John Means has cemented himself in Baltimore Orioles history, completing a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday
May 5th, 2021 will forever be remembered in Baltimore Orioles history as a landmark day for the franchise and its best starting pitcher in a long time, John Means. On Wednesday, Means completed the Oriole’s first no-hitter since 1991 and the first complete game no-hitter since Jim Palmer did it in 1969.
Against the opposing Seattle Mariners’ offense, Means struck out 12 batters, allowing no walks. According to a tweet from Joe Trezza of MLB.com, the performance was the first imperfect no-hitter in which the opposing team did not record a walk, a hit-by-pitch, or reach base due to an error. The only Mariners hitter to reach base in the game was Sam Haggerty, who reached first on a dropped third strike before being caught stealing soon after.
In his postgame interview with the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, Means told Scott Garceau and Ben McDonald he felt his father, who died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 57, with him on the mound in today’s game. According to a tweet from Roch Kubatko of MASN, Means looked to his glove, which has his father’s initials on it, before exiting the dugout to begin the 9th inning.
Means threw first-pitch strikes to 26 of the 27 batters he faced on Wednesday, mowing down hitters throughout his masterful performance. Baseball Savant’s box score of the game shows that Means allowed just one hard-hit ball, a pop out by Ty France in the 4th inning. His ability to challenge hitters and limit hard contact made sure that this game would be one for the ages.
The near-perfect outing lowered Means’ ERA on the season to 1.37, which ranks behind just Jacob deGrom and Danny Duffy for the best ERA in Major League Baseball. The start allowed Means to leapfrog Gerrit Cole, who holds a 1.43 ERA, on the leaderboard.