On a different sweaty September Pittsburgh night six years ago, the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pirates 1-0. Twenty-six year old Homer Bailey threw a complete game that night on 115 pitches, struck out 10 and walked one. It was the first of Bailey’s two no-hitters. He faced the minimum number of Pirate batters, with Ryan Hanigan throwing out Andrew McCutchen, who attempted to steal third base after drawing the Pirates’ only walk in the 7th inning. Bailey made 33 starts and pitched 208 innings for that 2012 Reds team, headed toward the postseason for the second time in three years. Ten days later, Bailey pitched Game Three in the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants, giving up one hit, one walk and striking out 10 over 7 innings. He held the Giants hitless for 5.2 innings and at one point struck out 6 batters in a row.

In Bailey’s seven starts before tonight since his return from the DL in July, he’s had about the same strikeout rate (19.2% vs. 18.2%) a slightly better walk rate (4.4% vs. 6.0%), and so a better xFIP (3.80 vs. 3.94) than he did in 2012. Bailey’s fastball velocity averaged 92.4 mph the night of his 2012 no-hitter and 94.8 mph in the NLDS. The last 30 days, it’s been 93.4 mph. 

Homer Bailey pitched OK tonight, but that guy from 2012 seems a million miles away. 

Cincinnati Reds 2 (59-81) • Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (69-71)

Box Score || Win % || Statcast Hitters Report || Statcast Pitchers Report

Homer Bailey pitched five innings, gave up a double, five singles, no home runs and one walk. He struck out four. Bailey saved his splitter for the third time he faced the Pirates lineup, retiring both Starling Marte (K) and Adam Frazier (FO) on it. Bailey had his fastball in the 94-95 mph range for much o the game.

Bailey recorded his 1000th strikeout as a Reds pitcher. In the 130 years of the franchise, only 11 other pitchers have reached that milestone. Bailey’s first strikeout was in his 2007 debut when he whiffed Grady Sizemore in a game I attended.

Lucas Sims (1.2 IP), Wandy Peralta (.2 IP) and Sal Romano (.2 IP) finished out the game, allowing no more runs.

Jose Peraza drilled a 95-mph fastball 407 feet for a home run in the first inning to the deepest part of PNC Park.

The Reds got a second run in the ninth on a single by Curt Casali and a pinch hit double by some guy named Dilson Herrera who apparently plays for the Reds. Phillip Ervin and Billy Hamilton (how do you not pinch hit for Hamilton in that situation?) struck out. Jose Peraza and Joey Votto walked to load the bases. But Scooter Gennett tapped the ball back to the mound for the third out.

Joey Votto, Scott Schebler, Jose Peraza and Mason Williams had two hits.

In Homer Bailey’s 8 starts since he returned from the DL on July 24, the Reds have scored a total of 10 runs while he was pitching. That’s 44.1 innings. The Reds outhit the Pirates 11 to 6. 

Fracture Fight Pirates pitcher James Taillon hit Eugenio Suarez with a pitch, bringing back memories of Taillon fracturing Suarez’s thumb on April 8, causing the Reds third baseman to miss 16 games. That’s 10 percent of the season. In the bottom of the 8th, Sal Romano drilled Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli with a fastball. It hit Cervelli on the right forearm. In case you were wondering, Cervelli was batting fourth for the Pirates, just as Suarez was for the Reds. 

Roberto Clemente Night The Reds were in Pittsburgh on Roberto Clemente Night yesterday. It had special meaning for Michael Lorenzen, who changed his uniform number to #21 in honor of Clemente. Clemente died in a plane crash on a relief mission to aid earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Lorenzen met the Clemente family in Puerto Rico. “We went around Puerto Rico and shared the gospel. I met the Clemente family. I was having lunch with the family in their house, and I thought, ‘man, I would love to wear 21 in honor of your family and what Roberto Clemente did.'” (John Fay) Read the entire article here.

47 Responses

  1. redsfan06

    Bailey gave up 3 runs in 5 innings. That might be okay for him, but it’s a 5.40 ERA. Good enough to lose again.

    His WHIP in 2012 was 1.240. It’s been 1.875 in the last 28 days. If a walk is as good as a hit, then a hit is at least as good as a walk. That guy from 2012 is a million miles away.

    • Vandermint

      Two days ago Steve recapped Matt Harvey’s performance by comparing it to Lincoln’s assassination. Harvey pitched 6 innings, gave up 3 runs, 7 hits, struck out 3, and walked none. Homer Bailey went 5 innings tonight, also gave up 3 runs plus 6 hits, struck out 4, walked one, and threw a wild pitch. This rates an “OK”! (He also noted that the Reds had lost the last three games Harvey pitched. Tonight’s recap ignores Bailey’s 1-14 record.)

      Perhaps I’m engaging in a bit of hyperbole here, or maybe the failure to trade Harvey before the trade deadline is making us all a little nuts. I’d be fine with taking them both out of the rotation for the rest of 2018 so Reds fans don’t have to think about either of them again.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Didn’t compare Harvey’s pitching to the Lincoln assassination. I guess you aren’t familiar with the use of idioms. You also didn’t understand the reference to the Reds being 0-3 in Harvey starts. It wasn’t about Harvey, it was about the Reds front office. Instead of trying to score points against me, just stick to commenting about the Reds.

      • lost11found

        He admitted the hyperbole. but its true that authors and posters here all have their favs. Chad and Billy, you and homer, etc. and it does impact the way things are written about (since we are all human).

        Its nice to recall Homers success before injury took its toll. That’s all that can really be said about it.

      • KDJ

        Not to mention the frequent jabs at the player leading the league in BA. Speaking of which, I wonder how many times a last place team has had three different players who led the league in OBP, BA, and near the lead in HR.

    • Scott Gennett

      It happenned long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..,

  2. roger garrett

    Lets see 11 hits with 9 singles,a double and a homer along with 3 walks and scored 2 runs.Billy goes 0-5 from the lead off spot and I forgot to check and see if we bunted any tonight.Guess it was just another one of those winning culture type of performances.Don’t care what anybody says but if given regular at bats Herrera would hit and with some pop.Guess somebody else will find out next year.Sad isn’t it.

    • kmartin

      Of course we bunted! Homer bunted in the second inning so Billy could strike out.

      • Steve Mancuso

        Bailey’s career batting average is .161, Hamilton’s is .247. No way Bailey should be bunting in that situation to set up Hamilton with two outs.

      • Jack

        I wish I knew the answer but how many times has Riggleman bunted with Billy on deck? It is unbelievable .

  3. Jeff Reed

    Five innings today seems about average for most starting pitchers.

  4. roger garrett

    Seems like I read the average start is 5.1 or 5.2 innings.Kind of hard to believe and makes you hunger for the 60’s and 70’s when guys threw all day.Of course they weren’t hitting 95 + either.Some guys were just getting loose at 100 pitches.I can remember Jim Maloney who would fight you if he felt like he has some left in the tank and you went to get him.

    • kmartin

      I think in his no hitter against the Cubs Maloney threw 176 pitches. He struck out 12 and walked 10 so he had to throw a ton of pitches.

    • greenmtred

      I think Maloney probably was hitting 95+. I wonder if the short outings by starters have as much to do with pitchers being unable to pitch deeper into games as they do with bullpens being so much more prominent and specialized than they were in the 60’s and 70’s and, thus, part of the game plan instead of plan B. Might be both things, though, since starters probably aren’t being pushed to pitch complete games. Chickens and eggs.

      • Jim Walker

        I often wonder about the differences too. Unfortunately there probably isn’t the pitch data or forensic data about the bodies of the pitchers of yester years during their careers to really figure out the differences with endurance.

        I tend to agree it could be the guys today actually throw more total pitches from their early development in youth leagues right on through but that many of the pitches are actually thrown on the sidelines and in development camps. Dr. Kemchek is certainly on record than many young arms are being unreasonably taxed at or even before the high school level.

  5. Joe Atkinson

    On a slightly different note: Entering today, the Cincinnati Reds had the NL leader in average, the NL leader in OBP, and the NL co-leader in RBI all on their roster … and are in last place.

    If you ever need to quantify how bad our pitching is … well, that ought to do it.

    • Scott Gennett

      Couldn’t be clearer…

  6. WVRedlegs

    Well doggies, somebody please slow down this momentum train. The g-forces are intolerable.
    If I counted correctly, I didn’t have enough fingers and toes for the losses, the Reds are now 10-24 since July 31. The day Positive Momentum was installed.
    Nails in the coffin of the movement afoot to anoint Riggleman as permanent manager.

    • Alex

      Riggelman is the manager next year. There is not doubt and we are all kidding ourselves if hiring him doesn’t fit there MO exactly. A lazy, insular hire of a guy who does what big Bob tells him. This org has proven saying yes to big Bob is the way to get ahead, not by being compentent at baseball.

  7. kmartin

    Billy is only five strikeouts behind Suarez for club leadership. If leads off for the rest of September he just may pass Suarez.

    • Jack

      He will do it easily. He is overmatched at the plate but he will take the crown with a smile.

  8. J

    Homer clearly deserves an opportunity to lose at least 30 more games. It’s the fiscally responsible thing to do.

  9. Matt Hendley

    So what we are sayin is we are 5 clayton kershaws away from winning the central?

      • Ernie Howerton

        With their defense,mental,errors,six Keyshawn’s wouldn’t do it

  10. Corey

    I get being upset about the pitching but I’m more upset about Dilson Herrera. I just don’t understand why he isn’t playing. Did he sleep with someones wife?

    • CP

      It’s hard to get too upset about Dilson, who is blocked by a guy with a 130+ wRC+ and with 4.7 fWAR, when Billy Hamilton and Mason Williams are getting ABs. Maybe Dilson deserves some time out in LF, but good lord, at the very least Riggleman, play Phillip Ervin everyday.

      • jeffversion1.0

        They’re going nowhere and should be able to find a day off or two for Scooter where they don’t put Dixon at second. They spent Votto’s DL stint playing mostly Barnhart at first. Would it have been that difficult to slide Scooter over to first?

      • Jim Walker

        In principal I agree about playing Ervin “every day”. However he appears to have hit a speed bump in the last week to 10 days.

        I’m wondering if he could be dinged a little bit or perhaps just wearing down some because he looks to have lost some of his edge at the plate.

        Hopefully he is back in the lineup soon with his edge returned.

  11. kmartin

    If my arithmetic is correct, tonight the Reds were mathematically eliminated from winning the division title. I know everyone was just dying to know this.

    • Scott C

      And just 9 losses away from another 90 loss season.

  12. Indy Red Man

    I’ve never been big on Homer. I hated the $100 mil from day 1, but with that being said….the guy was clutch in that 2012 playoff game. If they scratch out a few runs that night (or Cueto doesn’t get hurt) then maybe they sweep SF and go on to win it all? Dusty would’ve been here for life. The fickle hand of fate?

    Reds fans need to boycott a game before the end of the season with this open letter to Bob C.

    “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate. Some men you just can’t reach. So you get what we had here last night – which is the way he wants it. Well, he gets it. I don’t like it any more than you men”

    • Kyle Farmer

      If Dusty had Frazier at 3B in the late innings instead of a hobbled Rolen then they Reds would have won the game and the series. Yes, I’m still bitter about it.

  13. Jack

    Not pitch hitting for Billy just puts the cherry on top to this season. The guy is here forever. The bronze statue is in the making and the number will be retired.

  14. PhoenixPhil

    To be pedantic, the minimum number of hitters to face is actually 25. Give up a homer and you only have to pitch 8 innings. 25 hitters vs. 27.

  15. Klugo

    Bailey did pitch OK. The FIP stuff can be thrown out the window with Bailey. Hitters are knocking the cover off the ball when he pitches.

    Were we not playing so much better when Schebler was leading off? I have fond memories of Bailey. He did produce and put a lot of smiles on Reds fans faces, at one time, even if his career has been a bit on the disappointing side. (What an awesome story it would be to see him come full circle and pitch in another Reds playoff game a year from now) But, Billy? Billy?? It’s not a “what have you done for me lately?” story. It’s what the hell are we doing with this guy? Probably a nice guy. Just not a very good baseball player. Never has been. And I feel pretty confident that he never will be. (Of course, “not very good” is relative. He’s better than me).

    I’m glad to see Romano go “James Brown” on the Buccos.

  16. scotly50

    Bailey’s contract, at the time of signing, wasn’t all that bad. Yes there were better options league-wide, but, had he remained healthy, and maintained a semblance of his early years, his contract would have been good for the Reds.

    To quote another blogger, “Homer Bailey should never again pitch for the Reds.”

  17. VaRedsFan

    I copied this over from the game thread. I think it was a huge part of the game outcome.

    It must be a mental block of some kind with Votto. In the inning the Prates scored, he veered close to 50 feet towards 2nd to cut in front of Scooter. Then, while holding the runner on, he stays glued to the bag on a routine grounder (easy double play), whiffed on it, and they were off to the races. No errors charged, but 2 mental errors committed.

    • Hotto4Votto

      The shift was on during the first ball hit. Votto really didn’t range that far from where he was positioned, a couple of steps. If Homer covers the bag properly instead of getting there late it’s likely an out.

      I don’t recall the easy double play grounder, because the next ball was a line drive he didn’t have a chance at getting due to playing in at double play depth.

    • Jim Walker

      There was also a huge mental error by Bailey on the first Pirate run. He didn’t hold the runner at 1st with 2 outs; the runner stole 2B, and, the RBI hit followed a pitch or 2 later. Yes, it was a double; but, Schebler was on it quickly and got the ball on the way to the infield. I don’t think the runner scores from 1st on that one. Since the next hitter was retired, there likely would have been no run scored in the inning.

  18. Bill j

    HOTTO, regarding the “shift” I read an article saying the shift has actually created more runs than less runs.

    • Hotto4Votto

      It makes sense that hitters would adjust and make the shift less viable.

      I personally believe that part of the Reds issues are the disconnect between the staff and the analytics department. It’s one thing to employ a shift, it’s another to teach on the defensive responsibility of each player. The Votto play is a perfect example. In a normal defensive alignment the play Votto makes is correct because it was hit hard enough that Gennett doesn’t get to it in a typical alignment. It’s also instinctual on Votto’s part as it’s a play he’s been expected to make throughout his baseball career.

      With all the “play the game the right way” are the Reds doing defensive shift drills? Drills that are specific to the shift put on? Because it’s during that instruction Votto should be taught that anything to his right he should break back to the bag, even if he could snag it. Maybe they are, but that seems more progressive than the Reds typically operate.

      • Steve Mancuso

        I think you’ve put your finger on something important – the gap between the analytics department (which is basically the front office) and the staff AND players.

    • lost11found

      It certainly has to be practiced to where it becomes more familiar to the defense. If it’s not, then mistakes are likely to happen. (I got it…. no you take it)

  19. MIredfan

    Long time first time. Question to the panel: As Steve noted, some of Homer’s stats since his return look respectable. His velocity is good. He’s not walking batters. But at the end of day, lack of run support isn’t causing his 6+ ERA. So, what is it? Can’t locate pitches? Breaking pitches aren’t breaking? Someone must know the answer. Hopefully someone employed by the Reds.