Jon Niese leaves start with left shoulder discomfort

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UPDATE II: Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Niese will travel to New York to be examined by team doctors tomorrow.

UPDATE: According to Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal, the Mets announced that Niese exited with left shoulder discomfort.

8:44 PM: Jon Niese left tonight’s start against the Braves in the bottom of the fourth inning with an apparent injury. No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but Niese winced after throwing a pitch and David Lennon of New York Newsday notes that he appeared to say “shoulder” when a team trainer came out to the mound. That’s just speculation for now, though.

It’s worth noting that Niese was skipped in the rotation late last month with left shoulder tendinitis. Coincidentally, Mets manager Terry Collins told Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal earlier today that it was no longer an issue.

Coming off a career-best 3.40 ERA last season, Niese has a 4.32 ERA and 49/33 K/BB ratio in 77 inning across 14 starts this season. The Mets were eventually going to have to bump somebody from the rotation to make room for Zack Wheeler, but an injury to Niese isn’t the ideal way to make that happen.

Niese, 26, signed a five-year, $29.5195 million extension with the Mets last April and is owed $5 million next season, $7 million in 2015, and $9 million in 2016. His contract also includes club options for 2017 and 2018.

Watch: Brian McCann’s incredible tag nails Greg Bird at home plate

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Things got a little wild in the fifth inning of Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday. With one out and runners at the corners, Astros’ right-hander Charlie Morton fired a 1-1 fastball to Todd Frazier. Frazier returned the ball to third baseman Alex Bregman, who tossed a perfect throw over to Brian McCann at the plate just as Greg Bird came charging home. McCann’s setup was flawless, nailing Bird as he slid into the plate and nullifying the Yankees’ first real attempt to get on the board.

That’s as close as the Yankees have come to scoring so far. The Astros took an early 1-0 lead with Evan Gattis‘ 405-footer off of CC Sabathia in the top of the fourth inning. Jose Altuve chimed in with an opposite-field solo shot in the fifth, while McCann followed his lead-preserving tag with an equally jaw-dropping two-out, two-RBI double. Houston currently leads 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth.