CINCINNATI -- With his no-hitter vs. the Giants, the second of his career, the Reds' Homer Bailey moved into a new stratosphere among pitchers.
Bailey is one of 31 pitchers to record multiple no-hitters in the Majors and among only four active pitchers to achieve the feat -- joining Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay. Bailey also became the first pitcher since Nolan Ryan to throw two no-hitters without another big league pitcher doing it in between.
On Sept. 28, 2012, Bailey pitched a no-hitter at Pittsburgh. Ironically, the fourth no-hitter of Ryan's career came for the Angels against the Twins on Sept. 28, 1974. The game's next one came against the Orioles on June 1, 1975. Following Tuesday's 3-0 win over San Francisco, Bailey was certainly aware of what Ryan and the others have done before him.
"Obviously being from Texas and what a legend he is," Bailey said of Ryan. "And there's a few other guys that have done it -- Buehrle and Verlander and stuff like that. To do it once is extremely special. To do it twice is kind of -- I really don't have the words right now."
Bailey recalled a Spring Training conversation with teammate Joey Votto.
"We were in the bathroom before we go out to the field, and he said, 'Do you think you can throw another no-hitter?'" Bailey explained. "I said, 'Do you think you can win another MVP?' He said yes. 'Well so can I.' I meant it joking, I didn't think it would happen. Guess I got lucky again."
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips caught a popup from the Pirates' Alex Presley to finalize Bailey's first no-hitter.
"You don't get that much, seeing a guy throw back-to-back years of no-hitters like that," Phillips said. "He has good stuff. Once he believed in himself, he's one of the best pitchers in baseball. He was on point today."
The list of 31 is littered with other Hall of Famers besides Ryan. There are Cy Young and Bob Feller, who both did it three times. Greats like Christy Mathewson and Warren Spahn did it twice.
There are also two other Reds on the list -- Johnny Vander Meer and Jim Maloney. Vander Meer is the only pitcher in Major League history to record his no-hitters in back-to-back starts, on June 11 and 15, 1938 -- vs. the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers, respectively.
Maloney pitched a 10-inning no-hitter against the Cubs on Aug. 19, 1965, in a 1-0 win. It was little easier breathing the second time for a 10-0 victory over the Astros on April 30, 1969.
"It means a lot," Baker said of the multiple no-no feats by Bailey. "He's still got some time left. It seems like they're coming from the state of Texas -- that produces a whole bunch of guys that have thrown no-hitters. Once you've done it once and start feeling it, you can do it again, again and again."