News flash: it is really difficult to throw a no-hitter. Probably the best indication of just how unlikely it is for a pitcher to retire 27 batters without allowing a hit is to watch a pitching performance as absurdly dominant as the one Reds starter Homer Bailey turned in against the Phillies Tuesday night. The Cincinnati right-hander carved up a Phils lineup that's looked entirely impotent throughout the first five games of this road trip, allowing two singles while striking out ten. Bailey needed just 89 pitches to get through eight innings of work. No Phillie got as far as second base; Chase Utley was thrown out trying to steal after registering the Phils' second hit off Bailey in the fourth inning.
That Bailey had to leave the game in the bottom of the eighth for a pinch-hitter was solely due to the excellence of Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, who matched Bailey zero for zero through his seven innings. Lacking Bailey’s mid-90s heater or 12-6 curve, Kendrick held off a strong Reds attack by pounding the strike zone and expertly mixing his sinker/cutter/changeup repertoire. His worst jam came in the first inning, when the Reds put men on first and second before Kendrick escaped on a strikeout of Jay Bruce, his first of four on the night. Later, he registered back-to-back Ks of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Kendrick entered the game with lefties batting .480 off him; this night, the Cincinnati left-handed hitters went 0 for 9 with a walk against him.
Rain delays bookended those goose eggs, as the game began an hour and twenty minutes late and then was paused in the middle of the ninth. After about a half-hour, the contest was officially suspended until 5:30 tomorrow afternoon. Phillippe Aumont was ready to take the mound for the Phils in the home ninth. If the game goes extras, the holdover could enable Reds closer Aroldis Chapman to come out for a second inning of work after adding two more strikeouts off the Phils in the top of the ninth.