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.Ã‚Â
Homer Bailey pitched OK tonight, but that guy from 2012 seems a million miles away.Ã‚Â
Cincinnati Reds 2 (59-81)Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Â¢Ã‚Â Pittsburgh Pirates 3 (69-71)
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.Ã‚Â
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.Ã‚Â
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. ClementeÃ‚Â died in a plane crash on a relief mission to aid earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Lorenzen met the Clemente family in Puerto Rico. Ã¢â‚¬Å“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, Ã¢â‚¬Ëœman, I would love to wear 21 in honor of your family and what Roberto Clemente did.'” (John Fay) Read the entire article here.