are now Bailey, Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle & Roy Halladay." http://t.co/kPiW0zWqmq
— CBSSports.com (@CBSSports) July 3, 2013
The Reds are four games behind the Pirates in the National League Central but are currently a wild card team. If Bailey can string starts together a run at the Pirates (who knows if they will last) is more than reasonable. Winning a division is clearly better than the basic one game playoff the new wild card structure provides. But tonight is about Bailey and his no-hitter! Congratulations on a great performance.