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John Fay
John Fay has been the Reds beat writer for the Enquirer since 2001. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles for the Enquirer: backup Reds writer, UC beat writer, backup Bengals writer and as a general assignment reporter. He is a Cincinnati native and a graduate of Elder High School and the University of Dayton.

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Friday, June 8, 2007

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.


at 1:28 AM Anonymous Jim Ridenour said...

I was impressed with Bailey's poise. He didn't seem to have command of his breaking ball and I didn't see any evidence of the changeup he was supposed to be working on in Louisville. However, he didn't fold under the pressure of facing a very good hitting team in his debut.

at 2:00 AM Blogger maryannewhite said...

Was at the game tonight in right field. The energy surrounding Homer's debut was AMAZING. The crowd was cheering EACH STRIKE at the start of the game!

I was recently in Boston and went to a game at Fenway. THEY cheer with every good play or strike. Kind of made me sad because sometimes, at GABP, you don't even realize there is a game going on because the crowd is so quiet. Homer changed that tonight.

I just want to say, Homer Bailey, you did something for Cincinnati Reds' fans with your performance. You gave us back excitement and hope. I'm so proud of you and I will never forget the energy that gave me chills when you struck out the final batter in the fifth. It's probably the best I've felt as a Reds' fan since they swept the A's in the 1990 world series during my freshman year in college.

Homer, I thank you.

at 3:16 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What have the Reds' brass been waiting for? Bailey looked better than EVERY Reds' pitcher ... with the possible exception of Harang ... and better than many of the Reds' hitters. (Will someone please tell Jerry Narron that a buck ninety-one is a nice bowling average, but not much of a hitting average (i.e., David Ross). When's the last time you saw the parents of a Reds' player interviewed during the game? Go Homer!!!!!!!!!!

at 12:13 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bailey certainly showed he has the talent to become an outstanding major league pitcher, but in my opinion he looked like a 21-year old pitcher who still belongs in the minors. Until he gets his control problems fixed, I don't see him being overly effective over the length of a full season. The Reds really need to limit his pitches if they keep him up here, but the pressures of winning usually take over in the majors. I just hope his arm is ready for the stress.

at 2:08 PM Blogger Gene in WV said...

I was very impressed, also, with the poise of Bailey, as well as "stuff." However, it was pretty obvious he did not show command of most of his pitches. Even his strikes were usually far from the target given by Ross.

All of this is, of course, very understandable, given all the circumstances of the game, pressure, hoopla, etc.

I certainly feel the last couple months in AAA did not hurt him. In my opinion, good move to wait as the Reds did. Is he ready? Probably not. However, with his stuff and tempermant, he can continue to be pretty successful while "learning on the job."

I might also add, that I was extremely impressed with the way Ross handled him. He forced Homer to throw several pitches that he was not anxious to throw, pitches he will need to throw in the future, if he is to be successful, long term.

at 11:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am tired of the way interleague play is done. Reds are supposed to be playing the AL West, so why are they playing Cleveland for 6 games. I am tired of them playing Cleveland. Either MLB should scrap interleague play or fix the schedule and make more sense out of the schedule. I know I could come up with a fair way to handle interleague.

at 9:57 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the Reds thinking..... they need to send Homer & Josh Hamilton down right away. How will Louisville win the AAA championship? Wait a minute.... you mean the goal should be to win a major league championship..... nevermind.

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