Fair warning: If you’re a card-carrying Homer Hater, save yourself the heartburn and turn the dial to the right. It’s been a bad day for you already and reading this will only make it worse.

Following reasonably effective starts against the Brewers and Red Sox, today Homer Bailey finally hit his long stride, pitching his best game of the 2014 season. The 28-year-old right-hander enjoyed laser-like command of his fastball from the first pitch (a 93-mph called strike) to his last. He hit the edges of the plate at will. Of Bailey’s 112 pitches, 76 were strikes and he threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of 27 batters. The Rockies didn’t hit a ball hard until the fourth inning. It’s debatable whether they ever hit a second one.

Fastball location made all the difference.

And Homer Bailey accomplished this not against the Chicago Cubs, but versus the mighty Colorado Rockies, who lead baseball in offense by a wide margin. Other than the pitcher and catcher, Colorado started the same wrecking crew that leveled GABP yesterday. Today, Bailey and his devastating fastball shut them down.

In fact, the Rockies managed only one hit off Bailey’s number-one, a broken bat single by Corey Dickerson. Their other three hits came against Bailey off-speed pitches.

A few fastball highlights:

Troy Tulowitzki has been the most dangerous hitter (.395/.497/.766) in Major League Baseball. Tulo’s wRC+ stood at an astronomical 235 going into today’s game. Saying that Seth Smith is second in wRC+ is like saying Japan finished second in World War II. Tulowitzki’s 59-point edge in wRC+ over Smith is the same distance as that between second place and fifty-fifth. If you worship at the altar of old timey stats, Tulo has 11 home runs and 33 RBI. He’d walked 25 times compared to just 17 strikeouts.

Tulowitzki is five healthy months away from contending for the NL MVP.

Back on March 31, Troy Tulowitzki struck out twice — in his first two at bats of the season. Since then, he has struck out twice in the same game exactly one time, when the Rockies were already ahead 7-1.

Today, Homer Bailey struck out the Rockies’ shortstop in two consecutive plate appearances. Take your pick as to which fastball was more impressive. In the fourth inning, after Bailey had given up the solo home run to Charlie Blackmon and the Haters were eagerly readying their “meltdown” and “head-case” memes, Bailey struck out Tulowitzki on three consecutive fastballs, the last one at 94-mph that Tulo swung at after it rested safely in Tucker Barnhart’s mitt. In the sixth inning, Homer painted black with a 97-mph fastball as Tulo stood there like Ernie Harwell’s house by the side of the road.

In the fifth inning, Bailey walked the leadoff hitter and the backup catcher Michael McKenry doubled in the left field corner, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Defending a 3-1 lead, Bailey struck out DJ LeMahieu (.287/.362/.339), struck out the pitcher and then faced lead-off hitter Charlie Blackmon (.352/.385/.614), who had homered off Bailey the inning before. Homer bowed his back and got Blackmon to pop out to Super Todd Frazier on a 95-mph fastball right on the right-fielder’s fists. (By the way, did ya notice that Frazier has hit two home runs since I told you he was figuring it out?)

Homer’s last pitch, appropriately, was a 94-mph fastball to Brandon Barnes. Earlier in the at bat, this is the eighth inning mind you, Bailey hit 96-mph on the radar gun.

Homer Bailey’s 2014 has been largely disappointing so far, surely most of all to him. Yet throughout those bad starts, Homer’s fundamental strengths were still present. His swinging-strike rate and fastball velocity were in line with last year. Those factors produced a comparable strikeout rate to 2013 (8.5 K/9 to 8.6 K/9) even before today. For as many home runs as he’s given up this year, Bailey’s ground ball rate has actually been more than a little bit higher than it was last season (up to 53% from 46%).

What Bailey had been missing was pitch command. At least for today, that was back. And it returned on a day when the Reds desperately needed it. The previous two games amply demonstrated that the Rockies destroy mediocre pitching. Only elite pitching keeps their bats in check.

What changed for Homer? Who knows. Maybe it was his new (old) windup, raising his hands above his head at the start. Maybe Bailey thrives in warm weather. Maybe the talented Texan recaptured the leg strength he’d been short due to missing his lifting sessions during spring training. Maybe the positive karma was still around from all those bobbleheads.

What an afternoon. Not only did we witness the glorious returns of Aroldis Chapman and Billy Hamilton, but my favorite player got his fastball groove back. Best of all, I watched it with my mom (a big-time Reds fan) on Mother’s Day.


About The Author

Steve grew up in Cincinnati a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. Contemporary Reds thrills: witnessing Jay Bruce's 2010 homer and Homer Bailey's 2013 no-hitter in person. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 280 characters about the Reds is Redleg Nation, although you can follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Related Posts

65 Responses

  1. Dale Pearl

    Though i am glad to see homer improving one win doesnt make a season. Let us see if both Homer and Todd can become CONSISTENT…. As that is what is needed from both of them. Seems like ever since Jay Bruce started wearing a Reds uniform that just about our entire roster will go into month long slumps. If Todd or Homer are only freaking awesome for two months out of the year then what good is that for the team over an entire season? Bailey has a nolan ryan type of arm. Sometimes i think the guy is just to wound up like tom glavine used to get.
    As far as Todd goes, i used to be a big Frazier fan until his evil ways of 2013 . Frazier and Cozart are two of the biggest issues in our lineup day after day. Ill get back on the Todd wagon when he can prove to me that he can hit on a regular basis.
    Now Cozart since I just mentioned him, needs to back down to AAA along with Hoover, let them both figure out their game in a way that doesnt cost the team wins

    • mwvohio

      Todd Frazier’s 2014 wRC+ is 133 currently. He is 33% better than the average major league third baseman this year. His defense has been gold-glove caliber for well over a season now at third and his bat has come alive without too many prolonged slumps in 2014. Plus he seems to be about the most likable person on planet Earth. Playing great defense even when your bat isn’t smashing 480 foot home runs is the kind of consistency that I’d value.

      Cozart is an easy target but who are you going to have play short in his place on a day to day basis?

      • jdx19

        Not just 3rd baseman. He’s 33% better at creating runs than the average major league hitter.

      • mwvohio

        Oops, my bad. Yeah 33% better than the average hitter across all positions.

      • Dale Pearl

        Frazier is a streak hitter. If he performs like this for an entire season then sure I”ll get on board. I”m looking for a consistent player for me to become a fan. Great that he is likable but that doesn’t win ball games. I think the WRC stat is complete crap, I don’t by into to. What I do by into is how well a player performs long term, in other words stats at the end of the season, # of game winning RBIs, # of runners left on base. # of times hit into a double play. # of strike outs. Frazier stunk last year, don’t kid yourself he is no allstar player…. Yet. Prove me wrong Todd I want to see you put up some serious numbers but so far you are not a consistent player… which means to me he isn’t ready for the majors. Sorry we disagree on this but… well let’s see how his stats pile up at the end of the year. If his numbers are the same as last year then it is time to end the Frazier experiment.

        As far as Cozart goes…. Well Santiago did pretty good in the last game, why not just keep Santiago going until we can figure out a trade for SS or decide to give up an uncertain draft pick and sign Drew who is still available and a legit major league short stop.

      • Eric the Red

        “He’s not ready for the majors”? Are you joking? Even if last year was his best, he’d clearly have been “ready for the majors.” His defense has been way better than expected, and is Show-worthy. You’d send him to AAA to meet your standards of consistency for a season and then bring him up? By that standard, we’d probably have a 1st baseman, a 2nd baseman (maybe), and one starting pitcher (Latos), plus a 2nd starting pitcher if you’ll agree to overlook Cueto’s 2009, 2010, and 2013.

        I doubt many teams in baseball could find 25 guys if they all had to be more “ready for the majors” than Frazier.

      • GatorOs (@GatorOs)

        Dale, I have to wonder why you bother with this website. It has clearly established itself over the years that its statistical focus is on advanced and progressive metrics for player evaluation and projection, not outdated and virtually meaningless stats like GWRBI.

        That being said, this is how Frazier stacked up in 2013 against the 9 other qualifying NL 3B (via fangraphs):

        3rd in HR and overall power (ISO)
        4th in Runs (personally don’t care that much, you probably do)
        5th in RBI (ditto)
        4th in BB%
        5th in K% (so to knock him on Ks when he is right around the median for 3B isn’t entirely fair – not that I care much about this number any way)
        8th in OB (the one primary criticism I have about his game)

        and using advanced stats:

        2nd in baserunning
        2nd in defense
        2nd in WAR

        So to recap…a player who provided approx. league average offense for his position and was above average in baserunning and defense can no longer count you as a fan and should “thisclose” to losing his job.

      • Chris Garber

        I think the WRC stat is complete crap, I don’t by into to.

        What don’t you like about it? I’m not all that familiar with the formula myself, so maybe you’re right.

        What I do by into is how well a player performs long term, in other words stats at the end of the season, # of game winning RBIs, # of runners left on base. # of times hit into a double play. # of strike outs.

        Never mind.

      • lwblogger2

        @DALE – Not ready for the majors? You are certainly entitled to your opinion but you have some seriously flawed ideas about what are reasonable expectations for a Major League player. I’ll give you that he may not be an all-star but he’s a solid MLB thirdsacker, plain and simple.

    • docmike

      Absolutely ridiculous to even mention Frazier and Cozart in the same breath. Cozart has never been, and probably will never be, anything more than a #8 hitter in a legitimate MLB lineup. Frazier, on the other hand, is a solid, above average MLB hitter. He is currently leading all NL third basemen in homers, is 3rd in OBP, 2nd in SLG, and is tied for first in OPS. I’m not saying he’ll finish the year as one of the top 2 at his position, but he has shown that he is perfectly capable of manning a #5 or #6 spot in the order.

      • greenmtred

        Even if that’s true, somebody has to bat 7th, and even the BRM didn’t have all 8 regulars on the all-star team. Frazier is superior defensive 3rd baseman, and a decent hitter with power who is prone to streaky hitting performance. Very few guys, all-stars included, aren’t streaky to some extent. I think that he isn’t terribly different from Jay Bruce, and I hope that you wouldn’t suggest that Jay needs more time in AAA.

      • Roast Beast (@patrickeclark)

        Frazier is a #7 hitter only in an elite offense. Using OPS+ (which isn’t perfect, and I’m sure you reject anything that doesn’t conclude the guy is terrible, but we have to use some standard), Frazier is the #27 hitter in the NL this year among qualified players. Last season, he was #53. In 2012, he didn’t play enough to qualify, but his OPS+ would have been 29th. I don’t think it is unreasonable to suggest he is one of the 60 best hitters in the NL, a 15-team league. A typical 7th hitter is going to be quite a bit worse than that.

        NL #7 hitter, last three seasons:

        2012: .251 BA, .311 OBP, .402 SLG
        2013: .249 BA, .307 OBP, .381 SLG
        2014: .242 BA, .293 OBP, .380 SLG

        Frazier is clearly a better hitter than the typical #7, particularly in regards to his power.

        For his career, 16% of the runners on base score in Frazier’s at-bat. The NL average is 13-14%, so that clearly isn’t a problem. He grounds into DP about 11% of the possible occurrences, right in line with the league average. Game-winning RBI ceased to be counted in 1988, so we have to skip that one. He has struck out 21.1% of the time in his career, which is a bit high, but actually below the 2014 NL average (and he has been better so far this year). However, he also walks at a slightly better than league-average rate, and gets a lot of extra-base hits.

        So basically, you’ve got a guy who is around average at most things, but hits for well-above average power. That’s not a bad player, or a player not ready for MLB. The things you claim to care about he is pretty decent at (except for striking out, and even then he is fairly normal for a power hitter). There are better 3B, but he is at worst an average hitter for the position, and probably well above average.

      • Kurt Frost

        Game winning RBI? Seriously? Did we fall into a time machine and come out in 1986???

      • Dale Pearl

        Frazier well above average power? Most he has had in a season is 15 you guys are projecting his stats. If he is above avg at the end of the year i will eat crow. Last year offensively he sucked… This year he started off terrible and has been hot of late. How long he sustains this hot strreak is essentially what is going to make his season, well that and how long his slumps last. I dont hate the guy, but he is far from elite and i would love to see him put up allstar numbers

      • Roast Beast (@patrickeclark)

        Dale, Frazier hit 19 HR last year, and 19 the year before. So no, his career high is not 15, as 19 is more than 15.

        More to the point, his career SLG is .453 The slugging % for all of MLB was .405 in 2012, .391 last year, and .393 so far this year. So yes, he does have well-above average power, compared to the typical major league hitter. Remember, you are the one who claimed he wasn’t ready to play in the majors.

        I know it can be uncomfortable when the facts do not align with your assertions, but denying the facts does not help make your assertions any more valid.

  2. charlottencredsfan

    Good for you Steve, for first spending time with your Mom, and second for this thorough and well thought out analysis.

  3. Reed Tom

    A big win for the Reds in every way. A great job, Homer, keep it going. Welcome back, Aroldis: we need you striking out the side in the ninth.

  4. ci3j

    So Homer Bailey finally has a game where he pitches the way he’s supposed to and we get an article about him? A guy who was just “doing his job” is deserving of that? Wow, talk about celebrating mediocrity.

    But sure, it’s great to finally have Homer pitch like an actually MLB starter instead of a AAA lifer for once this season. I’m no Homer hater (I’m not sure anyone on this site is?) but I’m not afraid to see Homer Bailer for what he is: a slightly above average mid-rotation starter. He finally he pitched like it today.

    So yeah, congrats to Homer for finally doing his job. Hope he can start having more games like this going forward, since, y’know, he’s supposed to pitch like this. I guess given how horrible he’s been this season, that’s something worth celebrating.

    • jdx19

      You really don’t strike me as a baseball fan with posts like this. If everyone is only “doing their job” then you’re suggesting articles should never be written about anyone? If that’s the case, why are on this website?

      • ci3j

        I’m here because I want to be here. Happy?

    • docmike

      I will agree that Homer has had a disappointing 2014 season to this point. I would also agree that his bad starts this year still outnumber his good starts. But I disagree with your assessment of the way he pitched today.

      You say he finally pitched like a “slightly above-average” starter today. Sorry, but holding the best offense in the league to one run in 7 1/3 inning is not what is generally expected from a mediocre starter, it’s a performance worthy of an ace. Considering the competition, today was one of the best performances by any Reds’ starter this season. It’s worthy of celebrating, no matter who it was that pitched it.

      • ci3j

        Fair points.

        I didn’t quite mean that Homer pitched like a slightly above average starter today, I mean that he IS a slightly above average starter, and as such will have days like this where he can hold the top offense in MLB (who are due for a regression and I can almost guarantee will not be the top offense by season’s end) down, and other days where some run-of-the-mill team will get 4 or 5 runs off him.

        That’s what Homer does. One night he’ll pitch a no-hitter, the next he’ll give up 10 hits and 4 runs. As many of the objective observers say about Homer, he has it in him to be spectacular, he just doesn’t have the mental makeup to capitalize on it.

        But I will agree with you, it was a much needed victory for the Reds tonight. And I guess given how terrible Homer has been this year, any positive news is worthy of celebration.

      • greenmtred

        Fair points from you, too, but I would say in Homer’s defense that he does seem to be figuring it out. Steve was right, I think, that command has been Homer’s issue. It’s an issue for a lot of young pitchers including many who have great stuff and never make it because of command. Homer had an unusual and, probably, unfortunate matriculation, and I feel perfectly comfortable that it has taken awhile for him to overcome that and start putting the pieces in place.

      • ci3j

        I will admit that Homer had a less than ideal introduction to the MLB, but that is in the past now; it’s time to perform.

        Like many on here, I have salviated at Homer’s potential, but his inconsistency frustrates me probably as much as it frustrates Homer himself. For whatever reason, he just can’t put it all together and give consistent performances. It’s the only thing holding him back from being regarded as an “elite” pitcher in my eyes as well as the eyes of many others.

      • Roast Beast (@patrickeclark)

        I would dispute the notion that Bailey is only a “Slightly above average starter”. Over the past two seasons, he has been the equivalent of a solid #2 starter – he is not #2 in Cincinnati because the rotation is loaded, but there are probably 5 or 6 teams where he would be the ace.

        He ranked 43rd among all ML starters in WAR in 2012 and 40th in 2013. Pretty much every measurement puts him around top 40 or so starting pitchers over the past 2 seasons (ERA – 36 & 41, Average Game Score – 46 and 19, QS% – 28 and 42, Innings pitched – 21 and 21). With 150 starting pitching jobs out there, that makes him pretty solidly above average. Try to make a list of starting pitchers better than Bailey. It won’t be much longer than the number of major league teams.

        Rick Porcello is an average major league starter. Homer Bailey is a lot better than that. You don’t have to be Felix Hernandez to be really good.

      • ci3j

        It could be that we are arguing semantics here, but I think being about 40th would fall into the “slightly above average” range. Let’s make the assumption that each starting pitcher’s correct rotation positioning can be determined by which percentile they fall into of the 150 starting jobs out there, meaning each group of 30 represents the degree to which each pitcher should be slotted into the rotation.

        Therefore, to be a #1 starter, you woud need to be top 30 or higher. #2 would range from 30-60, #3 from 60-90, #4 from 90-120 and #5 from 120-150.

        By this measure, Homer Bailey would be a middle of the pack #2 starter. However, would this still be the case if he pitched in the AL with the DH? You have to wonder. Personally, I feel that would knock him down at least another 10 spots on the rankings, possibly more. There is probably some study which quantifies the effects of pitching in either league theoretically should have on pitching stats, but I couldn’t quote one here.

        Anyway, all of this is a long winded way of saying I think Homer Bailey is, at best, a low #2/high #3 type pitcher, a slightly above average, middle of the rotation starter. And that’s not a terrible thing, there are plenty of teams that have #5 type pitchers pitching in the middle of their rotation because they have no better option. I am just trying to be realistic about what Homer is and what he isn’t.

    • CP

      ‘So Homer Bailey finally has a game where he pitches the way he’s supposed to and we get an article about him? A guy who was just “doing his job” is deserving of that? Wow, talk about celebrating mediocrity.”

      Do you not see why this part of your post is ridiculous? Honestly, I don’t know why the unpaid writers of this free website put up this type of junk. They churn out a timely and well written article, and you complain about the subject matter…he was the star of the game, he deserved it.

      Either don’t read it, or start your own blog.

    • Dale Pearl

      I agree. Not time to roll out the red carpet for Homer. He needs to prove that he can do this for the long haul. Dominating for the majority of the season and not one or two games. Let us see how he does in his next outing.

      • ci3j


        Believe me, I’m rooting for Homer to be consistently great. The team desperately needs their starting pitching to come through for them given how their offense is, especially with Bruce out and unlikely to provide his normal production once he comes back.

        As I have said, if Homer can pitch as well as he did tonight 80% of the time this season, the Reds will be all the better for it.

        Here’s hoping.

      • Dale Pearl

        Consistent. Amen. The biggest problem with the Reds last year and again this year. No doubt we will have a few guys on this team wind up with massive numbers and theyw ill look all impressive. But lets break it down month to month and see who was really consistent about those numbers. So far Cueto has been the only consistent player on our entire roster. Frazier was a downright turd in April along with the rest of the team. Reading posts on here you would think Homer is in line to win the Cy Young and Frazier was going to win the MVP. I wish them both the best… But in my opinion both so far are duds until they can get er done over sustained periods. Looks to me as if we have way to many players that shoot their load all at once and then struggle for most of the season, which to me means they hurt the team more than help it.

      • ci3j

        Here’s a rather simplified but realistic example:

        Let’s say you have 2 pitchers. Both have an ERA of 3.00 and pitch 9 innings every time out. But they get these stats in very different ways: One pitcher is extremely consistent, while the other is either brilliant or not so good.not.

        To a wit, let’s look at a 10 game stretch:

        Pitcher A gives up 3 runs each time out over the course of those 10 games. Like clockwork, you know he’s going to give up some runs, but you always know he’s going to “keep your team in the game.”

        Pitcher B pitches a shutout in 4 games and gives up 5 runs in each of the other 6 games. Sure, even 2 of those shutouts were no-hitters! Wow, that’s great, isn’t it? But on the nights when he’s off, the offense really has to come through.

        Which pitcher do you think would give your team the best chance of winning most of those 10 games? Keep in mind that, given an average offense, you can be expected to score about 4.1 runs a game yourself.

        I don’t know about you, but I would take the pitcher who gives up 3 runs over 9 innings every time out instead of the one who pitches lights out sometimes and then gets lit up the rest of the time. It’s great that the second pitcher has the ability to pitch no-hitters, but a win is still a win no matter how you get it. Winning 10-0 is the same as winning 4-3.

        This, my friend, is why I harp on “consistency” so much. It has a pretty big bearing on how likely your team is to win. Having a player who can be brilliant some of the time but then pitches like a mediocre or below average pitcher other times is not as useful to a team as one who consistently pitches a little better than average every time out.

      • Chris Miller

        Well, until robots start playing baseball, you aren’t going to get the true consistency that you seem to crave. Guys face different varying pitchers on any given night, and pitchers face different offenses on any given night. By the way, your little scenario isn’t relevant, because you don’t know what the other team will do, or what your own team will do. Not only that, you picked your little scenario. What if said pitcher throws 4 no hitters in a row, then 2 games in a row where he gives ups 10 runs? Guess what? That pitcher clearly is very inconsistent, but still wins 20 games in a season. So tell me, does this pitcher’s numbers give you a better chance to win than the guy who gives up 3 runs a game? I think so.

      • ci3j

        You obviously missed the “realistic” caveat of my “little scenario”.

        As far as your “little scenario” goes, I’m not exactly sure how 4 no hitters translates into 20 wins unless I missed the rule change where no hitters count for 5 wins, but still, good effort on the rebuttal.

      • Chris Garber

        Since you’ve imagined a situation where the Reds score exactly 4.1 runs, each and every game, I completely understand why you’d also want your imaginary pitchers to allow 3 runs (no more, no less) per game.

        Perfectly sensible and efficient. It’s a wonder that no other teams have hit on this recipe for success.

      • ci3j

        True, they are scoring 3.7 runs a game, not quite 4.1. Yet, that still works out, on average, in my scenario.

        And yes, I’m pretty sure most other teams strive for the ideal I’ve presented here. The reality is, it’s hard to find pitchers who are so consistent. If you asked any GM if they would take a pitcher who was guaranteed to give up somewhere between 2 and 4 runs every single time out (and have it average out to a 3.00 ERA over the course of a season), I’m willing to bet most GMs would trample you in the stampede to sign said pitcher.

        Basically, what I’m getting at is you want a pitcher on your team who minimizes the number of times they give up 4 or more runs, even if at the end of the season their stats look good because of a few scattred spectacular performances. On average, your team will be more successful with a pitcher who can consistently give up about 3 runs a game or less than the pitcher who can pitch a no hitter but also has the propensity to give up 4+ runs with some frequency. Consistency is what wins games when it comes to pitching; consistently keeping your team in the game puts you in position for the best chance to win.

      • Doug Gray

        It’s actually been proven that inconsistent players are move valuable than consistent ones when they have the same stats at the end of the year.

        If two players have consistent performance, it makes you feel better. But you simply aren’t going to win every game (take Johnny Cueto as an example…. he has been as dominant as any pitcher in the game, and yet the Reds have lost several of his starts). Inconsistent guys actually give you a better chance to win more games because when they are good, they are much better than the consistent guy is, giving you a much greater chance of winning when they are on, while only taking away a small chance of you not winning when they are off.

      • ci3j

        I would be interested in seeing the study that proves that. Was it on Fangraphs?

      • preacherj

        “Well, until robots start playing baseball, you aren’t going to get the true consistency that you seem to crave.”

        Sure those games would be very entertaining, right until they became self aware and slowly pan their gaze into the crowd. That moment, gentlemen, would be a bad moment. If the Commissioner ever allows it to happen, mark my words. Mark my words.

      • ci3j

        Hopefully John Connor is at that game.

      • docmike

        I think the point is that no pitcher is going to be “consistent” all year long. Even the best, the guys who win CY Youngs, throw some stinkers out there. I am amazed at how Cueto has gone almost a fourth of the season without one yet. But that is just not realistic to expect that to continue.

        To me, an average starter gives you some mediocre outings, with about an equal amount of good and bad ones throughout the year. This would be a #3 guy on weaker teams, and a #4 guy on better rotations. An ace is a guy who gives you way more good outings than bad. I don’t think Homer is an ace, and I don’t think he ever will be, but he is solidly above average, and I believe the stats at the end of the season will show that. He is a guy who would probably be a #2 starter on a lot of teams, and a #3 on teams with elite rotations.

        Yes, Homer has been below average so far this year, but no, I don’t believe he’ll finish the year that way. Just the same as Cueto will inevitably come back to earth at some point (but hopefully not for a good long while).

      • ci3j

        The thing that tears me up about Homer is, of all the pitchers in the Reds rotation last year, he had the most games of giving up 4 or more runs. He had 11 such games last year. Cueto obviously was injured, but he only had 1. Latos had 8. Even Leake only had 10. And Arroyo? Believe it or not, he had 8 as well.

        As I said earlier, 4 runs is not some arbitrary number I chose: The average offense will score 4.1 runs a game, so logic would dictate that, on average, 3 runs is the limit a pitcher can give up and still reasonably expect to win, while giving up 4 runs would put the game in the hands of the bullpens.

        I’m not sure if a study has been done on this but I would be curious to see how often a team wins when giving up 3 runs or less vs 4 runs or more. Further, I would be curious to know which number of runs is the “cutoff point” where the chance of winning declines significantly. Based on the average number of runs scored in a game, it would seem 4 would be that cutoff point, but I may be wrong about that.

  5. Kurt Frost

    The Reds aren’t paying Homer Bailey 100 million dollars for you to write articles about him.

  6. WVRedlegs

    You can’t underestimate the importance of the way Cueto and Bailey shut down this high powered offense. The Rockies showed Saturday how they take care of bad pitching. That is 3 in a row and 4 of the last 5 starts that have been very good for Bailey.
    What a sight it is to see Chapman back at the end of the game. Thats a big lift for the team.

  7. Brian Rutherford

    Some of the comments here baffle me. They are only in May and yet some of the negative Nancy posts make it sound like if the offense isn’t in the top 3 in the league then guys like Frazier should be sent to AAA. Can you name 3 other third basemen in the NL you would rather have than the Toddfather right now?

    And let’s not write an article about Homer Bailey shutting down the Rox. It’s not like that’s noteworthy by any means. They haven’t had a good season at all. Throwing a 97 mph heater on the black is “just slightly above ML average:.

    Good grief, I wonder why some folks bother watching a full season of baseball.

  8. Dale Pearl

    I didnt say frazier shoulfd go down to AAA. Im just saying he isnt elite. You guys on here make it sound like the dude is heading to the hall of fame. He gets hot but his cold streaks negate any calue that is how i see it. Frazier stunk for most of april, now so far most of may he has been hot. Lets see how he finishes the month, if not the year.

    • Chris Garber

      Please, please, please, please, please do not start a conversation about who is “elite.”

      This is not ESPN.

      • preacherj

        We just don’t talk about the AL East enough to qualify.

      • Matt WI

        Wait, what? I can’t send in my brackets of who is more “now” for consideration? That’s what the true intellect craves. Don’t deny it.

    • BigRedMike

      Who is an elite 3B in the ML today? Donaldson, Longoria, maybe Wright

      If not Frazier, whom else would we want at 3B for the Reds?

      • lwblogger2

        Maybe Machado can be if healthy… Think you pretty much summed them up though. I don’t think anyone here has Frazier in the HOF but I’m sure most of us would agree that Frazier and Bailey are both solid MLB players.

  9. lwblogger2

    Steve, we don’t always agree about Homer, although I think it’s pretty clear I like him and think he’s a nice starting pitcher. I really appreciate that you are a huge Homer Bailey fan. Being the fan of a player as well as a team is one of the many things that make baseball great. Win or lose, playing well or playing poorly, you’re a fan and you’re pulling for him. It’s awesome stuff and anyone who reads my posts should have a pretty good idea that I feel much the same way about one Jay Bruce as you do Homer Bailey.