Homer Bailey No-Hits Pirates
When Alex Presley‘s pop fly to shallow center field settled into second baseman Brandon Phillips‘ glove on Friday night at PNC Park, Homer Bailey became the first Cincinnati Reds pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Tom Browning’s perfect game in September 1988.
While tossing the seventh no-hitter in the majors this season, Bailey limited the Pittsburgh Pirates to one walk, and the only other baserunner reached courtesy of third baseman Scott Rolen‘s fielding error. It was the first no-hitter recorded against Pittsburgh since Cardinals’ Hall of Famer Bob Gibson fired one in 1971.
A no-hitter by itself is a tremendous feat, but what made Bailey’s accomplishment even more significant is that it was delivered in a 1-0 game. Cincinnati’s lone run was produced by a first inning sacrifice fly by Todd Frazier.
A.J. Burnett, who fell to 16-9 with the loss, held the Reds to one run and seven hits over eight innings. Bailey struck out 10 and improved to 13-10 with a 3.75 ERA.
A first round pick (seventh overall) out of high school in 2004, the 26-year-old Bailey was a highly regarded prospect and the Reds have waited for the right-hander to reach what they believe is frontline starter potential. He was 9-7 with a 4.43 ERA in 22 starts last year and this season has reached career highs in wins, starts and innings pitched (204).
At 95-62, the Cincinnati Reds are a half-game behind Washington (pending the outcome of Friday night’s game for the Nationals) for the best record in the National League and home park advantage for the postseason. The National League winner gets home field advantage in the World Series since it won the All-Star Game.