It has not taken long for John Means to get back to being the pitcher the Baltimore Orioles are used to.
Means had returned to the Orioles on September 12 after working his way back from Tommy John surgery. The Orioles had been cautious with his workload, using a six man rotation and slowly building his pitch count. However, that changed when the Orioles decided to move back to a five man rotation. Jack Flaherty was moved to the bullpen with Means taking the ball every fifth day.
John Means proves Baltimore Orioles right on Saturday
Means had his first outing on five days rest on Saturday. He answered the bell better than anyone could have imagined, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Although Andres Gimenez broke up his chance at a second career no-hitter in the seventh with a solo homer, that was all Means would allow. He gave up just that one run on one hit, walking one and hitting a batter while striking out four over 7.1 innings.
This continues a solid run for Means since he returned. He had allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks in ten innings over his first two outings back. Although he has been susceptible to the long ball, Means has been solid. It is just a matter of continuing to build himself back up.
Means’ progress will have significant implications for the postseason as well. Kyle Bradish has emerged as a top of the rotation arm and could be a difference maker if the Orioles face the Astros. Grayson Rodriguez has been better since being recalled from the minors but is hardly a given. The rest of the rotation is a question mark. Means could be the reason why the Orioles advance or head home.
John Means is returning to form for the Baltimore Orioles. His excellent start on Saturday came when they needed it most.