Major Updates on Mountaineers Means and Grove


Major Updates on Mountaineers: Means and Grove

Two Former Mountaineer Pitchers Shine in Major League Action on Saturday Night

On Saturday night, baseball fans witnessed the prowess of two former Mountaineer hurlers as they took the mound in Major League ballparks. John Means delivered a near-perfect performance, while Michael Grove marked his triumphant return to the big leagues.

John Means, a 2014 draft selection from West Virginia University, showcased a nearly flawless performance as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning during his start in Cleveland on Saturday evening. This remarkable outing was only his third start since his comeback from Tommy John surgery, a procedure that had kept him sidelined for a daunting 17 months. Means and the Baltimore Orioles secured a 2-1 victory in the game.

The former Mountaineer pitcher allowed a mere three baserunners during his 7 1/3 innings on the mound. The only hit he surrendered was a solo home run in the seventh inning. Means threw 96 pitches and recorded four strikeouts, marking his highest strikeout count since April 8, 2022, and his most significant pitch total since September 26, 2021. With this triumphant performance, Means earned his first victory since September 20, 2021.

Means’ start held considerable significance for the Baltimore Orioles on multiple fronts. The win brought the Orioles’ magic number to clinch the division title down to five, a crucial step for a team that had already secured a postseason berth. Additionally, the victory extended Baltimore’s streak of consecutive series without being swept to 89, ranking as the third-longest in MLB history.

Reflecting on his performance, Means stated, “I felt in control, and I felt like I was locating just as well [as two years ago]. Yeah, I felt in control. I mean, I knew [a no-hitter] was a possibility, but I was just trying to get outs and trying to get deep in the game, to be honest.”

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Michael Grove marked his return to the big leagues. Following an injury-related stint on the injured list lasting over a month, the native of Wheeling, West Virginia, took the MLB mound on Saturday for the first time since August 5.

Grove pitched two innings and did not concede a single hit. He allowed just one opposing batter to reach base and notched three strikeouts. Grove, along with the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen, held the San Francisco Giants at bay, contributing to Clayton Kershaw’s 210th regular-season win, a milestone for the future Hall of Famer.

Grove was activated from the injured list ahead of the Dodgers’ Saturday game. While his role in Los Angeles’ postseason plans remains uncertain, it appears he will have opportunities in the final days of the regular season to demonstrate his ability to deliver meaningful innings in October.

“We’re going to give Michael every opportunity,” stated LA manager Dave Roberts on Friday. “What we’ve seen from Michael this year, he’s been great. He does something different – it’s a different throw. It’s a plus slider with a fastball. So, he’s unique in that sense. So, he’s going to get every opportunity.”

The Major League Baseball postseason is set to commence with the Wild Card round on October 3. Alek Manoah, another WVU alumnus, was the most recent Mountaineer player to participate in the MLB playoffs, achieving this feat last year.


Leave a Comment