Under overcast and hazy skies, history was made again this afternoon at T-Mobile Park as the Seattle Mariners wrapped up their recent home stand playing the Baltimore Orioles. Unfortunately, the Mariners were once again on the wrong end of history succumbing to a 6-0 loss and a no hitter thrown by Orioles starting pitcher John Means.
The 28-year old southpaw (left-handed pitcher) came into this afternoon’s game with a 1.70ERA with 38 strikeouts in 37 innings, and giving up only 21 hits combined in his last seven starts. More than enough warnings to indicate for the Mariners it was going to be a tough afternoon ahead. Means dominated the game from first pitch, striking out 12 batters, throwing 79 strikes out of his total 113 pitches, and throwing first-pitch-strikes to 26 of the 27 Mariners hitters he faced. He also was one pitch away from throwing a perfect game had it not been for Mariners left fielder Sam Haggerty who struck out for swinging on a curveball in the dirt with a 1-2 count that got away from Orioles catcher Pedro Severino in the third inning. Had Severino caught it, Means would have thrown the third perfect game at T-Mobile Park since Mariners Ace Felix Hernandez Perfect Game back on August 15th 2012 and the possibly the 24th perfect game thrown in MLB history.
In the end, Means threw the 10th No Hitter in Orioles Franchise History, the sixth in Baltimore after four No Hitters were thrown when the team then was originally the St. Louis Browns. The last Oriole pitcher to throw an individual No-Hitter was the legendary icon Jim Palmer who pitched a No Hitter against the Oakland Athletics back on August 13th 1969. Mean’s No-Hitter was the third no-hitter thrown this season. Ironically, the last No-Hitter by the Mariners at T-Mobile Park was by Hisashi Iwakuma back on August 12 2015 against the Orioles.
While the Orioles could revel on the diamond in the moment of Means’s accomplishment, the No-Hitter exposes the offensive struggles that have been plaguing the Mariners in recent games posing worrisome concerns. While the M’s still remain above .500 in second place of the American League West Division thanks in part to their bullpen having the third best ERA in MLB, the offense hasn’t provided them much run support in return. Analysts are worried that it’s only matter of time that with the little to no run support generated by the offense the bullpen can no longer hold off opposing lineups making it more difficult to win ballgames then what it is now.
The Orioles get an off day tomorrow to travel home to Baltimore to open a small 4 game series home stand against Eastern Division Rivals Boston Red Sox, who are in first place. The M’s will have on off day tomorrow and travel to Arlington, Texas to open up a 5-game west coast road trip which they will play the Texas Rangers for 3 games starting on Friday May 7 before facing again the World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers for two games in Dodger Stadium.