The three-game series that the Cincinnati Reds just swept from the Pittsburgh Pirates has shown some wicked good starting pitching.

Bronson Arroyo was one-hitting the Bucs through six innings on Monday, and received the win with a save (albeit scary) from Coco Cordero.

Last night Johnny Cueto pitched a complete, one-hit shutout as the Reds won big, 9-0. You have to go back to September 22, 1996 to see the last one-hit shutout pitched by a Reds starter.

John Smiley twirled a one-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals at Cinergy Field.

Today, in the finale of the series, Homer Bailey pitched his first complete game and boy was it a dandy. He was very effective, throwing only 90 pitches, an amazing 73 of them for strikes. He struck out six and issued no bases on balls, as the Reds won 5-0.

The Pirates were limited to one run and 10 hits during the series.

Joey Votto launched a two-run homer in the first, his eighth of the year. Drew Stubbs added a solo blast in the fourth, his third of the year, to end the scoring.

The last time Cincinnati starters pitched back to back, complete game shutouts was in 1989. Jose Rijo and Tom Browning pitched matching five-hit shutouts against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 9-10.

Bailey’s performance today was a record breaker of sorts. It was the most strikes thrown in a complete game shutout with 90 or fewer pitches in MLB history.

It was the 17th quality start (fifth consecutive) compared to 34 games played. It was also the ninth quality start in the last 11 starts.

The Reds have now won five straight and are just a game and a half back of the Cardinals in the NL Central Division. They begin a three game series in Cincinnati on Friday.

Jamie Garcia (3-2) will take the mound against Aaron Harang (2-4) Friday night.


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