PITTSBURGH — Homer Bailey celebrated the most unforgettable night of his career in a hotel bar with teammates, who made sure the first Reds pitcher in 24 years to pitch a no-hitter didn't have to pick up the tab.
There, over bourbon on the rocks, Bailey tried not to let his 1-0 masterpiece over the Pirates on Friday go to his head.
Asked Saturday if he'd come back to earth after such a lofty high, the 26-year-old right-hander couldn't stifle a grin.
"Hangovers usually do that, yeah," Bailey said with a laugh.
Mild headache aside, Bailey went through his usual post-start routine Saturday.
At one point he hopped onto a computer to watch video of his 115-pitch gem, the kind of performance the Reds envisioned when they took Bailey with the seventh pick of the 2004 draft. It was one that often seemed out of reach in his first five seasons.
Bailey said there were times when he would try to ignore pain in his right shoulder and pitch anyway, and he began the year with a career record of 25-23. He bulked up over the winter while focusing on becoming less of a thrower and more of a pitcher.
The results were promising, even before he handcuffed the Pirates. He has reached 200 innings for the first time and is 13-10 with a 3.75 ERA.
"There's such a big difference this year as opposed to the last two years on how many starts I took where I shouldn't have been out there, I was hurting a lot," Bailey said. "When you go out there, you can deal with things not feeling right, because that's just part of it. But when things are hurt, that's a different game."
PHILLIES: 1B Ryan Howard will miss the rest of the season with a broken big right toe.
TIGERS: RHP Max Scherzer, who missed a turn because of a nagging shoulder issue, played catch without pain and could start Wednesday.
YANKEES: 2B Robinson Cano started a day after getting hit in his left hand by a pitch.