Bailey's 2nd no-hitter sends Reds over Giants 3-0
CINCINNATI (AP) Homer Bailey fretted for a moment as first baseman Joey Votto reached to pluck the ball out of the air for the final out. What next? Raise both arms in celebration.
Bailey has this no-hitter celebration down pat - just like his idol, Nolan Ryan.
Another hard-throwin' Texan who wears No. 34 made some no-hit history Tuesday night. Bailey threw his second in 10 months and led the Cincinnati Reds' infield celebration with arms raised after a 3-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants.
There was a bit of been-there, done-that in the humid night air.
"It's something I've already done, so I knew what to expect," Bailey said of his easy-as-could-be step into rare territory.
Bailey became the third Reds pitcher with more than one no-hitter, joining Jim Maloney and Johnny Vander Meer - still the only big leaguer to toss two in a row. Bailey beat the Pirates 1-0 in Pittsburgh last Sept. 28 and got another 17 starts later.
This one was at home with 27,509 fans standing and chanting "Homer! Homer!" as he finished it off in a tidy 102 pitches with one walk and nine strikeouts. The defending World Series champions had only one moment when they thought they might get a hit.
"It was a pretty easy no-hitter," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "We didn't hit too many balls hard. There weren't any tough plays. We only hit a couple balls decent. He was really overmatching us all night."
Yes, it was reminiscent of that Hall of Famer from Texas who holds the record with seven no-hitters. And they now have more than just their home state in common.
Bailey threw the last of the majors' seven no-hitters last season, and now the first of 2013. The last pitcher to throw one no-hitter and then another before anyone else in the majors accomplished the feat was Ryan, according to STATS. Baseball's career strikeout king did it for the California Angels on Sept. 28, 1974, against Minnesota, and June 1, 1975, vs. Baltimore.
"Obviously being from Texas and what a legend he is," said Bailey, who wears No. 34 in tribute to his boyhood hero. "To do it once is extra special. To do it twice - I don't really have the words for it right now."
"He comes from the state of Texas that has produced a lot of no-hitters," said Reds manager Dusty Baker, who made the final out in Ryan's fifth no-hitter. "It means a lot - and he's still got some time left."
Bailey (5-6) dominated the defending champs, who are going through quite a slump. It was so tidy that there weren't many close calls.
He walked Gregor Blanco leading off the seventh, the only Giants batter to reach base. Blanco advanced on a groundout, then made the out that settled San Francisco's only close call.
Buster Posey hit a soft one-hopper that pulled Votto away from first base. Bailey got a slow break off the mound to cover the bag, setting up what would have been a close play. Maybe Posey beats Bailey to the base for an infield hit.
"That would have been a sad way to lose a no-hitter," Baker said.
Instead, Votto saw Blanco break for third and threw him out.
"Joey had a great heads-up play. I was almost a little late getting to the bag," Bailey said.
Two innings later, Bailey finished it off smoothly. He jumped to glove Brandon Crawford's high comebacker, struck out Tony Abreu and retired Blanco on a grounder to third baseman Todd Frazier.
"Going into the eighth and ninth I just said, `Why the hell not?' Here we go again," Bailey said.
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.
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 last 12 games.
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 4 1-3 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.
NOTES: Bailey became the 31st pitcher to throw at least two no-hitters. ... The Giants moved LHP Mike Kickham into the bullpen, a day after he took his third straight loss. The rookie lasted only 2 2-3 innings in an 8-1 loss to the Reds. Bochy was noncommittal about how he'd reconfigure his staff again when RHP Chad Gaudin comes off the DL from a bruised elbow. He's eligible to return on Saturday.
Follow Joe Kay on Twitter: http://twitter.com/apjoekay
Updated July 2, 2013
We check in for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
Patriots’ defensive end, Rob Ninkovich, joins Mut and Merloni on a Patriots Monday after the team’s victory in Houston. Rob addresses the postgame comments of Texans’ defensive lineman Antonio Smith and the defense struggling against the run.
Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Jackie Mac joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Rajon Rondo, the Celtics, and the Jacoby Ellsbury deal with the Yankees.
Johnny Damon joins Mut and Merloni to clear the air about his free agent signing with the Yankees and discusses Ellsbury's signing.
Mut and Merloni react to former Red Sox OF Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees.
We check in with ESPN's great play-by-play man Mike Tirico for a look around the NFL, and a preview of Pats/Browns.
We tackle four topics centered on the movers and shakers in MLB right now.
We start talking about Robbie Cano and the reported 10 year, 240 million dollar contract on the table from the Mariners, and a little debate about him vs Pedroia broke out.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
Mike Lupica of the Daily News joined the show to give the New York reaction to the Ellsbury signing. He said that the Yankees drastically overpaid.More from this show
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.More from this show
Johnny Damon joins Mut and Merloni to clear the air about his free agent signing with the Yankees and discusses Ellsbury's signing.More from this show
Buster Olney joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees and the possibility of the Red Sox trading for Andre Ethier.More from this show