Homer Bailey was near perfect on Friday night against the Pirates in Pittsburgh as he walked one and didn’t allow a hit for the 15th no-hitter in Reds history.
Bailey struck out 10 and needed 115 pitches to get through the first no-hitter by a Cincinnati Red since Tom Browning’s perfect game in 1988. The Pirates also hadn’t been no-hit since 1971, although they had several close calls this year.
Pitching against Bailey (13-10), was A.J. Burnett (16-9), who had a no-hitter broken up in the eighth inning earlier this year against the Cubs. Burnett lasted eight innings and struck out five, but gave up the only run the Reds (95-62) needed in the first inning.
The Reds manufactured that run when they loaded the bases with no outs for Todd Frazier. Frazier’s fly ball was deep enough to score Brandon Phillips. Jay Bruce would ground into an inning ending double play to get Burnett out of any further trouble.
Bailey started the game by getting a ground out by Alex Presley, then a strikeout by Jordy Mercer, and then got Andrew McCutchen to ground out for the third out. McCutchen has now been overtaken by Buster Posey for the NL Batting Title as he in now zero for his last ten.
In the second innings Bailey got Garrett Jones and Jose Tabata to ground out and then struck out Pedro Alvarez to end the inning.
The third inning started off rough as Clint Barmes reached on an error by Scott Rolen. Bailey recovered by getting Rod Barajas to pop out, then Burnett on a foul bunt for a third strike, and then Frazier made a nice catch on a fly ball by Presley.
The fourth inning was business as usual for Bailey as he got Mercer to ground out and then struck out McCutchen and Jones to end the frame. The fifth went in similar fashion as Tabata grounded out and then Bailey struck out Alvarez and Barmes to end the innings.
He kept the ball on the ground in the sixth as he got three straight ground outs from Barajas, Burnett and Presley. Then there was the seventh inning.
Bailey struck out Mercer to start the inning, but walked McCutchen. McCutchen the stole second, but was thrown out trying to steal third by Ryan Hanigan. If McCutchen would have successfully stolen third, he surely would have scored on a towering fly ball by Jones that was caught by Bruce on the warning track.
In the eighth inning pinch hitter Travis Snider lined out to left and then Alvarez lined right into the lefty shift put in place by the Reds’ defense. Bailey then struck out pinch hitter Jeff Clement to end the inning.
The ninth inning brought up pinch hitter Brock Holt, who struck out on a foul tip, third strike. Another pinch hitter, Michael McKenry, would fly out to left and then Presley popped out to Phillips to end the game and secure the no-hitter.
Bailey’s no-hitter was the seventh this season and the first since Felix Hernandez’s on Aug. 15. With the loss Pittsburgh has now guaranteed itself its 20th consecutive non winning season.A loss tomorrow clinches another losing season.
Mike Leake (8-9, 4.73 ERA) looks to send Pittsburgh down that road, but Kyle McPherson (0-2, 3.54) looks to stop the Pirates losing ways. First pitch is set for 7:05 P.M.