On Wednesday, John Means threw another imperfect perfect game. The Baltimore Orioles pitcher did not allow a hit or a walk, setting down all 27 batters he faced. However, Sam Haggerty reached on a wild pitch third strike, nullifying the perfect game. Means was still able to face just 27 batters as Haggerty was thrown out attempting to steal second.
With his brilliant outing, Means became the third pitcher to officially fire a no hitter this season. Carlos Rodon and Joe Musgrove fired their own gems earlier this year, and Madison Bumgarner had a no hitter that is deemed as unofficial because it occurred during one of the seven inning doubleheader contests.
Baltimore Orioles ace John Means joins the Year of the No Hitter
There have now been 321 no hitters in major league history. The most no hitters in a single season occurred back in 1884, when there were three leagues considered as official major leagues. Eight of those gems were fired that year, with seven no hitters having been thrown in 1990, 1991, and 2012.
Although the 2021 season has not completed its fifth week, those marks may be in jeopardy. April’s batting average was the lowest it has been in any month in decades, while strikeouts exceeded the number of hits in the month. Pitchers are throwing harder than ever before, and the tendency to sell out for power has led to more homers, but fewer hits overall.
Add in the de-juiced ball that the league introduced this season, and even those balls that may have gone over the fence in the last couple of years are remaining in play. Hits are becoming harder to come by at this point. It should, therefore, not be a surprise that the number of no hitters would likewise increase.
Obviously, there is a long way to go for the 2021 season. There is no guarantee that another no hitter will occur this season, even though batting averages have continued to plummet. However, with the way pitchers have come out firing this season, we may be witnessing a new Year of the No Hitter.
Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means fired the third official no hitter of 2021. A new Year of the No Hitter may be in the making.