That’s Mr. Bailey to You

His given name is David Dewitt Bailey. He’s been “given” the nickname of Homer. But for those of us that have witnessed his first two outings of 2011, we may start calling him Mr. Bailey.

I was cautiously optimistic after his start last Thursday. It was just one start after all. First appearance after coming off the DL and Homer Bailey put together a very nice day’s work. He allowed only one run on four hits in the six innings he worked. A couple of tiny bouts of control, but he did manage 7 strikeouts. And I stress tiny.

A return matchup against Brett Myers and a visit home to Texas proved to be all the motivation (if he needed any at all) that Bailey could ask. Another start, another dominating performace. This time Bailey went one more inning (7), allowed one more hit (5) and had 2 less strikeouts (5). But no walks. We didn’t see Homer Bailey, the thrower. We saw Homer Bailey, the pitcher.

This is the Homer Bailey Reds fans have been needing to see for roughly half a decade. There have been times that a portion of the Reds fanbase have wanted Bailey run out of town (happens to many players, really). Some have suggested he be converted to a reliever. Others have hinted that maybe Bailey should be moved in a deal involving a bat coming to Cincy.

Not seeing it happen after tonight.

If my memory serves me correct, Alex stated that Bailey was the #2 reason to be excited for the Reds for this season. And I heard a couple of the Reds broadcasting team mention that Mario Soto said 2011 would be Bailey’s year. So far, so good.

Chapman Continues to Struggle

Same cannot be said for Aroldis Chapman. As of late, he has struggled mightily with his control. Over his last two outings, he has pitched 1+ innings, allowed only 2 hits, but has issued 5 walks. He has also permitted 3 runs. All of this on a total of 50 pitches.

It carried over to last night as well. He simply could not get the ball over the plate. He threw 19 pitches with only 5 being for strikes. The Astros did not even need to swing at a pitch and Chapman was unable to record a single out. He walked 3 and hit a batter. That forced Reds skipper Dusty Baker to remove Chapman and bring in Nick Masset.

Masset would give up a single leading to a pair of Astros runs, but ended the inning by striking out Brett Wallace and Reds killer Bill Hall.

You have to wonder what’s going on here. That’s now three straight outings where Chapman has been completely ineffective. This kid has too much raw talent to be spraying his pitches the way he has been of late. You might give a pause to think here. Has he changed his delivery, however slight, since the issue in San Diego and he was shutdown for a few days?

The Bats Were Alive…for Two Innings

For the second consecutive time in facing Astros starter Brett Myers, the Reds bats were awake. Well, for the first two innings. After Myers issued a pair of walks to start the game, Joey Votto doubled to commence a four-run first inning. The 2010 NL MVP would finish the night with three hits. The off-day on Monday had done its work.

Jay Bruce provided a two-run no-doubter after a Brandon Phillips ground out plated Edgar Renteria. The Reds had staked Bailey to a 4-0 lead before throwing pitch one.

Two more in the second as Votto, once again, drove in both on another double.

The good guys did manage to push a run across in the 7th to finish their scoring.

Tomorrow (or today) is an early 2:10 ET start.