7 unexpected quirks from Miley's no-hitter

May 8th, 2021

A whole lot has to go right for a pitcher to record a no-hitter, but not everything was going right before and during Wade Miley’s no-hitter in Cincinnati’s 3-0 win over Cleveland on Friday.

There were more than a few quirks surrounding the game.

• First, the game itself was delayed one hour and 23 minutes by rain. Miley had to keep himself busy in the clubhouse. In this case, it meant pretty much annoying everybody else.

“Goofed off, about like always,” Miley said. “Played High Card a couple of times with the boys in there to get some adrenaline flowing, [win a] couple bucks. Yelled 'rain out' a bunch, telling everyone they banged it. Position players were getting pretty frustrated with me. It's kind of what I do. Just try to stay loose, not put too much pressure, not think too much.”

• Miley’s catcher, Tucker Barnhart, forgot to bring his scouting card with him to the field when the game got underway.

“It’s funny. I have a catcher card. I’m sure you’ve seen me pull it out of my back pocket during games. I forgot it in [the] locker before the game and never came back up to my locker to get it,” Barnhart said. “It’s got the scouting report on it and things like that. We didn’t have a pitcher-catcher meeting prior to the game.”

Barnhart wasn’t the only player who didn’t have all his information handy.

“[Center fielder] Tyler Naquin was saying that he played the wrong side of the outfield card the entire game,” Barnhart said. “A lot of weird, funny things happened.”

• The Reds have hard-throwing strikeout artists like Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle in their rotation. They had National League Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer last season, also. Miley, who isn’t a hard thrower or particularly known for racking up strikeouts, was the least likely guy to get a no-hitter with the club.

“Yeah, there is something beautiful to the way he pitches,” Barnhart said. “It kind of gets lost in this game today, the way it’s played. He pitches to contact, and there are far and few between. You can count the guys that pitch that way. I mean, the strikeout rate has never been higher. … He was able to get weak contact there tonight, all night.”

• Cleveland had only one ball leave its bats with an exit velocity of more than 100 mph, according to Statcast. It was from the bat of Franmil Reyes, who lined out to shortstop Kyle Farmer in the fifth inning.

“He kept us off balance,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “He put on a clinic. I mean, he cut the ball in on the righties, threw a changeup, threw a four-seamer in, he just went back and forth. I mean, that was pretty impressive.”

• Exactly two years ago -- May 7, 2019 -- the Reds were on the wrong side of a no-hitter to Mike Fiers and the A’s at Oakland. That game’s start was also delayed by about 90 minutes, because the lights malfunctioned. Manager David Bell had to be reminded of that dubious evening.

“You forget that, but I’ll never forget this,” Bell said. “I will never forget the look on Wade’s face. … It’s really special for everybody to be a part of, but I’m so glad he enjoyed every moment, and especially the part with his teammates, because I know he’ll never forget it. But I don’t think any of us will.”

• It was the shortest span between Major League no-hitters since June 29, 1990, when Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers) and Dave Stewart (A’s) each recorded one on the same night. On Wednesday, Orioles ace John Means threw a no-hitter in a 6-0 win at Seattle.

• And finally, Miley had a good luck charm on his non-pitching arm. His 4-year-old son, Jeb, insisted that his father wore an Incredible Hulk temporary tattoo on his right forearm.

“Well, now he’s got to get it, for real,” Reds right fielder Nick Castellanos said. “Obviously. That’s the easy answer. You had a fake one, you threw a no-no. Now you make it for real.”