Baltimore Orioles: Where does John Means’ performance rank?

John Means of the Baltimore Orioles throwing a no-hitter is nothing new. That is if you were born yesterday at least. Means threw the first no-hitter for the franchise since four pitchers shared a no-no in Oakland in 1991. And he became the first singular pitcher in Orioles’ history to throw a no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969.

It’s tough to compare no-hitters and say this one is better than that one. But consider this; Means is the only pitcher in history to toss a no-hitter and not surrender a walk, hit batsman, or have a batter reach base on an error. If not for the dropped third strike rule, we’d be talking about a perfect game this morning.

Again, I can’t tell you that Means’ no-hitter is more special than Palmer’s in terms of franchise history. However both in essence serve as 1 and 1A in terms of the best pitching performances in team history. Which one is which can be left up for debate.

Incidentally, the dropped third strike rule is an interesting one. In general I kind of understand the logic behind it. But the fact is that it cost Means a perfect game. But I’m not in favor of changing a rule just to be able to classify something as a perfect game. One thing however is for sure, and that’s the fact that Means faced only 27 hitters – the minimum. That he has in common with anyone who pitches a perfect game.

One way or the other, what we saw yesterday is something of which we haven’t seen much. It’s a special moment for Means, his teammates, and the Orioles fans. And it’s one that was a long time coming.

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