From the DDN
After four consecutive Quad Cities hitters reached base against Homer Bailey in the second inning Tuesday night, Aretha Franklin’s signature classic blared over the public address system.
The Swing definitely were not showing the heralded pitching prospect much respect, depositing his offerings into open spaces with alarming regularity. Six runs would cross, highlighted by Rick Ankiel’s two-run single, as Bailey endured his worst statistical outing of the season, somewhat tarnishing an 11-7 victory that contained yet another remarkable Dayton comeback.
“No doubt it’s frustrating,” said Bailey, the Cincinnati Reds’ top draft choice (No. 7 overall) in 2004. “But you have to forget about it as soon as it happens.”
Bailey, out of La Grange High School in Texas, had limited hitters to a .221 average in 17 previous Midwest League appearances and was coming off one of his better outings. But this one resembled batting practice. Several of the hits were flares, but eight of 13 batters reached base against him in a two-inning, 58-pitch stint.
Some of the outs were struck more violently than the hits, such as the liner to center that mercifully became a double play and spared Bailey the added indignity of being removed mid-inning as his pitch count soared.
“He probably gave up more hits tonight (six) than his entire senior year of high school,” Dragons manager Alonzo Powell said, overstating the case only slightly.
The Reds have a big stake in Bailey, of course, after giving him $2.3 million last year to skip college. He sports an 8.81 ERA in four July starts, but with radar-gun readings in the mid-90 range Tuesday, nobody seems worried about anything being amiss with his prized arm.
“Homer just had a little trouble with his command,” Powell said. “A little trouble locating his fastball. The fastball is the key to pitching. He left a lot of pitches up today.
“The key is to learn from it. I also thought he could have thrown a few more curveballs. We talked about that on the bench.”
The hero of the game was Camilo Vasquez, who was activated from the DL on Tuesday. He threw 3 1/3 hitless innings of shutout ball.
I have partial season tickets for the Dragons and am constantly amazed at 2 things…1) how many first pitch strikes their hitters take and 2) how their pitchers seem to constantly be behind the hitters. Vasquez was ahead of the hitters last night and he made it look easy.