When a pitcher goes 27 up, 27 down without allowing a hit; you never forget the feat that he accomplished. You remember the moment forever when you witness it.
To put in perspective the immortals that Homer Bailey joined last night, it was just the second no-hitter thrown by a Reds pitcher in my lifetime. I was just five years old in 1988 when Tom Browning threw a perfect game. I remember talking about it with my father, but just barely. If I live a full life, I might see one more Cincinnati Reds no-hitter.
If I could have chosen one guy in the big leagues that I would have liked to see throw a no-no, it would have been Homer Bailey. He’s been my favorite Reds pitcher for a long time now. I wrote back in April on my frustrations surrounding Bailey. He’s got that tragic hero trait. He’ll go out and have unbelievable stuff for six innings and then the wheels fall off. Or the bullpen inevitably blows his win (how many times has it happened this year alone?). Whacky things happen to bad-luck Bailey. But he’s been remarkably solid this season. He’s tied with Johnny Cueto to lead the team in quality starts. And he’s the only guy on that Reds roster that can speak on what it’s like to throw one of those games that Nolan Ryan knew about so well.
This was another moment in a season comprised of so much magic. If you are sitting here thinking that times are going to be like this for the next several seasons for Cincinnati; and granted they should be, please don’t be naive. It’s likely that we’ve reached the apex for this current group. Seasons like this and moments like this come along only a few times across a lifetime.
To that I say at least we were around to see it all unfold. I’ve been around the game for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of nine inning frames expire. It takes a big moment for me to stand inches from the television (my only company being my dog) and to be yelling and pacing with every pitch. I wanted that so badly for Homer Bailey last night that when the pop up was hit to Brandon Phillips for out number 27, I yelled at the top of my lungs ‘YES! GET IT! YES!’.
Congratulations Homer Bailey. You’ve proven to the world that all that promise and all that patience was for good reason.