Pittsburgh feels like home for Bailey no-no

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Homer Bailey had his best fastball working on Friday night.

There was some Homer history in Pittsburgh on Friday, but it had nothing to do with balls leaving the park. It had more to do with balls staying in the park and all of them being turned into outs.

Cincinnati Reds starter Homer Bailey’s no-hitter of the Pittsburgh Pirates was the seventh of the season, tying the modern major-league single-season mark, previously set in 1970 and matched in 1971.

The all-time record is still within reach -- eight were thrown in 1884.

The History

This was the first no-hitter by a Reds pitcher since Tom Browning threw a perfect game against the Dodgers in 1988.

No-Hitters This Season

He’s the fourth Reds pitcher to throw a no-hitter since 1969, joining three well-known Reds pitchers—Jim Maloney (1969), Tom Seaver (1978), and Browning.

It was the first no-hitter against the Pirates since Bob Gibson threw one in 1971. The Pirates had gone the second-longest of any team without being no-hit in the regular season or postseason.

The team with the longest no-hitter avoidance is the Cubs, who were last no-hit
by Sandy Koufax (a perfect game) for the Dodgers in 1965.

How he did it

What made Bailey so good in this game?

How He Won
Bailey's No-Hitter

His fastball gained in velocity as the game went on. It averaged 90 mph in the first three innings, 90.6 in innings four through six, but then jumped to 92.1 mph for the final three innings.

Bailey netted 19 outs with his fastball. He threw it for strikes 76 percent of the time. That sounds high, but it’s actually his third-highest strike rate of the season. He threw it for strikes 81 percent and 77 percent of the time in two starts earlier this season.

Both came against the Pirates.

The friendly confines of PNC Park

Bailey has three career complete games in his career and all of them have come in Pittsburgh. He’s 5-0 with a 1.40 ERA and .147 opponents’ batting average in six starts there against the Pirates.

Lowest Career ERA at PNC Park

Bailey now has the lowest career ERA of anyone who has made at least five starts at PNC Park.

Pitching well on the road has been a big part of what’s made Bailey a viable pitcher this season. He has a 2.41 ERA in 15 road starts. At the time the no-hitter was complete, that ranked second in the majors behind Jordan Zimmermann’s 2.23.

Bailey’s home ERA is 5.16. The 2.75 run difference between his home and road ERA is third-highest in the majors, trailing Joe Saunders and Jon Lester.

Did You Know?

Bailey is the sixth pitcher since 1969 with 10 strikeouts in a 1-0 no-hit win. The others are Dennis Eckersley (1977 Indians), Mike Witt (1984 Angels), Kevin Millwood (2003 Phillies), Roy Halladay (2010 Phillies), and Felix Hernandez (2012 Mariners).

This is the second season with three 1-0 no-hitters. They were thrown by the six Mariners pitchers in their combo effort, Hernandez, and Bailey. The other season with three was 1908.

The Reds’ 15 no-hitters rank fourth-most all-time. The Dodgers lead the way with 20.

The loss clinched the Pirates’ 20th straight non-winning season. Their last winning season was in 1992.