Results tagged ‘ John Means ’

Baltimore Orioles: John Means strong in loss to Toronto

John Means, who presumably will be the Baltimore Orioles’ Opening Day starter next year, had a solid outing in his final game of 2020. Only problem was the O’s couldn’t support him enough to get him the win. Means’ line: 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K.

The teams played to a scoreless tie through five innings. Means was mowing Toronto hitters down. This until the sixth inning when Biggio smacked a solo homer. That was the lone run that Means surrendered. They say solo homer runs don’t hurt you. In general they don’t; but yet that solo homer earned John Means the loss.

This game was almost a tale of two games. The first half or so of the game was a pitcher’s duel. However runs came fast and furious in the second part of the game. Mostly from Toronto.

Oriole-killer Grichuk had the night off. In theory at least. But he pinch hit in the last of the seventh with two runners on, and promptly hit a three-run homer. That was Grichuk’s twelfth homer on the year. And his seventh against the O’s.

It’s amazing how some guys are just zero’d in on a team. There’s really no explanation for how Grichuk could be so hot against the Orioles. It seems that no matter what they do, he’s a step ahead.

Jose Iglesias‘ RBI-double in the eight got they Birds on the board. Iglesias would later score on an RBI-single by Ryan Mountcastle. However Toronto would also add on a run in the eight, taking the game, 5-2.

The series and the season conclude this afternoon in Buffalo. Keegan Akin gets the call for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Toronto’s Tanner Roark. Game time is set for just after 3 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: John Means business in final home game

The Baltimore Orioles were finally able to keep Tampa at bay this afternoon, this behind starter John Means. In the closing home game of the very strange 2020 season, Means stepped up and put one in the books for the O’s. Means’ line: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 12 K.

Twelve strikeouts is a nice round number for the final game at Camden Yards. At least that’s what strikes me about the stat line. He was sending Tampa hitters down throughout his outing.

The Orioles again got on the board early this afternoon on Renato Nunez‘s two-RBI single. However predictably Tampa would even the score. The lone run Means surrendered was a solo homer by Adames in the fourth.

However the O’s stopped the Tampa rally in it’s shoes, shutting them down for the rest of the game. Again however, the story of the day was John Means, who spoke after the game on his twelve strikeouts (all quotes courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

I didn’t know it was that many. I knew that I was getting some swings and misses. I just had the fastball going today. Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. I had my good fastball that was riding pretty well. I didn’t know it was that many, but I had an idea.

Means also briefly mentioned this being the last home game, and having no fans:

It just doesn’t feel the same, it doesn’t feel like the last game here. I feel like we’re just going to keep playing and playing and it doesn’t have that feeling. The only feeling is the weather, I guess. It’s a little chillier. It just sucks. The whole year, it is what it is, but it doesn’t feel like a true Major League Baseball season when you don’t have fans cheering you on. We’re playing meaningful baseball here and it’s tough to not get that support, but I know it will come.

Regardless of anything else. Means pitched a great game today, allowing the Birds to salvage a win in this series. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Means starting the next game played at Camden Yards either.

Baltimore Orioles swept in the Bronx

The Baltimore Orioles got a quality start this afternoon at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx our of starter John Means. He was stingy, surrendering just one solo homer. The issue of course was that Oriole bags couldn’t get going, causing the Birds to suffer a sweep at Yankee Stadium this weekend. Means’ line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K.

The O’s got on the board in the second inning on a solo homer by Renato Nunez. However Means’ aforementioned surrendered solo homer came in the last of the third. Wade smacked a Means pitch out of the park, tying the game at one.

But New York couldn’t muster much more against Means. This start combined with his previous start bodes well for the future of this franchise. Everything came together for Means this afternoon, in an effort for which he was non-decisioned.

The O’s got the first two outs in the last of the eighth, and then New York put two runners on base. Torres then proceeded to smack a two-RBI double, which in effect won the game for New York. And in fact your final from Yankee Stadium, New York defeats the O’s 3-1.

The Orioles may have seen their playoff chances end with this sweep in the Bronx. And if that’s true, that’s okay. Keep in mind that this team wasn’t supposed to win twenty games. So they’ve turned some heads. But there’s still some season left to go; anything can happen.

The Orioles now return home to open a series with the Atlanta Braves tomorrow night. Jorge Lopez gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Atlanta’s Touki Toussaint. Game time is set for just after 7:30 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Big wheels keep on turning in Queens

The Baltimore Orioles got the best start of the season out of John Means this evening against the NY Mets in Queens. In fact, Means resembled his first half, 2019 self. Means’ line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K.

Means qualified for a quality start, and in fact Oriole bats also posted up. That’s the other aspect of the game. You can pitch great but if your offense doesn’t score you runs you’ll end up a hard-luck loser. The Birds put it all together tonight at once.

DJ Stewart remained hot, smacking a two-run homer in the second inning. Keep in mind that between Saturday and Sunday Stewart homered in three straight at-bats. So he’s really starting to get with it at the big league level.

New York would get their lone run in the last of the second on a solo shot by Marisnick. Other than that, Means shut New York down. And the O’s just kept chugging along.

Ryan Mountcastle also stayed hot. He smacked a two-run homer of his own in the fourth. That was followed up later in the inning by an RBI-triple from Cedric Mullins. Again, that’s great to see. Both Stewart and Mullins have struggled at various times in the bigs. The fact that things seem to be clicking for them is welcome for this team.

Pat Valaika and Rio Ruiz would also homer later in the game. When the smoke cleared the Birds had themselves an 11-2 victory. But following a big weekend against the New York Yankees, the Birds turned in perhaps one of their most complete performances of the season. And that in and of itself is an excellent sign.

The series concludes tomorrow night at Citi Field. Jorge Lopez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Rick Porcello. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles blow chance at big inning in loss

Baltimore Orioles’ starter John Means made into the sixth inning this afternoon against the New York Mets. Unfortunately he struggled with his control at the end, prompting his exit. And it was only downhill from there. Means’ line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

Means unfortunately fell behind right away, as he surrendered a two-run homer to Conforto in the top of the first inning. But the O’s fought back – or tried to at least. At first. Ryan Mountcastle‘s RBI-single in the last of the second cut the lead in half.

That second inning was a key moment in the at game. The O’s would eventually tie the game at two when Cedric Mullins was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Obviously at that moment the bags remained juiced. But the O’s allowed New York off the hook, only tying the game.

The Orioles need to start taking advantage more when their opponents mess up. We saw Toronto hold the O’s accountable for pretty much 100% of their mistakes last weekend. The O’s need to start doing that also, because other teams are going to do it to them. Bases loaded would have been an opportune moment.

And it was Conforto again who put New York ahead in the fifth with an RBI-double. And the game snowballed from there. New York would put runs up here and there, before netting a four-run eighth inning. That put the game out of reach.

Jose Iglesias would add an RBI-single in the last of the ninth. An additional run would score on a throwing error, running the final to 9-4 in favor of New York. The teams split the short two-game set at Camden Yards.

Several of those runs in the eighth inning were scored on pass balls. And again, opponents are holding the O’s accountable for mistakes like that. It’s a reminder that when people get on base anything can happen. And often times it will.

But that second inning should stick out for fans. The O’s could have opened up a big lead. They could have had a big inning. And they let their opponent off the hook. That has to change.

The Orioles are off tomorrow, which is a good thing. They had to remove Renato Nunez after he struggled running out a ball up the first base line in the fifth inning. His status moving forward is unclear.

Baltimore Orioles tab John Means as Opening Day starter

Baltimore Orioles’ manager Brandon Hyde announced yesterday that John Means would be the Birds’ Opening Day starter on July 24th in Boston. While there were other candidates, a Means getting the assignment was all but a foregone conclusion. He was the team’s lone all-star representative last year.

Means was 12-11 last season, with a 3.60 ERA. However he also had a Wins Above Replacement number of 5.0. He was a huge surprise for the Orioles last year, and has the potential to anchor Oriole rotations as the ace in years to come.

The Orioles have also put three exhibition games on the schedule, as is allowed under the re-start procedures. On Sunday, July 19th they’ll travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies, followed by a home-and-home with the Washington Nationals. Monday the 20th at Camden Yards, and Tuesday the 21st at Nationals Park. All games will begin at 6 PM, and my understanding is that none of them will be covered by MASN or the Orioles’ radio network.

Baltimore Orioles: Today would have been Opening Day

Today should have been Opening Day for the Baltimore Orioles. John Means should be on the bump this afternoon for the Birds against New York. The Inner Harbor should be buzzing, crowds should be gathering at Pickles & Sliders across the street, and people should be raring to get into Oriole Park at Camden Yards for batting practice.

But as we all know, none of that is happening today. First and foremost, I feel badly for the players and fans. Today should be a holiday with a carnival atmosphere. Instead it’s the reality with which we’ve all been living the past couple of weeks. It’s just – nothing. (Now in all honesty, just sitting here penning this column does give me a certain twinge of normalcy.)

However I feel very badly for the businesses around the ballpark who rely on the Orioles to be vibrant. Pickles and Sliders across the street are just the two most prominent examples. However there are countless street vendors, store owners, restaurant owners, hoteliers, etc., who rely on a boon from people attending Orioles games everyday. Heck, Opening Day on it’s own is a huge amount of revenue. It will be back; this much we know. But in the immediate interim that doesn’t help the business owners, all of whom are hurting.

However MLB’s indicated that perhaps there’s some light at the end of the tunnel in this. Please note the word perhaps. If the Coronavirus is still ravaging our shores, baseball obviously won’t be played. There have been a lot of scenarios discussed, including a “doomsday scenario” which has no games being played. Meaning that the season would be canceled.

However the one scenario that seems to be gaining steam (according to multiple reports yesterday) is starting the season in early June. The regular season would then go into October, and the post-season in November. That would probably include neutral site post-season games in warm weather cities or domes.

What’s unclear is whether or not 162 games would be played. The Player’s Association has indicated that they’d be willing to accept scenario’s where it’s members played up to two doubleheaders a week to beef up the number of games. That isn’t to say that it would still get teams to 162 games, however.

What’s also unclear is if they’re just going to keep the schedule as it is and move the dates back. However my own personal twist on this would be for the league to suspend interleague play for this season, which would trim several games off the schedule. Games which theoretically would have been unnecessary anyways – because when was the last time interleague play figured into who made the playoffs and who did not?

Either way, I think they’ll need to reshuffle the schedule. I think that’s a given. Especially if doubleheaders are going to be scheduled. And on that note I would submit that they should agree that perhaps Saturdays and one other floating day be deemed the doubleheader days. Perhaps make it so that Fridays and Sundays are never doubleheader days to avoid guys doing it on back-to-back days, however ultimately the more games that can be played the better.

All of that remains in limbo, however. If the Coronavirus remains in play as a factor in our society, baseball won’t start in June. On the flip side however, we might see it before then. Teams will have to resume spring training in some capacity. It’s unclear if that will include exhibition games or just workouts, but it’s possible May could bring us a truncated slate of exhibition games. Time will tell.

In the mean time there’s something that Orioles fans can do today to remind themselves of what should be taking place. First pitch was scheduled for just after 3 PM this afternoon. At that time, go on Facebook (assuming you have a Facebook feed) and check into Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Just as a reminder that today was to be Opening Day. And in hopes that it isn’t too far down the road.

Baltimore Orioles: John Means business for three innings

John Means pitched the deepest into a game as any starter test this spring for the Baltimore Orioles. Which that.’s only three innings, it signifies that pitchers are starting to be stretched out. In other words, the spring is progressing. Means’ line: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K.

Means termed his outing “okay” after coming out of the game. He said that he felt he fell behind a lot, but his changeup saved him (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

Not too bad. It was all right. My fastball command wasn’t there that well. My changeup was kind of my get out of jail free card. It was one of those outings where I fell behind a lot, but the changeup was an eqaulizer. Just need to make sure everything was sharp and everything kind of got better as the game went on. Felt the curveball was better shaped later on, felt like the changeup was there and the heater got better, especially on inside pitches.

Dilson Herrera‘s RBI-single in the second inning put the Orioles in the lead at 1-0. Two innings later in the fourth Rio Ruiz doubled the lead. His solo homer gave the Birds a 2-0 lead.

Stevie Wilkerson‘s RBI-single later in the inning ran the score to 3-0. Philadelphia would get on the board in the sixth with a solo homer by Harrison. Philadelphia would challenge a few times, including loading the bases and allowing a run by a walk in the ninth. But the Orioles’ bullpen got them out of it, securing a 3-2 victory.

The O’s have now won five straight games, and stand at 6-4 on the spring. Now mind you, those five games all came with different lineups, and were in controlled environments. This meaning that both teams scheduled when players would go in and out of the game. But a five-game winning steak is a five game winning streak. It’s good for young players to experience this.

The Orioles return to Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota tomorrow afternoon to take on the Tampa Rays. Asher Wojchiekowski gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Tampa’s Charlie Morton. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ John Means finishes second for AL Rookie of the Year

John Means of the Baltimore Orioles finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting. Means had an impressive resume of course, but it wasn’t enough to get him past Houston’s Yordan Alvarez. The Orioles’ Rodrigo Lopez was also the runner up in 2002. The last Oriole to win the award was Greg Olson in 1989.

However just being one of the top three finishers is a feat for Means. And for the Orioles. The fact that an Oriole finished that high should tell us something about the direction of the rebuild. When you combine that with the fact that the Orioles’ minor league system went from being ranked in the 20’s to being top ten in one year, needless to say it bodes well for the future.

I’m sure that both Means and the organization would have loved to have gotten the award. Means certainly had the pedigree in terms of his numbers to win it. But again, even being in the running was pretty special. And combining that with his ASG selection says that the Orioles have a budding star on their hands.

Baltimore Orioles: Should the Birds go after a free agent pitcher?

There are lots of pitchers who will be on the open market in 2019, in theory all pitchers that could be available for the Baltimore Orioles. The question is whether or not the Birds would be in a position to sign a free agent pitcher. Would it make sense?

Tough to say. This isn’t so much about who they might look to sign or who might be available and in play. It’s more about whether or not they should delve into signing one.

First off we need to look at who the Orioles already have that might be penciled into the rotation. I would say that Dylan Bundy, John Means, and Alex Cobb are in line to be starters going into spring training. That’s right, Alex Cobb…remember him? He’s still under contract with the Orioles until 2022. Unless he retires or is traded, expect him to be in the starting rotation. (Although keep in mind that he’s also coming off of season-ending surgery in 2019.)

I think there’s also a legitimate chance that Asher Wojciechowski will get a shot to compete for a starting job also. If his second half from this year continues into spring training, he’ll be in line as a starter. But is there anyone else on the roster who jumps out as a potential starter?

To me, the closest other person on the roster now might be David Hess. He’s started before, obviously. But it’ll take a great spring for him to earn his way onto the roster. So with all of this in mind, there could very well be space for the Orioles to get themselves a free agent pitcher going into the season…

…but who? That’s another discussion for another day.

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