A pair of lefties earned honors for both tossing a no-hitter last week, as Orioles starter John Means and the Reds’ Wade Miley took home the American and National League Players of the Week Awards presented by Chevrolet, respectively. It is the first selection for both pitchers.
Means, who made history with his May 5 no-hitter against the Mariners in Seattle, is the first Oriole to be named Player of the Week since Trey Mancini for the week ending Sept. 22, 2019, and the first Orioles pitcher to win the award since Arthur Rhodes (week ending Aug. 7, 1994).
Means spun the first solo no-hit performance by an Oriole since Jim Palmer in 1969. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first non-perfect no-hitter on record in which an opposing player did not reach via a walk, an error or a hit batsman. Means’ single baserunner reached on a third-strike wild pitch and was later erased on a caught stealing.
“I was just happy that last start went well," Means said on Monday. "I just try to have a good start every five days. I don't really look at it as some big milestone and that that was the peak of my mountain. I just try and stay as even-keeled as possible."
Miley’s May 7 no-no, also the first of his career, was perfect through five, with his only baserunners coming on an error and a walk in the sixth. It was also nearly foiled by the opposing starter, Cleveland’s Zach Plesac, who matched him with eight shutout innings before the Reds scored three off of the Indians’ bullpen, allowing Miley to finish off his performance with an eight-pitch ninth.
Miley is the first Red to garner Player of the Week honors since Nick Castellanos (week ending Aug. 2, 2020) and the first Reds pitcher since Johnny Cueto for the week ending Aug. 10, 2014.
The performances were the third and fourth official no-hitters of 2021, following Joe Musgrove (April 9 at Rangers) and Carlos Rodón (April 14 vs. Cleveland).
“It's pretty crazy," Means said of throwing a no-hitter in the same week as Miley. "And he’s a former Oriole as well, also a lefty. I think he threw, what? Four pitches over 90 miles an hour? Just so impressive by him. It's crazy. Maybe we'll have more, I don't know. But we’ve had four in the first 40 days already. So we'll see what happens. It's a long season though.”