PITTSBURGH -- Homer Bailey's Friday night masterpiece was as quiet, uneventful a no-hitter as you will ever witness.No hard-hit balls. No disputed umpires' calls. No genuinely difficult chances.
The Cincinnati right-hander's gem, however, wasn't totally without postgame controversy.Several Pittsburgh players and club officials thought that the third-inning Clint Barmes grounder on which Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was charged with an error should have instead been a base hit. "A Gold Glove third baseman has to dive for a ball that kicks off the heel of his glove? How can that be an error?" Pirates reliever Jason Grilli said. "From where I was watching, yeah, I thought it was a hit." Rolen didn't have to launch into a full dive for Barmes' ball, hit to his right. He got down on one knee and attempted to backhand the ball, which then went through his glove. Official scorer Tony Krizmanich immediately made his call of an error. After the completion of the third inning, he did consult a replay, which confirmed to him that he had made the proper call. A.J. Burnett, the hard-luck loser to Bailey's spotless effort, also considered the Barmes ball a possible base hit, also on the Gold-Glove-Award-winning-third-baseman argument.
"Tough night," Burnett said. "The play at third could've gone either way. The scorer doesn't like the Pirates; we've seen that all year. But you can't take anything away from Homer."
However, Burnett afterward felt comfortable with the decision in favor of his pitching colleague."After the game, after it's all over, the way Bailey pitched -- that can't stand in the way of his no-hitter. No way," Burnett said.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.