Homer Bailey tosses second-career no-hitter

Reds 3, Giants 0

Tuesday, July 2, 2013 9:55 PM
Last updated 11:59 PM
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CINCINNATI — Another hard-throwin’ Texan has developed a knack for no-hitters.

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Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (right) hugs Ryan Hanigan after throwing his second no-hitter.  AL BEHRMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
AL BEHRMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (right) hugs Ryan Hanigan after throwing his second no-hitter.

Homer Bailey threw his second in 10 months and the first in the majors this season, pitching the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.

“Every dog has its day twice, I guess,” he said. “It felt good to do it in front of the Cincinnati fans.

“Obviously being from Texas and what a legend he is,” said Bailey, who wears No. 34 in tribute to his boyhood idol, Nolan Ryan. “To do it once is extra special. To do it twice – I don’t really have the words for it right now.”

Try Ryan-esque.

“He comes from the state of Texas that has produced a lot of no-hitters,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker.

Bailey (5-6) dominated the defending World Series champs, who are going through quite a slump. It was so neat that there weren’t many close calls.

He walked former Atlanta Brave Gregor Blanco leading off the seventh, the only Giants batter to reach base. First baseman Joey Votto alertly threw out Blanco as he tried to advance from second to third on a soft one-hopper that otherwise could have become an infield single for Buster Posey.

“Joey had a great heads-up play. I was almost a little late getting to the bag,” Bailey said.

With 27,509 fans on their feet chanting “Homer! Homer!” Bailey finished it off in the ninth. He jumped to glove Brandon Crawford’s high comebacker, struck out Tony Abreu and retired Blanco on a grounder to third baseman Todd Frazier.

Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay are the only other active pitchers with a pair of no-hitters.

Halladay, of course, threw one of his in the postseason against the Reds in 2010.

“Going into the eighth and ninth I just said, ‘Why the hell not?’ Here we go again,” Bailey said.

When Votto caught the throw for the final out, Bailey raised both arms in triumph, reminiscent of that grand moment in Pittsburgh last September, then hugged catcher Ryan Hanigan. This time, Baker got to celebrate too – he was in a hospital in Chicago being treated for a mini-stroke last September.

Teammates poured onto the field to celebrate and doused Bailey with a red sports drink.

It was the 16th no-hitter in Cincinnati history. No Reds pitcher had thrown a no-no at home since Tom Browning’s 1-0 perfect game against the Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium on Sept. 16, 1988.

Bailey became the third pitcher in the history of baseball’s first professional franchise to get more than one.

Vander Meer threw the only back-to-back no-hitters in major league history in 1938, beating the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers. Maloney had a no-hitter at Wrigley Field in 1965 and one at home against Houston in 1969.

The Giants were no-hit for the 16th time. The last three pitchers to hold them hitless were all named Kevin – LA’s Gross in 1992, Florida’s Brown in 1997 and Philadelphia’s Millwood in 2003.

Bailey was facing a lineup in a deep funk – two runs or less in nine of San Francisco’s past 12 games. He didn’t need much help to keep the no-hitter going – the Giants went rather quietly.

Last year was the season of the no-hitter, with seven in all, which tied the modern record. By this point, five had been thrown. So far in 2013, there had been only two close calls.

Texas’ Yu Darvish was working on a perfect game when he gave up a two-out single in the ninth to Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez during a 7-0 win on April 2. Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez gave up a one-out single in the ninth to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer in a 6-0 win on May 24.

Bailey became the first to take one all the way this year.

Votto had a sacrifice fly off Tim Lincecum (4-9), and Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer for all the help Bailey would need.

Lincecum had some of his best moments last season in Cincinnati. Relegated to the bullpen after losing 15 games during the regular season, he went 41/3 innings in relief to help the Giants win Game 4 and, eventually, their division series, the first step toward a World Series title.

But there was no stopping Bailey this time.

Shin-Soo Choo hit Lincecum’s fifth pitch deep to right. Hunter Pence jumped above the wall and had the ball deflect off the heel of his glove back into play. The umpires initially ruled it a home run, but overturned the call after a review and gave Choo a double. He eventually scored on Votto’s sac fly.

Phillips hit a drive into the first row in left field in the sixth inning, his 12th homer for a 3-0 lead.

The field was in good condition a day after prolonged, heavy rain flooded the tunnel to the umpires’ room and turned the dugout steps into cascading fountains. The tunnel to the umpires’ room was still wet in places, but the 1-foot-deep standing water was gone.

Water problems are nothing new for Fieldin Culbreth’s umpiring crew. It’s the same one that was in Oakland when a sewage backup created an awful smell and pools of water in the clubhouses and umpires’ room.

NO-HITTERS IN REDS HISTORY

PITCHER OPPONENT DATE

Bumpus Jones 7-1 vs. Pirates Oct. 15,1892

Ted Breitenstein 11-0 vs. Pirates April 22,1898

Noodles Hahn 4-0 vs. Phillies July 12, 1900

Fred Toney 1-0 at Cubs May 12, 1917*

Hod Eller 6-0 vs. Cardinals May 11, 1919

Johnny Vander Meer 3-0 vs. Braves June 11, 1938

Johnny Vander Meer 6-0 at Dodgers June 15, 1938

Clyde Shoun 1-0 vs. Braves May 15, 1944

Ewell Blackwell 6-0 vs. Braves June 18, 1947

Jim Maloney 1-0 at Cubs Aug. 19, 1965*

George Culver 6-1 at Phillies July 29, 1968

Jim Maloney 10-0 vs. Astros April 30, 1969

Tom Seaver 4-0 vs. Cardinals June 16, 1978

Tom Browning 1-0 vs. Dodgers Sept. 16, 1988**

Homer Bailey 1-0 at Pirates Sept. 28, 2012

Homer Bailey 3-0 vs. Giants July 2, 2013

*10 innings, **perfect game

Source: reds.mlb.com

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Homer Bailey tossed the 16th no-hitter in Cincinnati history while becoming the third pitcher to toss two no-hitters, joining Jim Maloney and Johnny Vander Meer, who is still the only big leaguer to throw two no-hitters in a row.

Bailey is also the first pitcher since Nolan Ryan to throw one no-hitter and then another before anyone else in the majors, according to STATS. Ryan did it for the California Angels against the Twins on Sept. 28, 1974 and June 1, 1975 vs. Baltimore.

NO-HITTERS IN REDS HISTORY

PITCHER OPPONENT DATE

Bumpus Jones 7-1 vs. Pirates Oct. 15,1892

Ted Breitenstein 11-0 vs. Pirates April 22,1898

Noodles Hahn 4-0 vs. Phillies July 12, 1900

Fred Toney 1-0 at Cubs May 12, 1917*

Hod Eller 6-0 vs. Cardinals May 11, 1919

Johnny Vander Meer 3-0 vs. Braves June 11, 1938

Johnny Vander Meer 6-0 at Dodgers June 15, 1938

Clyde Shoun 1-0 vs. Braves May 15, 1944

Ewell Blackwell 6-0 vs. Braves June 18, 1947

Jim Maloney 1-0 at Cubs Aug. 19, 1965*

George Culver 6-1 at Phillies July 29, 1968

Jim Maloney 10-0 vs. Astros April 30, 1969

Tom Seaver 4-0 vs. Cardinals June 16, 1978

Tom Browning 1-0 vs. Dodgers Sept. 16, 1988**

Homer Bailey 1-0 at Pirates Sept. 28, 2012

Homer Bailey 3-0 vs. Giants July 2, 2013

*10 innings, **perfect game

Source: reds.mlb.com


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