Friday, May 7, 2021

Orioles Victory Card Number 15: It's perfect in my eyes

 Baltimore Orioles Victory #15: 6-0 over the Seattle Mariners

2021 Topps Heritage John Means

Are we shocked that John Means is the featured card for this victory? C'mon, the first Orioles no-hitter since 1991, and the first solo pitcher no-hitter for the O's since my dad was a young man? Means was absolutely filthy against the Mariners, pumping in strikes (79 strikes out of 113 pitches including 26 first-pitch strikes, working fast, and keeping the hitters off balance with his power change-up. 

It was an impressive no-hitter as Means struck out 12 hitters, and he was a wild pitch away from a perfect game. Of course, that meant a brief but intense online debate on if it should still be considered a perfect game since there was no error charged or walk issued. Personally, I really don't care. I'd rather it be a no-hitter with a historical quirk. In this case, it's the only non-perfect game no-hitter that didn't feature a walk, error, or hit by pitch. That's way cooler than a random perfect game of which their have been 23 of. 

I picked up the game around the fifth inning and in my forty-plus years walking this earth I have never seen a better game pitched at a professional level (in high school, my friend Mike pitched a perfect game that is still the epitome of domination in my book). Mike Mussina and his multiple 1-hitters have been pushed aside.

Means has established himself as the ace of this staff in picking up his fourth win of the season. Every time he takes the mound he gives the Orioles a chance to win no matter who they are playing. To me, that's the definition of an ace. Now, is he pitching his way out of the organization? Possibly. Hopefully not, at 28 he's still young enough to be part of the Orioles rebuild and it's always nice to have one name that the fans can rely on seeing on the roster every year.

Still, if a contending team like Los Angeles or Boston dangles a ton of prospects in exchange for the lefty, it will be hard for Mike Elias to break away from his rebuild mentality and turn the deal down. That, however, is a topic for another day. For now, lets just celebrate how great the outing was.

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