Bailey gets off to fast AA start
By David Paschall Staff Writer
Homer Bailey will tote the same earned run average into his second Double-A start as he did his first.
The top prospect of the Cincinnati Reds made an immediate home Thursday night at BellSouth Park, pitching six scoreless innings and leading the Chattanooga Lookouts to a 7-0 rout of Carolina. His Class AA debut in front of 2,461 fans included seven strikeouts and no walks.
"I think I did all right, but our defense, more than anything, played outstanding," Bailey said. "We had three plays at the plate and two more at third, which were clutch plays. I wasnít nervous. As long as the plate was 60 feet, I knew it was still the game of baseball."
The 20-year-old right-handerís fastball was as advertised, reaching 95 and 96 mph on firstinning third strikes. His 96th and final pitch was clocked at 98 by charting Lookouts pitchers and on BellSouthís speedpitch board in left-center.
"These guys donít come around a lot, and itís nice to have one in our organization," Lookouts pitching coach Bill Moloney said. "Hopefully he can keep going with it. He still looked fresh at the end."
Said Bailey: "Iíve always been the type of pitcher that feels better in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings or even the seventh if I get that chance. I canít explain it. Itís just how Iíve always done it."
Lookouts manager Jayhawk Owens credited Bailey for studying Carolina from the stands since arriving Monday from the high Single-A Florida State League. Owens added that the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder kept his off-speed pitches very low.
Catcher Patrick Arlis had two of Carolinaís five hits off Bailey, launching a double over Rick Asadoorianís head in center in the third inning and another double off the right-field wall in the fifth.
"He just kind of fell behind me in my first at-bat and left the pitch over the plate," Arlis said. "In the second at-bat, he threw me a first-pitch curveball, and I got on top of it and drove it to right. He was throwing the ball hard and was real on top of the ball at a dominant angle, so heíll be deceiving for a lot of guys.
"Heís got good stuff. Heís just got to locate."
The Lookouts (3-1) gave Bailey the lead when Noochie Varnerís first-inning single to right scored Javon Moran, who led with a single up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. In the third, Miguel Perezís one-out sacrifice to left scored Javier Colina to make it 2-0. Chattanooga loaded the bases in the fifth and picked up its third run on a fielderíschoice RBI by Asadoorian, who blew the game open two innings later with a triple to right-center that scored Perez and Ryan Hanigan.
Carlos Guevara replaced Bailey and recorded two strikeouts in the seventh, as did Matt Belisle in the eighth. Belisle, the Reds middle reliever, worked his second rehab assignment and will now move on to Triple-A Louisville.