Dragons' starter Bailey fires off another gem
Dayton righty's stats not quite as shiny in his relief efforts
By Marc Katz
DAYTON | Because of the two days off between games, the Dayton Dragons were able to start Homer Bailey on Thursday night against the Beloit Snappers.
The next time Bailey pitches, probably Monday, he'll be relegated to relief duty. Uh, oh.
Thursday night, Bailey was Oh, Wow — as he has been in recent starts — as the Dragons beat Beloit 6-3 in a Class A Midwest League game at Fifth Third Field.
In the parent Reds' system, Bailey gets only 75 pitches a start and every four days he gets 50 pitches in relief, although in the middle part of the season, the 19-year-old first-round pick from last summer's first-year player draft was mostly a starter.
Over his last five starts, he hardly could be better, including Thursday's five-shutout-innings, three-hit, no-walk, six-strikeout performance. His ERA dropped to 1.13 over those five games, with 31 strikeouts and only seven walks in 24 innings.
In the three games he pitched in relief, his ERA was a bloated 10.79 with 10 strikeouts and seven walks in 6 2/3 innings.
"It's just something I'm used to," Bailey said of starting. "I'm more comfortable. I've never really been a reliever."
Pitching coach Larry Pierson isn't surprised. Bailey was good in his other 15 starts this season, but not as consistent as he is now.
"He's developing," Pierson said. "Early on, he basically was overmatching hitters with his fastball. He's still doing that, and now he's throwing his curveball for strikes and his changeup. I feel comfortable recommending him for Class AA next year."
Dragons manager Alonzo Powell not only was happy with Bailey, but also with second baseman Trevor Lawhorn and designated hitter Bobby Mosby, too.
"I just told (visiting Reds General Manager Dan O'Brien) Lawhorn is probably one of the hottest hitters on the planet," Powell said. "And he's been doing it to all fields. Mosby has looked good since he came back from (hand) surgery."
Dayton scored four times in the second after Lawhorn doubled home two runs and Mosby bounced a long homer to left off the concession stand. During his last 10 games, Lawhorn is hitting .415 and has knocked in 14 runs.
The four-run lead was all Bailey needed, but the Dragons added two more in the fourth. Yes, Lawhorn and Mosby each singled in the inning, and the right-hander exited with his seventh victory.
• Even though the season has more than a week to run, the league has announced its post-season All-Star team. The only Dragons' player to make it is first baseman Tonys Gutierrez. With a hit Thursday, Gutierrez raised his batting average to .324.
Gutierrez has also started to display a little more power. Seven of his 42 RBIs have come in the last 11 games. The team was chosen by the league managers.