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Thursday Bird Droppings: John Means is hurt, everything is terrible in Birdland

Means exited after 4 IP last night with “left forearm tightness.” The response rhymes with “duck.”

Milwaukee Brewers v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

It’s a gloomy day in Birdland. Not only are the Orioles 1-5 after last night’s loss with the worst record and worst-performing offense in all of MLB so far, but now a black injury cloud hangs over one of the only players on the team who you probably weren’t too worried about heading into this season. John Means threw only four innings last night despite throwing just 51 pitches, and after his early exit, the team announced it was because of left forearm tightness.

Following the game, manager Brandon Hyde offered a few details. He told Orioles reporters that Means started feeling tightness in the third inning, alerted the O’s dugout in the fourth inning, and was pulled as a precautionary maneuver. There is expected to be an update as to his status by Friday.

This is close to the last thing that the Orioles needed. The rotation was already trash-tier even with a healthy Means in there. Contemplating the pitching staff if Means misses any kind of extended amount of time is not fun. The team has already had to draw on Spenser Watkins, who had an 8.07 ERA last year. If that was their first choice, I’m scared to see the second choice.

For more from the 4-2 loss, check out Stacey’s recap of the game. It was an awful game, then briefly fun, then awful again. That probably won’t be the last game of the season to fit this description.

For now, about all we can do is hope that Means doesn’t end up with the worst case scenario (Tommy John surgery) that you have to fear when “forearm tightness” comes up about a player. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it was just precautionary, or we’ll get lucky and it’s not something involving ligament damage.

If there’s one bit of good news, it’s that the Orioles are off today. It’s sad to already need a day off from them after less than a week of their season, but with what they’ve shown us so far, well... this isn’t fun! It’s even sadder because I had plans on Saturday and on Tuesday such that I didn’t see those games, and I was at the home opener where they actually won, and even still I’m ready for the day off.

What fun there is in being an Orioles fan remains on the farm right now. The affiliates went 3-1 last night and the games included home runs by: Jordan Westburg (third of the season), Connor Norby, César Prieto, and Darell Hernaiz. You can read some more of the fun from Tyler Young’s recap of Wednesday’s action.

Around the blogO’sphere

Rutschman continues progression, is taking BP (
One of the only things that might bring me out of a Means injury-related funk is good news about Rutschman. It’s good that he’s on the way back, but then again, when he first got hurt the given timeline to return was 2-3 weeks and that sure didn’t happen.

Cedric Mullins is optimistic the O’s can turn the corner this year (Steve Melewski)
Well... that makes one of us.

Ben McDonald sees ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for Orioles (Press Box)
OK, make that two of us.

Oriole hitters try to address ineptness with runners in scoring position (Baltimore Baseball)
The Orioles got exactly one hit in a RISP situation last night. The problem is going to take some more time, or better personnel, to resolve.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

The Orioles were most recently victorious on this date five years ago. The 2017 team beat the Blue Jays, 6-4, to improve to 7-2 on the young season. Gosh, that team had some first month potential that evaporated quickly. Wade Miley was the winning pitcher thanks to a bare minimum quality start (6 IP, 3 ER) and four different Orioles batters homered: Jonathan Schoop, J.J. Hardy, Chris Davis, and Seth Smith. Since they’re off today, they’ll have to wait at least one more year to try to win again on April 14.

There are a plethora former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2005-06/09 outfielder Jeff Fiorentino, 1995-96/2009 catcher Gregg Zaun, 1993-95 pitcher Brad Pennington, 2000-01 reliever Mike Trombley, 1990 reliever Jay Aldrich, 1964-67/69 pitcher Frank Bertaina, and 1955 infielder Kal Segrist. The oldest living of this group is Aldrich, turning 61 today, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: scientist Christiaan Huygens (1629), baseball union leader Marvin Miller (1917), police corruption whistleblower Frank Serpico (1936), baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (1966), actress Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977), Arcade Fire musician Win Butler (1980), and actress Abigail Breslin (1996).

On this day in history...

In 1471, a decisive battle in the Wars of the Roses was waged. The Battle of Barnet saw the Yorkist faction, led by Edward IV, defeat a Lancastrian army under Richard “The Kingmaker” Neville, the Earl of Warwick. Neville was killed in the battle, which, along with the later Battle of Tewkesbury, allowed Edward IV to supplant Lancaster’s Henry VI and return to the throne after a six month absence.

In 1639, Sweden defeated the Holy Roman Empire in the Battle of Chemnitz, a victory that helped to stretch out the ongoing war another nine years, thus its name today: The Thirty Years’ War.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending a performance of the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. He died the next day. Tonight, you could go there to see a musical called Grace.

In 1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg, leading to its sinking in the early morning hours the next day.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on April 14. Have a safe Thursday.