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Cincinnati Reds' Homer Bailey Throws First No-Hitter Ever at Great American Ball Park

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COMMENTARY| Homer Bailey threw his first no-hitter for the Cincinnati Reds last year on the road against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 1-0 win on Sept. 28. His only blemishes in that game were a seventh-inning walk and a third-inning error. That no-hitter was the first by a Reds pitcher since Tom Browning twirled a perfect game in 1988. It was the first no-hitter by a Reds right-hander since Tom Seaver turned the trick in 1978 at the since-imploded Riverfront Stadium that was home of the Big Red Machine.

First no-hitter At Reds' park

On Tuesday, Bailey became the first pitcher to hurl a no-hitter at the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park since the park opened in 2003. The least amount of hits given up by a pitcher in a complete game shutout at GABP before Bailey's 3-0 no-hit win over the San Francisco Giants was a 7-0, two-hitter tossed by Bronson Arroyo in 2009.

Bailey also joined Johnny Vander Meer and Jim Maloney as the only Reds pitchers to throw two no-hitters.

Near perfection

In giving up just one baserunner Tuesday, Bailey joined the unlikely company of Clyde Shoun, who allowed just one baserunner via the walk in a no-hitter he pitched for the Reds in 1944. Unlike Shoun (who fanned just one), Bailey struck out nine. Bailey and Shoun are as close as Reds pitchers have come to perfect besides the effort by Browning.

The walk that Bailey issued to Giants leadoff hitter Gregor Blanco was his only blemish this time around. The only near-hit was avoided by a quick decision by Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who cut down the advancing Blanco on a throw to third base on a grounder by Giants catcher Buster Posey that Bailey may not have reached first base in time to put out Posey.

Recent mastery over Giants

The no-hitter against the Giants marked the second straight masterful performance by Bailey against the Giants. Bailey gave up just one hit and one run in seven innings against San Francisco last year in Game 3 of the NLDS, in which he struck out 10 in a 2-1 Reds loss.

Robb Hoff has worked as a freelance researcher for ESPN's production and news departments for the past five years. You can read his articles about the 2012 Reds season here.

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