SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds pitcher Homer Bailey was just outside the velvet rope from admission to a very elite group. Bailey flirted with throwing another no-hitter Sunday vs. the Giants during a 4-0 victory, which would have been his third in three seasons.
Had it happened, a flurry of interesting historical nuggets would have surfaced. Here is a sampling:
• No Reds pitcher has ever thrown three no-hitters for the team. Bailey, Jim Maloney and Johnny Vander Meer are the only Reds pitchers with two no-hitters. Incidentally, Maloney was in attendance at the game Sunday.
• These are the only Major League pitchers who have ever thrown at least three no-hitters: Nolan Ryan (7), Sandy Koufax (4), Bob Feller (3), Cy Young (3), Larry Corcoran (3).
• Bailey threw his second career no-hitter vs. the Giants in a 3-0 win at Great American Ball Park on July 2 of last season. On Sept. 28, 2012, at PNC Park, the right-hander weaved a no-hitter vs. the Pirates during a 1-0 victory.
• There have been three no-hitters in the Majors this season. Tim Lincecum threw a one against the Padres on Wednesday. Clayton Kershaw did it June 18 vs. the Rockies and Josh Beckett also had one for the Dodgers vs. the Phillies on May 25.
• Had Bailey done it again, it would have been the third no-hitter in 12 days. In 2012, there were three no-no's in 13 days by Johan Santana of the Mets, a combined one from the Mariners and Matt Cain of the Giants.
• Lincecum was the second pitcher to no-hit the same team when he did it to the Padres. Addie Joss of the Indians did it to the White Sox in 1908 and 1910.
After he struck out Hunter Pence with a nasty slider away to finish a nine-pitch at-bat in the seventh, Bailey was seven outs from matching Lincecum and Joss. A 1-1 pitch to Buster Posey was lined for a clean single to right field.
"You can talk about a no-hitter all you want, I think the only time you should or can is after the game is completed," Bailey said. "I wasn't really thinking about it other than obnoxious fans who kept yelling at me about it."
Reds manager Bryan Price was Bailey's pitching coach for the two no-hitters he did complete. He liked what he was seeing throughout the day.
"I saw him executing good quality pitches with a really strong mix. He used all of his pitches," Price said. "He had a good slider, threw the curveball for strikes and the split. He had very good fastball location. I thought he and Brayan [Pena] had a nice little back and forth going, a good communication going and a good flow."
"That's the first time I've caught Homer this year and I was very, very pleased with all the information Devin [Mesoraco] gave me," Pena said. "He gave me a big, big scouting report on him and I just tried to follow exactly what Devin told me, and it worked, it really, really worked. Both of us were on the same page."
Price was not preparing himself for Bailey to work another no-hitter. He wasn't quite in range.
"They're so hard to accomplish. But of course after six innings, it's 'OK, he has to get through the lineup one more time. Anything could happen,'" Price said. "He got two outs in the seventh. That's still seven outs [away]. It's not like these guys were completely flummoxed and couldn't put the ball in play off him. They put the ball in play and we were defending well. Had we gotten into those last six outs, it would have been something I would have spent a lot more time thinking about."