Reds 4, Indians 3
Homer Bailey obviously has the stuff to be successful. But the question with a young pitcher is: Does he have the stuff?
A great fastball, breaking ball and change-up are great, but having the stones to trust that stuff when the games on the line is just as important.
Bailey did that in the fifth Friday night. With the bases loaded, with the crowd roaring, when a gapper would have thoroughly wrecked his line and debut, Bailey threw a 93 fastball right past a looking David Dellucci to escape with the lead.
“I told myself these are big-time pitches,” Bailey said. “Bases loaded, two outs. Get this guy out. The last thing I wanted to do is give up a hit and the lead.”
His teammates were duly impressed.
“He buckled down and got the out,” Ken Griffey Jr. “It was a lot of fun to watch.”
“That’s not an easy situation,” David Weathers said. “A packed house. All the expectations thrown on you. I think he handled it well.”
Bailey savored the roar as he walked off the mound after getting Dellucci.
“It was awesome,” Bailey said, “especially after that last strikeout, you kind of shut it off and you feel the crowd. It was really amazing.
“Days like this, you'll never forget.”
Five innings, two runs on five hits, against one of the best hitting teams in baseball. And he got the win.
“It was a nice outing,” Reds manager Jerry Narron said. “It gives us hope for the future.”
It certainly does. It was just one night, of course. But it sure looks like Bailey has the stuff and the stuff to be a good one.