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Sunday Bird Droppings: Where we’re still holding our breath about John Means

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Good vibes from the Orioles three-game winning streak faded quickly with a loss that included a John Means early exit for injury.

Cleveland Indians v Baltimore Orioles
John Means got two outs yesterday and then came out with a shoulder issue. Not great!
Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here. John Means is injured. If you didn’t already hear it, the Orioles top starter exited yesterday’s game after recording just two outs, which was still long enough for him to give up two runs. The explanation given during the game was left shoulder fatigue. Means spent time on the injured list in both 2019 and 2020 due to the shoulder.

The shoulder area is one of those things you just don’t want to hear about a pitcher having problems. This mess of a season is going to get even worse if the one good O’s starting pitcher is wiped out for a while. Means, for what it’s worth, told O’s reporters after the game that it’s “more annoying than anything.” The issue has been present for a few weeks, he said. When Means was on the IL before, they were not extended absences. He did not know on Saturday if he would miss his next start.

Perhaps that’s one encouraging sign. If it was an insta-injury list situation, that would be indicative of something more serious. However, he’s still heading for an MRI today, so we’re not out of the woods yet for bad news.

When all was said and done on Saturday, the Orioles dropped their game to Cleveland by a 10-4 margin. They seemed to be determined to lose the game by exactly six runs, as every time the offense mustered something, the pitchers and/or defense gave up more. You can read Stacey’s recap of the game for the not-so-lovely totals. With the Diamondbacks also losing on Saturday, the Orioles continue to not have the worst record in MLB, for now.

It was really a “Let’s see how the minor league affiliates did” kind of day. Check out our daily minor league recap for the full story. It wasn’t a great night for the farm teams overall, but Bowie’s loss did feature Adley Rutschman getting three hits, including a game-tying dinger that helped send their game to extra innings. A better future is coming! It’s just not here yet.

The Orioles still have a chance to win their second home series of the year with the finale against Cleveland this afternoon. It’s sad to type out that fact on June 6. Jorge López gets the ball for the O’s in the scheduled 1:05 afternoon game. His last three starts have gone well, so maybe he can carry over that success into today.

Around the blogO’sphere

Hyde on clubhouse, Galvis at cleanup, and more (School of Roch)
According to Brandon Hyde, the Orioles offering leadership during the recent 14-game losing streak were Trey Mancini, Freddy Galvis, and Matt Harvey.

O’s rock Mullins shirsey to support All-Star bid (Orioles.com)
Even a bad team has to pretend like one of its players might be voted in as an All-Star. The Orioles public relations effort in this direction seem to be centered on Cedric Mullins. He’s played great, including two homers in a five hit effort yesterday, so in that sense it’s hard to argue.

Keegan Akin thriving back in rotation role after awful spring: ‘I think he’s in a really good spot right now’ (The Baltimore Sun)
Praise for Akin’s Friday start carried over into yesterday’s round of Orioles coverage. Hopefully Akin can stay in the good spot Hyde sees him in.

Work at alternate site last year fueling Kyle Bradish’s success in 2021 (Press Box)
It took a long time for Kyle Bradish to actually get into a game for an Orioles affiliate, but once he did, he was turning heads. He was interviewed last week about his recent experience.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

Today in 1993, a brawl was sparked between the Orioles and Mariners after Seattle catcher Bill Haselman was hit by a Mike Mussina pitch. In the chaos, Cal Ripken Jr. twisted his knee, nearly ending The Streak after game 1,790.

In 2010, the Orioles won for the first time of Juan Samuel’s interim tenure as manager, ending a ten-game losing streak as they beat the Red Sox, 4-3. Nick Markakis delivered a walkoff single in the 11th inning.

There is one lone former Oriole who was born on this day. Happy 78th birthday to 1968-73 platoon player Merv Rettenmund. He checked in at #38 on the 2020 edition of Camden Chat’s Top 50 Greatest Orioles of All Time.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Four Tops singer Levi Stubbs (1936), gold medal sprinter Tommie Smith (1944), actor Harvey Fierstein (1954), and tennis player Bjorn Borg (1956).

On this day in history...

In 1862, Union gunboats and rams defeated a Confederate force on the Mississippi River outside of Memphis, allowing Union capture of the city.

In 1918, during World War I’s Battle of Belleau Wood, the United States Marine Corps suffered what was then its worst ever single day of casualties. By the end of the battle three weeks later, 1,811 American servicemen had died in the battle.

In 1942, the Battle of Midway wound down toward a conclusion. The American Navy had already secured a decisive victory the previous day by sinking the four Japanese carriers involved the battle. June 6 saw a Japanese submarine torpedo strike the already-damaged carrier USS Yorktown, which sunk early the next morning.

In 1944, the largest seaborne invasion force ever assembled launched Operation Neptune, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, that marked the beginning of American and British attempts to liberate France from Nazi Germany. There were 4,414 Allied soldiers killed on D-Day alone.

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And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 6. Have a safe Sunday. Go O’s!