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Game 36: Reds @ Astros

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Cincinnati Reds
@ Houston Astros

Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 8:05 PM EDT
Minute Maid Park

MLB Media Center, Gameday

Homer Bailey vs Brett Myers

Mostly cloudy. Winds blowing out to left field at 15-25 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

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Houston, again! Maybe you already feel like you've already seen enough Brett Meyers for one season, but let's not forget the 6 earned run, 9 hits, 3 BBs piñata the Reds' bats opened up back on Cinco de Mayo. Tonight, it's the French holiday of de ja vu all over again: on the heels of Rodriguez v. Wood, Homer Bailey faces the very same pitching opponent as he did in his 2011 MLB debut five days a go. We'll have to wait another five days to find out if Homer Bailey is ready to pitch against anyone besides Meyers and the 'stros. But May 5 was a very convincing performance: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7 K, 1BB.

Bailey has gotten something of a reputation, deserved or not, for beating up on NL Central basement teams, while struggling against better competition. Bailey feasted on the Pirates last season (0.56 ERA, .563 WHIP, 15 K in 16.1 IP), though he also fared reasonably well against the Cardinals, Dodgers and Padres. This may well be part of his evolution, having only recently getting a solid foothold in the major leagues. He's looked gradually more comfy on the mound since '09, increasingly confident in his stuff and less prone to nibbling. There will likely be more fits, starts and setbacks. But this strikes me as a different Homer Bailey than we saw even early into 2010. Maybe I'm projecting. Or maybe this conspiracy theory has legs and his real name really is Billy Shears.

Last night may not have been an offensive breakout, per se, lead as it was by a Travis Wood 3-run home run. But it may have been a kind of karmic wheel spin. Brandon Phillips was on base three times. Which is encouraging, as he's seen his OPS drop from .954 to .839 in May. The injury of Scott Rolen, slumps by others and Phillips' move to the clean-up spot may all have amounted to some self-imposed pressure and urgency at the plate, which might explain why Phillips had only walked once in May entering last night. Phillips' line is decent (.265/.351/.429) hitting cleanup in 2011, but .100 points below what it was in the #2 spot. I'd like to see him back at 2, which seems to fit his approach/temperament. No? OK, I'm sorry to have interrupted your dinner.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Homer Bailey 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6.0 4 1 1 0 1 7 1.50 .83


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Brett Myers 1-2 7 7 0 0 0 0 44.1 49 23 22 9 15 30 4.47 1.44