Homer Bailey, the 27-year-old right handed pitcher from La Grange recently signed a one-year, $5.35 million contract to pitch the second of his three arbitration-eligible seasons for the Reds. John Fay’s fabulous article on Homer today reminds us of Homer’s dominant September and October in 2012.

Nominally, Homer Bailey was the Reds’ fourth starter last year. But down the stretch and into the playoffs, Bailey did a mean imitation of an ace. Over eight starts, he went 442/3 innings and allowed 10 runs (2.01 ERA) on 28 hits. He struck out 58 and walked 10. He pitched a no-hitter along the way.

The no-hitter! Of course, that glorious, 115-pitch performance against the Pirates on a football-weather Friday night last September. The Reds won that game 1-0.

But Homer’s definitive start of 2012 came in Game Three of the NLDS against the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants. Over seven heart-pounding and raucous innings, Homer struck out ten (including six Giants in a row) and walked one. He gave up a solitary, harmless two-out single in the sixth inning to Marco Scutaro.

If he’d received an iota of support from the offense, Homer Bailey would be rightly remembered for having put the Reds squarely on his newly durable shoulders and pitching them into the NLCS.