The much-hyped Homer Bailey struggled during his rookie and sophomore seasons, but he came on in 2009 with an 8-5 record and 4.53 ERA. The La Grange, Texas, native finished the season with a 6-1, 1.70 ERA streak.
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Bailey lived up to the hoopla early on with a 4-3 win against the Cleveland Indians in his first start. But the 21-year-old pitcher finished the season with an unimpressive 5.76 ERA, not what the Reds had in mind when they made him the seventh overall pick of the 2004 June amateur draft.
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In his first start of the 2008 season, Bailey struggled to fend off the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in a 5-2 loss.
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Bailey didn't fair much better in his start against the St. Louis Cardinals less than a week later. The pitcher, who adopted the nickname `Homer' from his great-grandfather, got himself into trouble early on, allowing five hits and four runs in the top of the third. The game marked Bailey's second start after returning from Triple-A Louisville.
5 of 6Bob Rosato/SI
The remainder of Bailey's 2008 season was equally disappointing for the young pitcher. While many Reds fans wanted Bailey traded, the Reds stuck with him. In 2009 Bailey finally seemed to get the hang of pitching in the majors. He even earned Player of the Week honors at one point.
6 of 6Bob Rosato/SI
Bailey had his best season in 2009, including a 5-0 run with a 0.81 ERA. He also saw his eighth win of the season in a shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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