On Saturday, history will be made for the West Virginia baseball program. The Baltimore Orioles will take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the final series of the regular season and it will be the first time two former Mountaineers starting pitchers will face each other.
The Baltimore Orioles will be pitching left-hander John Means, who played for West Virginia from 2013-2014. Means was drafted in the 11th round in 2014 and has made his way up to the top of the Orioles staff over the last few years. Means threw MLB’s third no-hitter of the year when he held the Seattle Mariners hitless on May 5th.
Means will be facing rookie star Alek Manoah of the Toronto Blue Jays. Manoah was a Mountaineer from 2017-2019 and was picked 11th overall in the 2019 MLB draft. Manoah sped through the minor leagues and made his debut in May, finding success with his pitch speed and movement. Manoah features good velocity on his fastball and a hard slider with plenty of break.
Both pitchers have had a solid season, putting up efficient numbers. Means has a 6-8 record with a 3.32 earned run average. Manoah has an 8-2 record with a 3.35 earned run average.
While this is just a regular season matchup, the game still has major implications. The Blue Jays are in an intense fight for a playoff spot with one series remaining in the season. Going into the first day of October, the Blue Jays are 88-71 and one game back of the second Wild Card spot. They are a game behind both the Boston Red Sox and Seattle Mariners, so all three games against Baltimore will be crucial.
The Orioles are coming in with the worst record in the American League, sitting at 52-107. Baltimore is attempting to be the spoiler, as they just beat the Red Sox in two out of three important games.
The series between the Blue Jays and Orioles starts on Friday (10/1) and will continue until Sunday (10/3). The game featuring Means and Manoah will take place on Saturday (10/2) at 3:07 p.m. ET from Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.