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Saturday afternoon Orioles game thread: at Red Sox, 1:05

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It’s been a sensational year for John Means. Today is your last chance to watch him pitch in 2019.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

As the 2019 Orioles season winds down to its final two games, there aren’t a lot of memorable performances to look back on this year. John Means, though, is a happy exception.

The rookie lefty has been a revelation after perfecting his changeup over the winter, transforming from a last-minute Opening Day roster inclusion into the Orioles’ de facto ace. He enters his final start of the season with an 11-11 record and 3.54 ERA, and if Yordan Alvarez didn’t exist, Means would probably be considered the AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner. It’s been a joy to watch him pitch, something that can’t be said for almost any other Orioles hurler this year.

This afternoon, we get one more chance to watch Means work his magic. And it happens, coincidentally enough, at the same park where he made his major league debut last September, when he had an ugly relief outing and was considered just a fringe prospect. How times have changed. What does Fenway have in store for him tonight?

The banged up Anthony Santander remains out of the lineup for the fourth straight game and might not play again this year. Austin Hays, too, is on the bench, which leads to an ugly defensive outfield of Trey Mancini, Stevie Wilkerson, and DJ Stewart. Whatever. These games don’t matter. Let’s just hope those guys don’t hurt Means too much.

Orioles lineup:

2B Jonathan Villar
RF DJ Stewart
LF Trey Mancini
3B Rio Ruiz
DH Renato Nunez
1B Chris Davis
CF Stevie Wilkerson
C Austin Wynns
SS Richie Martin

LHP John Means