Game of zeroes suspended in ninth after Bailey's gem
CINCINNATI -- The Reds and Phillies dueled in a scoreless deadlock into the bottom of the ninth on Tuesday, but the conclusion will have to wait until Wednesday.
Rain fell before the bottom of the ninth inning and forced umpires to suspend the game after waiting for 44 minutes. Play is scheduled to resume at 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, ahead of the 7:10 p.m. series finale vs. Philadelphia.
Fans with tickets to Tuesday's game can exchange them for Wednesday's continuation, with seating location subject to availability.
Zack Cozart, Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips are due to bat for the Reds against reliever Phillippe Aumont in the bottom of the ninth. Reds manager Dusty Baker declined to say who would pitch for his team if there is a top of the 10th.
"It's strange to have the first at-bat at home," Baker said. "We hope to win it before we get to that."
Not only was the conclusion delayed by rain, so was the start of the game as an 80-minute delay pushed back first pitch.
In between downpours, both teams' pitchers reigned all night while putting zeroes on the scoreboard. Neither team had a runner reach third base.
"Both sides were dealing," Baker said.
Resembling the first six innings of Monday's clash between Bronson Arroyo and Cliff Lee, Reds starter Homer Bailey and Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick were almost equally sensational.
Showing dominance reminiscent of the no-hitter he threw at Pittsburgh late last season, Bailey allowed all of two Phillies singles -- one of which was an infield hit -- over his eight innings. There were no walks and tied a career high with 10 strikeouts.
"We felt pretty good today," Bailey said. "This weather was kind of muggy, you could sweat a lot. [Catcher Ryan] Hanigan did a great job back there. We were on the same page all night."
Over his final six innings, Bailey faced the minimum number of batters. His final hit allowed was Chase Utley's one-out single to right field in the fourth. But Utley was caught stealing second base and moments later, Ryan Howard looked at a 97 mph fastball on the inner half of the plate for strike three to end the inning. It was the first of the final 13 Phillies in a row that Bailey retired.
In three starts this season, Bailey has allowed runs in only two of his 19 innings pitched. He was a 15-0 winner with six innings vs. the Nationals in his 2013 debut. In his previous start at St. Louis, he gave up seven runs over the fifth and sixth innings -- including not retiring a batter in the sixth.
In his last two starts, Bailey has gotten zero runs of support from the lineup. Baker didn't view Bailey's hard luck as wasted effort.
"I don't think in those terms," Baker said. "We can build off of that. And we didn't waste it. Homer saved my bullpen. It was great for his confidence -- and ours, too -- to see him pitch so well. We would have wasted it if he had lost it."
On the other side, Kendrick also gave up two hits over his seven innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Cozart hit a one-out single to left field in the first inning and Hanigan lined a one-out single to left field in the fifth. Bailey moved Hanigan to second base with a sacrifice, but Shin-Soo Choo grounded out to end the inning.
"A lot of respect to Kyle Kendrick. He threw the hell out of the ball," Bailey said. "Sometimes, that's just the way it goes, especially with a 0-0 game. You have to go out there and stay sharp. It makes it a little easier to stay focused."
Bailey threw 89 pitches, but was lifted for pinch-hitter Chris Heisey as the Reds tried to get something going offensively in the bottom of the eighth.
"I really hated to take Homer out but we had to try and get some runs, especially before the rains came," Baker said. "They told us it was coming."
Bailey understood the decision, even if it meant not being rewarded for his great performance.
"If we're up by five runs or so, I'd probably go out there for the ninth and probably get that 'W,'" Bailey said. "That's all right. Maybe the first batter tomorrow will hit a home run and we'll win."
If that's the case, Aroldis Chapman would be the pitcher of record for Cincinnati. Chapman took over and dealt a perfect top of the ninth inning with two strikeouts. More showers fell and prompted the night's second delay -- one that would last overnight.