Homer Bailey throws a no-hitter against the Giants

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TOP OF THE NINTH: Bailey made a nice play on a high-bouncing comebacker from the Giants’ No. 8 hitter, Brandon Crawford, to get the first out in the ninth and struck out pinch-hitter Tony Abreu with a 97 mph fastball for the second out. Gregor Blanco, who drew the walk in the seventh inning to break up the perfect game, then slapped an easy grounder to Reds third baseman Todd Frazier to complete Bailey’s no-no.

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TOP OF THE EIGHTH: Bailey got Hunter Pence to pop up on the infield and Brandon Belt to fly out to right, then Andres Torres lined out to center. The Reds are still up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Bailey, who threw a 115-pitch no-hitter last year against the Pirates, is at 96 pitches with three outs to go.

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History may be in the works tonight in Cincinnati.

Reds right-hander Homer Bailey has thrown a no-hitter through seven innings against the defending World Series-champion Giants. Bailey brought a perfect game into the top of the seventh but issued a leadoff walk to Gregor Blanco, who then advanced to second base on a Marco Scutaro groundout. Buster Posey nearly broke up the no-no one batter later when he blooped a ball between second and first base but the Reds’ Joey Votto made a heads-up play and threw to third, catching Blanco off guard on a fielder’s choice. We’ll be tracking this the rest of the way. Cincy is leading San Francisco by a score of 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.