First of all, huge congratulations to the Orioles' John Means on throwing a no-hitter. It's one of the most exciting accomplishments in sports. But you know what the only thing more exciting is? A perfect game.
There have been hundreds of no-hitters, yet only 23 times in baseball history has a pitcher recorded an out against all 27 men he faced. Well, sort of.
See, if you go look at the box score from Means' performance today, you will not find a single hit, walk or error. Only 27 Mariners came to the plate. So he threw a perfect game, right? Nope. Because his catcher dropped a third strike, which allowed one runner to reach base, even though he struck out — he was caught stealing, which is why Means still faced the minimum.
It's the only time in Major League history that a pitcher threw a no-hitter without a walk, hit by pitch or error that wasn't a perfect game.
I've never really had a strong opinion on the dropped third strike rule — and I'm still debating whether this changes that — but it is kinda bullshit that Means got every guy out he faced and doesn't get credit for a perfect game. Now, that's on his catcher, but if a guy strikes out, he struck out. I can see the argument that an out ends with the ball in somebody's glove, but it's also objectively ridiculous that a team could theoretically load the bases and score runs off nothing but strikeouts.
I mostly just hate it for Means, who did his job to strike the guy out and that's what ends up costing him an even more prestigious place in baseball history. I'm sure he'll take a no-hitter, but there can't be a much more painful way to be robbed of a perfect game.