BALTIMORE (WJZ)- It’s been quite the start to the 2021 season for Orioles pitcher John Means. Through nine starts, he’s 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA and he twirled the first solo no hitter for the franchise in 52 years earlier this month. That performance has begun to earn the 28-year-old some recognition.

On Thursday, posted a poll of their experts in which they were asked to pick the top three contenders for the Cy Young Award in the National and American Leagues. After tallying the votes, Means finished second on the American League side behind only Yankees starter Gerrit Cole. Here’s what writer Thomas Harrigan had to say:

“Means has gone from an 11th-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft to a true ace for the Orioles. The southpaw entered his start on Wednesday leading the American League in ERA (1.21) and WHIP (0.71). He threw a no-hitter against the Mariners on May 5 and followed it up with six scoreless innings six days later, giving him four starts this year in which he went at least six frames and didn’t surrender a run.”

Means most recent outing on Wednesday night, in which he gave up four earned runs over six and a third innings of work wasn’t factored in to the polling. That checks in as his “worst” outing of the season as he hadn’t given up more than three runs in any other start this season. The next start for Means is expected to come on Monday, May 24 when the O’s are in Minnesota to face the Twins.

CBS Baltimore Staff