The Giants have now lost eight of their last nine games, and are in last place in the National League West. They won one game and lost seven on the road trip. The defending world champs are now five games under .500 for the first time since April 18, 2009.
The Giants have scored five or fewer runs in 17 straight games and are averaging just 2.4 runs per game during that span. Bailey must have thought he could pitch a perfect game against a hapless San Francisco team. He nearly did.
Leading off in the seventh, Gregor Blanco earned a walk on a close pitch to ruin Bailey’s perfect game. After the game, Bailey was asked if he was disappointed with the single walk in the seventh. His catcher, Ryan Hanigan, stepped up. “I am!” he said. “He had the stuff to do it. Don’t get me wrong, we’re super happy with this, but he had the stuff to do it.”
Bailey said his strategy for the game was simple.
“I kind of just looked at the glove and threw as hard as I could,” he said. “It was probably all adrenaline. I’m coming after you. This is what I’ve done for six, seven innings. You just have to have the attitude of ‘I don’t care, I’m coming after you.’ “
Bailey was confident. He could afford to have somewhat of a ‘been there, done that’ attitude.
“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 is from Texas, and his idol growing up was Nolan Ryan. Both men throw hard, and Bailey wears number 34, as did Ryan.
It took Bailey only 102 pitches with one walk and nine strikeouts. Bailey became the third Reds pitcher with more than one no-hitter, joining Jim Maloney and Johnny Vander Meer.
The Giant manager did not downplay Bailey’s effort, but did point out how ineffective his team has been.
“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.”
Bailey accomplished something no other pitcher has done in decades, with the exception of his idol. The last pitcher to throw one no-hitter and then another before anyone else in the majors accomplished the feat was Ryan.
“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.”
The Reds manager summed up expectations for Bailey.
“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.”
While the Giants season appears in jeopardy, Homer Bailey no-hit them last night to add to their woes.
Alfred James reporting