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Cincinnati Reds: Wade Miley’s no-hitter aided by reshuffled infield defense

May 7, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley (22) and catcher Tucker Barnhart (16) and third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) celebrate. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
May 7, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Wade Miley (22) and catcher Tucker Barnhart (16) and third baseman Eugenio Suarez (7) celebrate. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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Wade Miley went the distance on Friday night and didn’t allow a single hit in the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians. While most the focus will be on Miley, and deservedly so, we’d be remiss to not give a tip of the cap to the revamped Reds infield.

Joey Votto was placed on the 10-day injured list and Shogo Akiyama returned to the lineup. With the former MVP out for the next several weeks as he recovers from a broken thumb on his left hand, David Bell had to reshuffle his infield defense. I think he had to like what he saw on Friday night.

Wade Miley’s no-hitter was aided by Nick Senzel and the Reds infield defense.

Wade Miley’s final out, a ground ball to shortstop Kyle Farmer, was a microcosm of the entire game. Miley recorded eight strikeouts on Friday night, but a good majority of the 27 outs were gathered up by a suffocating Cincinnati defense. Only three balls left the infield all night (two fly ball outs to Nick Castellanos and a line drive out to Shogo Akiyama).

Mike Moustakas got the call at first base with Votto out of the lineup. That opened up the hot corner and Eugenio Suarez, who hadn’t started at third base all season, lined up at his old position. Kyle Farmer took over at shortstop and Nick Senzel got the start at the keystone.

Senzel’s defensive prowess was on full display all night. While the former first-round pick was charged with an error in the sixth inning, that gaffe probably preserved Wade Miley’s no-hitter. A ground ball up the middle by Amed Rosario was knocked down by Senzel and an errant throw allowed the Indians shortstop to take second base.

Had Senzel made the play it would have been his best of the night. As it was, his ability just to get to the ball showed the University of Tennessee alum’s range. Senzel played third base throughout his career with the Volunteers and for the majority of his minor league career.

Credit goes to Wade Miley’s battery mate as well.

Wade Miley was hitting his spots and his defense backed him up, but let’s no forget the brilliant game called by Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart. The two-time Gold Glover has never caught a no-hitter, so the Indianapolis native can now add that accolade to his resumé.

What an unbelievable night for Wade Miley, Tucker Barnhart, and the entire Cincinnati Reds team. Were it not for his teammates’ rally in the top of the ninth inning, it’s very likely that we wouldn’t be talking about a no-hitter, but rather a brilliant performance.

Senzel should be the Reds leadoff hitter. Next

However, an infield single from Nick Senzel, a base knock from Jesse Winker, and a fielding error by the Indians allowed for the Reds to dent the scoreboard. A balk and an RBI single from Mike Moustakas gave Miley a three-run cushion heading into the bottom of the ninth. Congratulations to Wade Miley; the first no-hitter by a Reds pitcher since Homer Bailey in 2013.

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