CINCINNATI -- Homer Bailey felt like a healthy pitcher, and looked like a healthy pitcher, a good sign for the Cincinnati Reds.Bailey had come out of his most recent start, Aug. 22 against the Cubs, after feeling discomfort behind his right shoulder during the third inning. His history of injury
CINCINNATI -- Homer Bailey felt like a healthy pitcher, and looked like a healthy pitcher, a good sign for the Cincinnati Reds.
Bailey had come out of his most recent start, Aug. 22 against the Cubs, after feeling discomfort behind his right shoulder during the third inning. His history of injury issues has led the club to be cautious with one of the few veterans among the Cincinnati pitching staff.
Caution wasn't necessary Wednesday, as Bailey pitched six strong innings during a 2-0 loss to the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park.
"I won't really know how I feel until [Thursday]," Bailey said. "But, at this point in time, six months out of surgery, it's one game at a time."
Two of the three starts that preceded the game from which he was removed were mixed bags, giving up six runs (but striking out 10) against the Cubs and surrendering 10 runs to the Cardinals.
He was the model of efficiency Wednesday, needing only 73 pitches to sail through six innings, walking one batter, and hitting one.
"It was reminiscent of many games he's had prior to his elbow surgery," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "His fastball was in the 89-to-92 [mph] range with control and changing speed."
Wednesday's first inning did not offer hope that Bailey (4-7, 7.51) would last long. He surrendered a leadoff double to Jose Reyes and consecutive two-out doubles to Wilmer Flores and Kevin Plawecki. Five batters into the game, the Mets led, 2-0.
"After that, I just made them hit it where people were," Bailey said.
Bailey settled in and retired 10 of the next 11. Left fielder Adam Duvall saved a run in the third inning when he sprinted to snag a Flores fly ball for the third out, stranding a runner at second.
New York threatened in the fifth, but catcher Tucker Barnhart threw out Reyes attempting to steal third.
The Reds were still trailing, 2-0, when Bailey's turn to bat came up in the bottom of the sixth, so Price inserted pinch-hitter Jose Peraza and Bailey's workshift was over.
"Homer rebounded nicely and gave us a chance to win," Price said.
Andy Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.