Friday, September 28, 2012

Homer Bailey tosses first Reds no-hitter in nearly a quarter century

The Reds (95-62) blanked the host Pittsburgh Pirates (76-81), 1-0, before a packed house at PNC Park on Friday night. The loss for the Buccos ensured their 20th straight non-winning season, which is the longest such streak in North American professional sports history. But that wasn't the biggest story of the night. That title belongs to Homer Bailey.

Homer Bailey (13-10) did something on Friday that no Reds pitcher had done in over 24 years. He pitched the entire game and did not allow a single hit to the opposition. Yes, a no-hitter indeed!

Cincinnati was able to scratch their lone run across in the top of the first thanks to a sacrifice fly by Todd Frazier and the rest, as they say, is history!

Read on for the good, bad, and notables from the historic affair:

The Good:
+ Bailey was absolutely phenomenal in this one. I think it's safe to assume that this is the guy the team thought they were getting when drafting him 7th overall in the 2004 Draft. He came within one batter (a walk issued to Andrew McCutchen) of a perfect game. He needed only 115 pitches (74 for strikes) to do so, while fanning 10 and improving to 5-0 in his career at PNC Park.
+ Scott Rolen banged out a couple of singles to help boost his average to .243.
+ Brandon Phillips scored the game's only run and sprayed a pair of singles to bump his average to .283.
+ Zack Cozart joined in on the fun with two singles of his own as well.

The Bad:
+ The offense continues to struggle with scoring runs.
+ Rolen was charged with his 10th error of 2012.
+ Jay Bruce was hitless in four trips to the plate.

The Notables:
+ A nice-sized crowd of 44,796 was on hand to take in the action. I'm sure everyone of them will save their ticket stub too.
+ The last Reds pitcher to toss a no-hitter was Tom Browning on September 16th, 1988. Browning's no-hitter that night was also a perfect game, and the only one in franchise history at that.
+ Barring any setbacks, Ryan Ludwick is expected to return to the lineup on Sunday. Ludwick missed his eighth straight game on Friday due to tightness in his left groin.
+ Mike Leake (8-9, 4.73) gets the ball in game two of the series on Saturday opposite of Kyle McPherson (0-2, 3.54). The game is slated to get underway at 7:05pm ET.
+ When Leake takes the mound Saturday, the Reds will become the eighth team in MLB history to have five pitchers with at least 30 starts in a season. The last to do so were the 2006 Chicago White Sox.

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