Cincinnati Reds left-hander Wade Miley pitched a no-hitter against Cleveland at Progressive Field on Friday night (CIN 3, CLE 0). All that stood between Miley and a perfect game was an error by second baseman Nick Senzel and a walk in the sixth inning. On the night, Miley struck out eight against just the one walk. It was the 17th no-hitter in Reds franchise history. ''For something like this to happen, I don't have the words,'' Miley said afterward.
Of Miley's 114 pitches on the night, 72 went for strikes. He also recorded 15 ground-outs against only one fly-out.
Miley's is already the fourth no-hitter of the 2021 season. He joins Joe Musgrove of the San Diego Padres on April 9, Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox on April 15, and John Means of the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. That tally doesn't count Madison Bumgarner of the Arizona Diamondbacks who on April 25 no-hit the Braves in a seven-inning game that was part of a doubleheader. Because the game did not go the full nine innings, however, it was not an official no-hitter. Of note:
Wade Miley no-hitter!— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) May 8, 2021
With John Means throwing one on Wednesday, this is the first time that there were two MLB no-hitters pitched this close to each other since Dave Stewart and Fernando Valenzuela pitched one on the same night on June 29, 1990
As for Miley, he leaned heavily on the cutter that revived his career and dodged hard contact almost all night thanks to his mixing up of locations and speed and working quickly. He also had much success working inside against the abundance of right-handed bats in the Cleveland lineup. Of note is that Cleveland came in ranking just 13th in the American League with a team batting average of just .212.
This marks the first no-hitter by a Reds pitcher since Homer Bailey's against the San Francisco Giants on July 2, 2013. Cleveland was also no-hit by Rodón in April, and this makes the first team be no-hit multiple times in the same season since the Seattle Mariners in 2019. Cleveland also becomes the first team to be no-hit twice within the first 31 games of the season since the 1917 Chicago White Sox.
Across the way, Cleveland starter Zach Plesac was similarly excellent, as he shut out the Reds for eight innings. Cincinnati finally managed to break the 0-0 tie in the top of the ninth when Senzel scored on a throwing error by reliever Emmanuel Clase. Soon thereafter, Jesse Winker scored the second run of the game on a Clase balk. Mike Moustakas then notched an RBI single to stake Miley to a 3-0 lead. Miley made the lead -- and the no-hitter -- stand up with a perfect ninth. Here's a look at the final out:
At 34 years and 127 days of age, Miley becomes the oldest pitcher to twirl a no-hitter since Randy Johnson in 2004 at age 40 years and 251 days.
Considering that this, as noted, is already the fourth no-hitter of 2021, we're on pace to shatter the all-time record for no-nos in a season. That overall record is eight in 1884. If we limit it to the modern era of baseball, then the record is even, set in 1990 and tied in 1991 and 2012. Right now, we're on pace for 21 no-hitters in 2021. While that pace is not likely to be sustained, it's no accident that no-hitters have become more common. The current league-wide batting average of .233 is the lowest such mark of all-time. As well, strikeouts are at their highest levels ever, and rarely has the league batting average on balls in play been lower. All of that conspires to make no-hitters more common than ever. Consider that all-time single-season record to be very much in peril.
Bringing back to Miley, he helped tie a record with his legendary effort on Friday:
After tonight's no-hitter by Wade Miley, there have been 3 individual no-hitters by left-handed pitchers this season, tying the most in a season all-time.— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) May 8, 2021
Consider that record also to be in danger given that we're still in the first half of May.