CINCINNATI – What a nice kid, that Homer Bailey. In his postgame news conference to discuss the first no-hitter in the Queen City since 1988, he made sure to mention how well Tim Lincecum pitched.
“Credit to Tim,” Bailey said. “He threw a great game. Nine times out of 10, he’ll get a win tonight.”
Lincecum mixed his pitches as well as he’s done all season. He struck out eight in five innings and got them by burying the two-strike pitches he needed to bury. But it’s hard to hear a blender over a chainsaw.
[INSTANT REPLAY: Giants no-hit for 16th time in franchise history]
While Bailey continued to add velocity in the late innings, even throwing his hardest pitch of the night, a 98.22 mph fastball, in the ninth, Lincecum stood in stark contrast. Once again, he began to break down in the sixth inning.
It was a 1-0 game until Lincecum made a mistake with a backup slider to Brandon Phillips, who parked it for a two-run home run. Over his last four outings, Lincecum has allowed just five runs in the first five innings (20 innings total), but he’s given up eight in the sixth.
He’s been scored upon in the sixth in each of his last four starts.
“I overall struggled with leadoff batters,” Lincecum said. “My command was better with all my pitches and I was mixing better, but I paid for it with the pitch to Phillips."
It was a good start for Lincecum though, and an encouraging one. It might also be one more start that conditions Bochy to get his bullpen busy once Lincecum reaches that 90-pitch region.
The Giants need Lincecum to pitch better on the road, and on this trip, he has. He still hasn’t won a road start since April 3 at Dodger Stadium, though. He’s 0-6 in his last eight road starts. And as much as I might be repeating myself with this stat, it’s still stunning every time I write it: Lincecum, Barry Zito and Mike Kickham are 1-14 in 18 road starts.
Lincecum’s last win came a month ago, on June 4, when the Giants were 31-27. In 25 games since then, the Giants have gotten one win from a starting pitcher not named Madison Bumgarner. And they’re 8-17.
Homer Bailey’s given name is David DeWitt Bailey. The nickname came from his great-grandfather, in case you were curious.
[BAGGARLY: Bailey harnesses heat to no-hit Giants]
There's no Kevin on his birth certificate. That makes Bailey the first non-Kevin to no-hit the Giants since Terry Mulholland in 1990. The three pitchers in the interim were Kevin Gross, Kevin Brown and Kevin Millwood.
The other pitchers on the list of 11 who have no-hit the Giants, in case you were curious: Warren Spahn, Sandy Koufax, Ray Washburn, Jerry Reuss, Charlie Lea, Mike Scott.
From Pitch F/X:
Bailey’s average two-seam fastball was 94.57 mph and peaked at 97.69. His average four-seamer was 95.32 mph and peaked at 98.22 mph.
He threw 16 two-seamers, 68 four-seamers, two changeups (splitters), 22 sliders and one curve.
His pitches by inning: 15, 11, 10, 12, 6, 15, 20, 7, 13.
Bruce Bochy’s clubs have been no-hit three times in his 18 seasons. A.J. Burnett pitched one of those games, to beat the Padres in 2001.
Homer Bailey has thrown two no-hitters in his career – once to beat Bochy. The other time, who was the pitcher he outdueled in Pittsburgh? Yep, A.J. Burnett.
Kevin Bacon will play A.J. in the movie.
Hard to believe there hasn’t been a no-hitter in Cincinnati since Tom Browning’s perfect game in 1988. I remember that game. I rushed and found all the Tom Browning cards in my common boxes and put them in top-loader sheets.
Answer to a trivia question: Who owns the Giants’ only hit off Homer Bailey in his last 16 innings against them?
Marco Scutaro would be a good guess. And it would be right.
Missed this stat earlier, but according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mike Kickham’s 13.94 ERA is the highest that any Giants pitcher has posted in his first three major league starts.
There’s still never been a perfect game thrown against the Giants in all-time franchise history.
I found it interesting when Bailey not only agreed with the ball four call on Gregor Blanco that separated him from a perfect game, but complimented plate umpire Adrian Johnson for maintaining a consistent zone.
“I never thought he expanded his zone to make it happen,” Bailey said.
The timing is uncanny. Even most Giants fans would have to admit in their heart of hearts that Jonathan Sanchez’s final called pitch that struck out Everth Cabrera, clinching his no-hitter in 2009, was outside.
The plate umpire that day was Brian Runge – the same umpire who was fired by major league baseball for violating its drug policy.
Did Runge expand the zone to make it happen? To glom on to a big moment? I suppose only he can answer those questions. I’ll always wonder what would’ve happened if Sanchez had to throw another pitch, though.
Baseball. What a game. On the 50th anniversary of the greatest pitching duel in several lifetimes, when Willie Mays’ home run in the 16th inning settled a 1-0 ultramarathon between Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn, Homer Bailey walks to the mound and throws a no-hitter.
If only Willie Mays could have played forever…