CINCINNATI There were times in the not too distant past when if Homer Bailey held opponents to two earned runs over 6 13 innings he would be ecstatic, time to hit a steakhouse in celebration.
And thats even if the team lost.
That isnt the case these days for the 6-3, 225-pound right hander from La Grange, Tex., who is in his third year in the Cincinnati Reds pitching rotation despite being only 25.
It is part of a maturation process that has seen Bailey do a 180, as if he had a personality transplant going from an impertinent surliness when he first arrived to a polite, humorous, deeply analytical pitcher with a river-wide smile.
Bailey pitched 6 13 innings this week, holding the San Francisco Giants to two earned runs, a quality start. And the Reds won.
Was Bailey a contented cowpoke? Nope. His record is 1-2, but his ERA is a respectable 3.60, inflated by a miserable first start of the season when he gave up three home runs in the first inning to the St. Louis Cardinals.