The Cincinnati Reds have been very blessed this year with their starting pitching. They have only used 6 starters so far this season (Todd Redmond started one game because it was a doubleheader). That is a rarity in the league. There has been little question as to who the top three pitchers are for the Reds. The #4 spot has been the battle. The #4 spot is important because the Reds will only use 4 starters in a playoff series. For that position, the Reds have had Homer Bailey and Mike Leake going at it. It appears that Homer Bailey is going to find himself as the #4 guy when the playoffs start (and deservedly so).
Homer Bailey has had an up and down year. The hardthrowing 22 year-old righthander has had his moments to shine. Those seem to have occurred away from home. Oddly, he is a much better pitcher on the road (which bodes well for the Reds because there is a great chance they will have homefield advantage in most series and will be on the road when Bailey pitches). On the road, Bailey is 8-2 with a 2.63 ERA. Compare that with his home record of 4-7 with a 5.05 ERA and you can plainly see why he should be the #4 guy. You want him on the mound in someone else’s park.
For the season Homer Bailey is 12-9 with a respectable 3.82 ERA. His work of late, though, has been impressive. In his last four starts, Bailey has gone 6 or more innings in each, allowed a total of 5 runs, struck out 26 and, most importantly, is 2-0.
Now it’s not like Leake (8-9) hasn’t had his moments to shine, but it just seems that Leake cannot control the damage when damage appears imminent. Bailey seems to have a better ability to control the big inning (stop the bleeding) now than he did at the beginning of the year.
For that reason and his recent success, I would start Homer Bailey in the #4 spot of the rotation during the playoffs. I believe that the young man has earned it.