It’s no-hitter season in Major League Baseball, so Reds left-hander Wade Miley picked one out for himself Friday night.
Miley tossed MLB’s fourth no-hitter of 2021, the second in the league this week and the second one against Cleveland in about nearly four weeks, a 3-0 victory at Progressive Field.
Pitching for the seventh team of his career, Miley relies on an arsenal of cut fastballs and changeups, with stuff coming at hitters typically at 82-86 mph. Seldom has he blown away anybody, but Miley has been good enough to get people out over 11 seasons.
Miley’s stuff was good enough to no-hit Cleveland, which also fell in a no-no to White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodón on April 14. Cleveland’s final batter, Jordan Luplow, grounded to short for a 6-3 putout and the last out. Luplow also made the last out similarly against Rodón. No team has ever been no-hit three times in a season.
San Diego’s Joe Musgrove threw the first no-hitter of 2021 on April 9, and the other recent no-hitter came via Orioles left-hander John Means on Wednesday. Means just missed a perfect game by allowing a base runner on a strikeout/wild pitch. Miley allowed a walk and Nick Senzel made two errors, so a perfecto wasn’t too close.
It’s only early May. MLB’s modern record for no-hitters in a season is seven, done three times, most recently in 2012. The all-time record is eight, going back to 1884.
After the final out against Cleveland, Reds players ran on the field to mob Miley, 34, who made an All-Star team with Arizona in his second season in 2012 but has bounced around since.
During his postgame interview with Bally Sports Cincinnati, Miley emotionally recalled his Class AA minor-league days in Mobile, Ala. and conversations he had with his manager, Alan Zinter, about what it would take to stick in the majors.
“Whoever thought I’d throw a no-hitter in the big leagues?” Miley said. “But I was able to accomplish it.”
Reds broadcaster Jim Day made a point to say how much his teammates like and appreciate Miley. Players continued during the interview to lovingly hassle Miley, who deftly avoided the worst when they dumped a cooler filled with ice on him. But they got him good with a bucket of bubble gum, still in the wrappers, some of which stuck to him during the interview.
Miley got nine swings-and-misses from Cleveland batters and his pitches reached at least 90 mph just seven times on 114 total pitches. In addition to throwing a no-hitter with a lot of contact, Miley also had to dodge the fact that the Reds didn’t score until putting up a three-spot in the top of the ninth. Cleveland starter Zach Plesac pitched nearly as well, but the Reds got to reliever Emmanuel Clase, who made a couple of big mistakes on defense to help give Miley breathing room.
“First of all, win a ballgame,” when asked what was going through his mind in the late innings.
If the game had been scoreless through nine, the rules would have changed for extra innings, with a runner starting the inning at second base. Miley probably would have been out of the game by that point.
“I was running out of gas,” he said.
Miley had just enough fuel to get himself and the Reds where they wanted to go.