MILWAUKEE –– In the 2020 offseason, the Cincinnati Reds didn’t technically need another starting pitcher. The Reds already had top-line talent, depth and rising potential starters in the Minor Leagues.
They still signed Wade Miley. Nineteen months later, where would the Reds be without him? On Friday at American Family Field, the Reds beat the Brewers, 2-0.
It was the Wade Miley show.
In the top of the seventh, Miley smoked a double down the right field line. Then when the Brewers made a throwing error relaying the ball to the infield, Miley sprinted to third to advance on the play.
Standing at third base, Miley took a big lead and was ready to race home if the ball got by the catcher. Miley scored on a double by Reds left fielder Jesse Winker, and the Reds took a 2-0 lead.
The best defensive play of the game also came from Miley. In the bottom of the fifth, the Brewers had two runners on and one out. With Brewers starter Eric Lauer expected to lay down a bunt, the Reds infielders met with Miley before the at-bat to discuss how they would cover the play.
Miley was in charge of the area on the left side of the mound. On a perfectly placed bunt by Lauer up the third base line, Miley dove, fielded the ball on one knee, spun around and made a fadeaway throw to first.
Instead of the Brewers having the bases loaded with one out, the Brewers had two runners on with two outs.
Miley got Brewers third baseman Luis Urías to fly out to end the inning. Milwaukee didn't take advantage of its best scoring chance to that point, and Miley was noticeably excited to get out of the inning.
But as is expected, Miley’s best work was done on the mound.
Miley entered the game with a 3.06 ERA, which is the lowest on the Reds active roster. He then pitched one of his best games of the season, pitching eight scoreless innings on Friday night.
The Brewers had their best scoring threat in the seventh inning, but two standout plays by the Reds defense kept Milwaukee from scoring. One day after misjudging a crucial fly ball in left field, Winker made a clutch throw from the outfield. He got out Brewers second baseman Jace Peterson, who was trying to stretch a single into a double.
Later in the inning, with a runner on second, Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer fielded a ball on the run near the edge of the infield dirt. He made the difficult throw to first for the out with a throw off his back foot.
The Reds defense came through again in the eighth inning. Third baseman Eugenio Suárez made a running stop on a hard-hit ground ball and turned a double play to end the inning.
Miley took the mound for the bottom of the ninth, seeking a complete game. After allowing a double to start the inning, Miley received a standing ovation from some Brewers fans.
Reds reliever Heath Hembree entered the game for Miley, and Hembree picked up his fourth save in the last week.