“Joey had a great heads-up play. I was almost a little late getting to the bag,” Bailey said.
With 27,509 fans on their feet chanting “Homer! Homer!” Bailey finished it off in the ninth. He jumped to glove Brandon Crawford’s high comebacker, struck out Tony Abreu and retired Blanco on a grounder to third baseman Todd Frazier.
Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay are the only other active pitchers with a pair of no-hitters. Halladay, of course, threw one of his in the postseason against the Reds in 2010.
“Going into the eighth and ninth I just said, ‘Why the hell not?’ Here we go again,” Bailey said.
When Votto caught the throw for the final out, Bailey raised both arms in triumph, reminiscent of that grand moment in Pittsburgh last September, then hugged catcher Ryan Hanigan. This time, Baker got to celebrate too — he was in a hospital in Chicago being treated for a mini-stroke last September.
Teammates poured onto the field to celebrate and doused Bailey with a red sports drink.
It was the 16th no-hitter in Cincinnati history. No Reds pitcher had thrown a no-no at home since Tom Browning’s 1-0 perfect game against the Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium on Sept. 16, 1988.
The Giants were no-hit for the 16th time. The last three pitchers to hold them hitless were all named Kevin — LA’s Gross in 1992, Florida’s Brown in 1997 and Philadelphia’s Millwood in 2003.
Bailey was facing a lineup in a deep funk — scoring two runs or fewer in nine of San Francisco’s past 12 games. He didn’t need much help to keep the no-hitter going — the Giants went rather quietly.
Last year was the season of the no-hitter, with seven in all, which tied the modern record. By this point, five had been thrown. So far in 2013, there had been only two close calls.