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Elephant Rumblings: John Means throws no-hitter for Orioles

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Baltimore Orioles v Seattle Mariners Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

Twice in the last two weeks, the Oakland A’s were beaten by Baltimore Orioles starter John Means, and both times the lefty dominated. Turns out that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Means threw a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, the first individual no-no by an Orioles pitcher since Jim Palmer in 1969. Baltimore did have a combined no-hitter since then, in 1991 against the A’s, which was also the last time Oakland was on the wrong side of one. The Orioles’ drought of individual no-nos was the longest in the majors.

This is already the third of fourth no-hitter in the majors this year, depending who you ask. Joe Musgrove (Padres) and Carlos Rodon (White Sox) each tossed one, and Madison Bumgarner (D’Backs) went the distance in a seven-inning doubleheader game but it doesn’t officially count under the current record-keeping rules. The Padres had the longest drought until Musgrove’s, and now the Pirates lead at 45 years.

What’s more, Means nearly threw a perfect game. His only baserunner came in the 3rd inning when catcher Pedro Severino dropped a third strike, allowing the batter to reach on a strikeout. The runner, Sam Haggerty, was quickly thrown out stealing, so Means faced the minimum 27 batters.

Since the dropped third strike doesn’t technically count as an error, Means is the first pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter with no walks, HBPs, or errors, but not have it be a perfect game.

The final box score for Means featured 12 strikeouts, and 113 pitches. He threw a first-pitch strike to 26 of his 27 batters, only the second time that’s happened in the 21st century. In seven starts this season, his stat line is incredible.

  • Means, 2021: 1.37 ERA, 46 ip, 50 Ks, 10 BB, 5 HR, 21 hits, 2.99 FIP, .266 xwOBA

John Means Business, and A’s fans have already seen it, twice. The 28-year-old is announcing himself as one of the new aces of the American League, and yesterday he put an exclamation point on it. All the more impressive that three of the five dingers off him so far this year are by Ramon Laureano, Sean Murphy, and Mitch Moreland!

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