Wade Miley pitched baseball’s second no-hitter in three days — and fourth already this season — leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-0 win Friday night over the Cleveland Indians, who were no-hit for the second time in a month.
Miley (4-2) relied on breaking pitches and his experience of 11-plus major league seasons to baffle the Indians and throw Cincinnati’s first no-hitter since Homer Bailey did it in 2013.
“It feels surreal,” the 34-year-old said.
The left-hander shook off an 83-minute rain delay in Cleveland to start the game and followed Baltimore’s John Means, who no-hit Seattle on Wednesday, to continue an early run of pitching gems in 2021 — quickly becoming the Year of the No-No.
San Diego’s Joe Musgrove started the ’21 no-hitter club by throwing the first in Padres history on April 9. Five days later, Chicago White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon blanked the Indians, just missing a perfect game when he hit a batter in the ninth inning.
Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning no-hitter against Atlanta on April 25, but that one isn’t recognized as official because it didn’t go nine innings.
This is the earliest in a calendar year there have been four no-hitters since 1917, when the fourth was thrown on May 5 and the fifth on May 6, and only the second season overall in MLB history to have four no-hitters before the end of May, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. It’s no wonder: Hitters entered Friday batting a record-low .233 this season.
For their part, the Indians joined a dubious list by becoming the 16th team to be no-hit twice in the same season. It most recently happened to Seattle in 2019.
Miley walked one and struck out eight on 114 pitches.
“He put on a clinic,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
With Miley joining Rodon and Means in 2021’s southpaw no-hit club, the last season to feature three no-hitters from left-handed pitchers was 1990 (Randy Johnson, Fernando Valenzuela and Terry Mulholland), according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
While Miley was blanking the Indians, Zach Plesac did the same to the Reds for eight innings before Cincinnati pushed three runs across in the ninth, helped by closer Emmanuel Clase‘s throwing error and a balk.
In the ninth, Miley retired pinch hitter Rene Rivera on a lazy fly to right, struck out Cesar Hernandez and then retired Jordan Luplow on a grounder to third before he was mobbed by the Reds, who encircled him and danced across the grass.
Miley came in just 1-4 in eight career starts against the Indians, who were batting only .213 as a team. But Cleveland has been as hot as any team, riding a five-game winning streak and winning nine of 11 to take over first in the American League Central.
Working quickly on a cool, damp night, Miley made quick work of the Indians.
He coasted through five innings and didn’t allow a baserunner until the sixth, when Cleveland’s Amed Rosario reached on second baseman Nick Senzel‘s fielding error and then went to second on his throwing error.
Miley also allowed a walk in the inning, but he regrouped by getting Luplow on a liner to left.
Franmil Reyes came the closest to getting a hit for the Indians, but his hard smash in the fifth inning was right at shortstop Kyle Farmer, who knocked it down and had plenty of time to throw out the slow-footed slugger.
It was the Reds’ 17th no-hitter since 1892.
“For something like this to happen, I don’t have the words,” Miley said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.