Seventh heaven: Bailey's no-no ties MLB record
Reds right-hander spins seventh no-hitter of 2012, equaling mark set in 1990
Homer Bailey has joined the movement.
The Reds right-hander not only etched his moniker into the history books, but he helped establish the 2012 campaign as one in which pitchers around the Major Leagues can take pride. Bailey's no-hitter against the Pirates at PNC Park on Friday was the seventh this year, tying the record for most in one season, set in 1990 and tied the following year.
"I don't think there is anything special about it," Bailey said. "Pitchers just have to find that fortunate night and there's got to be a couple of plays where defense makes a great play. Mix all of those things together, and you can have a very special night."
The start of the '90s gave the league two banner years for accomplishments atop the mound, and they were highlighted by a Hall of Famer in the twilight of his career: Nolan Ryan notched the final two of his record seven career no-nos in those two years -- one on June 11, 1990 and his final clean outing on May 1, 1991.
Bailey also added his name to the list of Reds to throw no-hitters, which includes Tom Seaver, Johnny Vander Meer and Tom Browning. Browning was the last Cincinnati hurler to complete the feat, when he stopped the Dodgers with a perfect game on Sept. 16, 1988.
Of the seven no-hitters submitted in 2012, three stand apart as perfect games. The Mariners have had a hand in three of the no-hitters, and in three very different ways.
White Sox righty Philip Humber commenced the trend when he kept Seattle completely off the basepaths on April 21. Less than two weeks later, Angels ace Jered Weaver no-hit the Twins. Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1. The Mariners used six pitchers to keep the Dodgers hitless on June 8. Matt Cain tied Sandy Koufax's 47-year-old standard by punching out 14 batters while tossing a perfecto against the Astros on June 13. Seattle's Felix Hernandez stymied the Rays on Aug. 15 at Safeco Field as he delivered the league's third perfect game of the season.
"It's just one of those things," said Angels righty Ervin Santana, who threw one of the league's three no-hitters last season. "I think this year is just one of the years where everybody's doing it. The pitchers are just executing the pitches where they want."
In 2010, five pitchers tossed a no-hitter during the regular season. Philadelphia's Roy Halladay logged a perfect game on May 29 against the Marlins and then no-hit the Reds in Game 1 of the National League Division Series. That was the only season since 1991 to boast more than three no-hitters, until this year.
"It's just a statistical anomaly where a bunch are grouped together," Angels catcher Chris Iannetta said earlier this season. "Then it will fade out, and somewhere down the road we'll get a few more, and we'll be talking about it again."