Homer Bailey does it again. He pitches another no-hitter, and he does it against the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants. He is the first pitcher to have the last two no-hitters in all of baseball since Nolan Ryan. He is definitely developing into the top player that he was projected to be. He was drafted in the first round in 2004. I saw this great tweet last night.
No-hitters by players in first round of ’04 draft: Bailey 2, Verlander 2, Weaver 1, Humber 1. Matt Bush forever haunts #Padres.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 3, 2013
The Padres 2004 draft continues to haunt them. They took Matt Bush first overall and he is out of baseball and in jail. A big opportunity to acquire big time talent, and the Padres blew it. That’s why they have not won a playoff series since 1998 when they went to the World Series with Tony Gwynn.
Back to Bailey, he could really turn into an absolute beast. He obviously has the power arm to be a great pitcher. His 105th pitch of the night was clocked at 97 MPH. He threw 109 pitches on the night. He struck out 9 and only walked 1 batter so he was really close to a perfect game. He does have some weird splits considering he pitches in a hitter friendly home park. He has a 2.85 ERA at home, but a 4.41 ERA away. This must just be a mental thing where he needs the support to help him get going. Once he gets over that mental hurdle, he could turn into an absolute stud muffin and be dominate with Mat Latos in the Reds rotation. If they ever stretched out Aroldis Chapman and Johnny Cueto gets healthy, that could be a filthy rotation in 2014.
David Price came off the DL last night. Luckily, he was pitching against the Houston Astros so it was basically another rehab start. He did pitch great though. He had 10 strikeouts in 7 innings and only threw 70 pitches. I think this means he fixed whatever problem he had before the DL stint and he will go back to his old Cy Young winning form. He could help propel the Rays to a Wild Card berth.
And while we are on an AL East team, lets look at run differentials by division. I did not notice this before deciding the AL East was the best division and the NL East was the worst, but Buster Olney’s tweet backs me up.
Run differential, by division: 1. AL East 144, 2. NL Central 117, 3. AL Central 17, 4. NL West -86, 5. AL West -99, 6. NL East -113
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 3, 2013
I understand that run differential is not the tell all, be all stat, but it is a good indication of how good teams are. Granted, the NL East is being dragged down by two of the worst teams in baseball, NY Mets and Miami Marlins, but I do think, overall, the division is weak.
Since they have gone on a nice winning streak, the Braves are making me look stupid, but when I wrote that they were slumping big time. So I don’t disagree with my decision making process, but I recognize I will probably be wrong about the record. It has just taught me to never bet against a really streaky team that has the ability to score 10 runs a night or strikeout 10 times a night. You just have to stay away from them when trying to make season long predictions. I do believe their ridiculously hot start and division gives them a great chance of making the playoffs. I just don’t know how many wins they will end up with and how well they will do in the playoffs. They should be an interesting team to watch down the stretch.
In NHL news yesterday, the Flyers signed Vincent Lecavalier. I do not know how good he still is. I just remember watching him and Martin St. Louis beat the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2004. Maybe, he will help the Flyers out. I don’t know, but he will be a Flyer in the 2013-2014 season.