Cincinnati Reds starter Homer Bailey threw a no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. The hitless game is quite a good summation of both the Reds (in first place in the National League Central Division) and the Pirates (in fourth place in the National League Central Division) respective 2012 seasons. Everything that can go right, has gone right for Cincinnati, while everything that can go wrong, has gone wrong for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Throwing 115 pitches, Bailey struck out ten batters and allowed only two opposing players to reach base: Clint Barmes on a fielding error by Scott Rolen in the third inning and Andrew McCutchen via a walk in the seventh inning. The right-hander becomes the first Reds pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Tom Browning threw a perfect game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 16, 1988.
In the post-game interview, a humble Bailey “tipped his hat” first to opposing pitcher A.J. Burnett, then his catcher Ryan Hanigan, and then his teammates for their defense tonight, who handled ten ground balls, four line drives and three fly balls. Burnett pitched a pretty good game in his own right, with the only run of the game scored by Brandon Phillips on a Todd Fraizer sacrifice fly in the first inning.
But a meagre offense doesn’t matter when a pitcher is having a game like Bailey had on Friday night, throwing fastballs 69% of the time and actually increasing his velocity as the game wore on.
To compliment his 91 miles per hour (average) fastball, Bailey mixed in a slider, curve ball and change up, but as effective as those pitches might have been, the Cincinnati pitcher’s most dangerous weapon was his tortured countenance as he released each pitch:
The horror. The horror.