Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pounding the zone

"I was just going out there and pounded the zone. Just here it is, hit it," said Homer Bailey commenting on his performance today at Goodyear Ballpark.

The result, he pounded the Giants. In his outstanding start against a mostly first-team San Francisco Giants lineup, Homer allowed only one run in five innings. He gave up three hits, all in the first, and one walk. Only one of the hits was a line drive.

In the first inning, Giants leadoff hitter, Aaron Rowand greeted Homer by lining his first pitch into left field for a base hit. After Edgar Rentaria grounded to Scott Rolen, Pablo Sandoval was fooled on a Bailey pitch and topped the ball softly toward the first base bag. Neither Homer or Joey Votto could make a play on both the ball and the bag, so Sandoval was safe, Rowand moving to third. Aubrey Huff then blooped a check-swing single down the third base line, driving in the Giants only run off of Homer.

Homer kept the Giants off balance with his sweeping curve ball -- including one he threw on a full count in the fourth inning to Giant left fielder, and Reds-killer, Mark DeRosa. DeRosa tapped it softly back to the mound. It was mostly smooth sailing for Bailey, as he continued his progression toward being an outstanding major league starting pitcher.

Homer retired the last 10 batters that he faced. He'll next take the mound Monday against the Chicago Cubs in Mesa. Here catcher Ryan Hanigan is about to receive one of Homer's bullpen warm up pitches before the game.

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