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.

31 Responses

  1. 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.

      • Jack

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

  2. Jeff Reed

    Five innings today seems about average for most starting pitchers.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Scott Gennett

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

  8. J

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

  9. 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?

  10. 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.

  11. 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”

  12. 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.

    • Ernie Howerton

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

  16. Bill j

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

    • 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)

  17. 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.