John Means leaves start in first inning with apparent injury

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John Means leaves start in first inning with apparent injury originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Normally, the day John Means takes the mound is the best day of the week for Orioles fans.

The ace of the Baltimore staff has had a stellar start to his 2021 campaign, leading the American League in Wins Above Replacement and ranking in the top 10 in most key categories. But on Saturday afternoon, his start finished early.

After allowing two solo home runs and a single, pitching coach Chris Holt came to the mound to check on Means. But things quickly took a turn for the worse as Holt called for Brandon Hyde and the Orioles trainer to join him, and Means proceeded to leave the game after tossing just 29 pitches.

It was not immediately clear what specific injury issue the starter was dealing with. Means' velocity didn't appear to be suffering, as his fastball was sitting around 94 miles per hour in the inning.

A short while after he came out, however, the Orioles announced Means left the game with left shoulder fatigue. Means has taken on a big workload in 2021, including tossing the first complete game of his career when he no-hit the Mariners in May.

It's not yet clear how serious the issue is, or how long it might keep Means out, so fans across the city will be on the edges of their respective seats waiting to hear the news on one of the team's lone bright spots this year.