June 9, 2007


Waiting ends, winning begins: Bailey gets long-ball support for 1st big-league 'W' (JOHN FAY, 6/09/07, ENQUIRER.COM)

If Homer Bailey is what the Reds think he is, there will be many more nights like this - when the games mean a lot more than they have recently.

But for one night, Bailey gave the city a bad case of Baseball Fever. [...]

The crowd, just short of a sellout, cheered everything Bailey did - from his first pitch to his last.

Bailey struck out Grady Sizemore on a 93 mph fastball to start the game. After Casey Blake grounded out, Travis Hafner singled. Victor Martinez doubled to left. Adam Dunn let the ball go by him, so Norris Hopper could field it. Hopper missed the cutoff man, allowing Hafner to score easily.

Phillips tied the game in the Reds' first with his 11th homer.

Bailey walked Dellucci to start the second but then retired six straight.

Bailey ran into more trouble in the fourth. Martinez singled and Trot Nixon doubled to start the inning. Dellucci got a run in with a sacrifice fly to center, but the Reds threw out Nixon trying to go to third.

Conine's two-run homer in the fourth gave Bailey a 3-2 lead.

It was an adventure, but he held it.

Sizemore singled to lead off the fifth. An out later, Hafner walked. Martinez sent a scare through the crowd with a drive that put Hopper's back against the wall in center. Bailey walked Nixon on four pitches, pushing his pitch count to 109.

Dellucci was going to be Bailey's last batter - for good or ill.

"He deserved every opportunity in the world to get out of that inning. And he did," Narron said.

Bailey was in uncharted territory. His pitch count was higher than they allow in the minors and he was facing a difficult lineup.

"The only thing that kid has left to show is: How deep can he go? How many pitches can he throw?" Weathers said. "We baby these guys in the minor leagues. There's an unknown there.

"I think he'll tell you it was nice throwing 115 pitches."

Okay, so you own or run the Reds and Homer Bailey looks to be the most valuable asset you've had since maybe the Big Red Machine. You've already let Jerry Narron chew up the arms of Aaron Harand and Bronson Arroyo. Last night, for no apparent reason, he leaves the kid out there to throw the most pitches of any start in his pro career. Is filling the seatsw every 5th night for 4 months really worth squandering yor prize's career?

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 9, 2007 7:35 AM

As Naron implies, the reason was to get him a win. He had to go 5 innings.

I agree 115 pitches is way too many. He was very tired in the 5th but summoned some nice heat to end the inning by striking out Delucci. Seems to me that is when an arm gets blown out.

Posted by: Bob at June 9, 2007 1:49 PM

A win is worth a career for a team headed nowhere?

It makes sense for the Jeter/Torre Yankees, who are in their final hurrah, to squander a Phil Hughes if he can get them to the playoffs. What's the Reds' excuse?

Posted by: oj at June 9, 2007 3:42 PM

Just pointed out the reason. Don't agree with it. The world is filled with guys who won their first start and ended 10-23 for their brief career. The Reds seem to be making a big mistake if they keep it up.

Posted by: Bob at June 10, 2007 9:50 AM