Friday, September 28, 2012

Bucs No-Hit, Lose 81st Game 1-0

Not a great start for AJ. Brandon Phillips started off with a single, went to second on a wild pitch and then to third on a Zack Cozart single. Joey Votto walked to juice the sacks with no outs and Todd Frazier lifted a full count sac fly to right to make 1-0. But Jay Bruce couldn't keep it going, pounding a first pitch grounder to Jordy Mercer at second, who started a 4-6-3 DP to end the frame without any additional damage. Alex Presley opened with a bouncer to second. Mercer went down swinging at a Homer Bailey slider that was down and away. Cutch grounded out to third, and it was 1-0 Reds after a frame.

The Reds' second didn't begin much better, as Scott Rolen singled to start it off. AJ collected his first punchout, getting Drew Stubbs swinging at a slurve.  Burnett got the grounder to second on time this inning, getting Ryan Hanigan to finish the frame on a 4-6-3 note. The Bucs went down in order again.

Cozart singled on a 2-2 curve with two down in the third. AJ worked Votto in and out, and got him on a grounder to short. Barmes became the first Bucco runner when he knocked a curve to third and Rolen booted it. His brother Killer B's didn't help - Rod Barajas popped out and Burnett K'ed on three straight foul bunts. Presley flew out to end the Pirate half, leaving the score at 1-0 Cincinnati.

Again, the first two Reds went down before Rolen tapped an infield knock. He didn't last long; he was nailed stealing - with AJ and Hot Rod as the battery! The Bucs went down in order with a pair of whiffs. Bailey has been really sharp, carving the edges and leaving nothing in the hitting zone through four. AJ's been dealing himself since the rocky first; he put away the bottom of the Reds order in the fifth. Bailey kept on rolling, too, picking up another pair of K to bring his total to seven after five.

Votto singled with two down in the sixth, and stayed put as Frazier bounced out. For the Bucs, it was three up, three grounders, three down. AJ's working on a gem, too - he punched out a pair while setting the Reds down in order in the seventh. Bailey climbed the ladder on Mercer, whiffing him on three pitches to open the Buc half. He was careful to Cutch, and lost him on four pitches, all down and away, and he swiped second on the next pitch. McCutch tried for third, too, and that was one base too many as he was nailed. Good thought; Jones flew out, only the second Bucco ball to the outfield, but it ended the inning instead of tying the game.

With two down in the eighth, Phillips legged out an infield knock to the right side. Cozart lined out, and the Buccos were down to six hitters to take a crack at Bailey. After Travis Snider flew out, Pedro hit the first ball on the screws tonight, but it was a liner right at Rolen. Jeff Clement went down swinging.

AJ did his part. The veteran righty went eight, giving up a run on seven hits and a walk with five K, tossing 107 pitches. Tony Watson took the hill, and Chase d' Arnaud went to second. Watson retired the heart of the Red order routinely. Bailey fed Brock Holt high heat and got him swinging on four pitches. The Fort put up an eight pitch battle before flying out to left. Presley popped out, and Homer Bailey had his no hitter.

Give Bailey his props; he never gave in and never tossed a ball down the middle, and Bucs hit just a couple of balls hard all game. Maybe there should be an asterisk in the record books, though; this team is such a mess at the dish. Anyway, that guarantees another non-winning season; the next loss will assure a twentieth losing straight losing year.

Tomorrow night matches up Mike Leake with Kyle McPherson.

  • The Bucs were last no hit on 8/14/1971 by Bob Gibson at Three Rivers Stadium; the score of that one was 11-0. Before that, they were no-no'ed in 1955 when the Cubs' Sad Sam Jones pulled it off at Wrigley Field, winning 4-0.
  • Homer Bailey has three complete games in his career; all three have come against the Pirates at PNC Park.
  • Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated wrote a piece on the Buc's collapse: "Pirates Fade To Black" focusing on the deadline moves NH engineered.
  • Cutch is in an 0-for-12 funk, his longest hitless streak of the year.
  • Pedro Alvarez has whiffed 175 times this season. He has the single year record now, having broken Craig Wilson's 2004 mark of 169 sometime during the Mets series.
  • Even with the 1-0 loss, AJ Burnett is the only pitcher with three wins against the Reds this season.
  • A lot of people will be able to honestly say they saw this little bit of dark Bucco history. There were 34,796 in the house tonight; the attendance should go over 2,000,000 tomorrow.

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