John Means traded some barbs with teammates and shared a few laughs on the verge of a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners May 5.
Most teammates would avoid the pitcher out of superstition when he was three outs away from history, but Means was happy to enjoy the moment in the dugout.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it,” Means said, “I just talked to as many people as I could. I just laughed and joked. I tried to stay as loose as I possibly can.”
Means struck out 12 batters and did not allow a walk over 113 pitches en route to the sixth no-hitter in Orioles history in a 6-0 win against the Mariners May 5.
It was the first Orioles no-hitter since a combined effort by Bob Milacki, Mike Flanagan, Mark Williamson and Gregg Olson on July 13, 1991, at Oakland.
Means had the first individual, complete-game no-hitter by an Orioles pitcher since Jim Palmer on Aug. 13, 1969, against the A’s.
“I can’t do it. It’s such a crazy feeling,” Means said, trying to find the words regarding what the no-hitter meant to him. “But to be in the same breath as Palmer, I don’t think it gets much better than that.”
Means set career highs in innings pitched, pitches thrown (113) and tied a career-high with 12 strikeouts. He came close to losing the no-hitter a couple of times, but center fielder Cedric Mullins had a sliding catch on a liner by J.P. Crawford in the sixth inning and a deep catch by Hays in the eighth off the bat of Kyle Lewis.
When shortstop Ramon Urias caught the final out on a drive by Crawford, the Orioles’ bullpen and bench erupted in celebration with the exception of catcher Pedro Severino.
“When we got the last out, it never crossed my mind it was the third out because I was thinking about what to throw the next guy who was on deck,” Severino said.
Trey Mancini sparked the offense with three hits, including a three-run homer.
The Orioles won four of six games on the West Coast coast swing and are 15-16 on the season.
But no game was bigger than the finale in Seattle.
“It was like we clinched a playoff spot,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It was just so cool how everybody loved him, and an incredible afternoon.”
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