Orioles Pitching Review: John Means’ Opening Day
By Joe Chambers
John Means’ Opening Day start for the Orioles was one to remember
John Means was absolutely dealing this past Friday against the Boston Red Sox. Watching him keep his composure throughout the game was incredible, as the Baltimore Orioles ended up defeating the Red Sox 3-0 thanks in part to a Ryan Mountcastle double off the Green Monster late in the game. Means ended up getting the win, Tanner Scott got a hold, and Cesar Valdez grabbed the save. Means was locked in and locating the pitches that Pedro Severino called for. What a tremendous game for Means.
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While taking stats during the game, I noticed that Means had fewer pitches than Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi at the end of each inning. Means was having quick at-bats and was getting Red Sox players out on a consistent basis. If you take away the first batter in the game, Means was on pace to throw a no-hitter. Means only lasted 7 innings, but near the end of the 6th, there were a few flyouts that almost went the distance. Means was in a groove throughout, retiring 20 straight batters to end his outing on Friday. He wasn’t throwing a lot of heat, but I noticed how effective his curveball was. He was nailing that pitch throughout the game.
Means had some significant help from his defense as well, namely, Rio Ruiz. Ruiz made some spectacular plays on Friday that scratched some potential hits for the Red Sox. A number of fans and analysts around the Orioles did not think Ruiz was going to start at second base, but he stepped up in a big way for the O’s. With Means allowing just one hit during his appearance, Means has to feel confident to begin the season. Yes, it is early, but confidence early on in the season is great, as it can feed into the morale of the entire roster. Anytime you can build on confidence, it’s great for the coaches as well for motivational reasons.