Carolina Mudcats (29-37) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (32-35)

Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals
Game #67 of 137 / Road Game #33 (15-17)
Pitching Probables: CAR-RH D.J. Brown vs WIL-RH Glenn Sparkman
Sunday June 15, 2014 | Daniel S. Frawley Stadium | Wilmington, Del. | 1:35 p.m. ET
Mudcats Radio Network: WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, Pirate Radio AM 1250 & AM 930, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn App … Darren Headrick-play-by-play

UPCOMING SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (ALL TIMES EASTERN)
Monday, June 16 OFF DAY – ALL-STAR BREAK
Tuesday, June 17 Carolina/California League All-Star Game – 7:05 p.m. at Wilmington, DE
Wednesday, June 18 OFF DAY – ALL-STAR BREAK
Thursday, June 19 vs Frederick (BAL): CAR-RH Cole Sulser vs FRE-RH Joe Van Meter – 7:00 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Friday, June 20 vs Frederick (BAL): CAR-RH Adam Plutko vs FRE-RH Mark Blackmar – 7:00 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app

D.J. Brown #26 - Carolina Mudcats

D.J. Brown #26
Carolina Mudcats

#26 – D.J. Brown

Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Height/Weight: 6-6/205
Born: 11/28/90 in Fredericksburg, VA | Resides: Fredericksburg, VA
Opening Day Age: 23
Acquired by Indians: 39th round selection in 2012 draft
Features: FB, SL, CV, CH

Brown HIGHLIGHTS
– Second year in professional baseball and first with Carolina
– Began season in the bullpen, made 2 appearances, allowing two runs over three innings
– Made emergency start on April 13 at Potomac when Dylan Baker fractured his ankle
– Spent 2013 with Lake County where he posted a 3-4 record with a 2.71 ERA
– Made 27 appearances and tossed 66.1 innings, struck out 71 batters to 20 walks
– MLB.com voted him the Indians A-ball Pitcher of the Year
– Selected out of James Madison University
– Missed his entire junior season due to injury
– Champion of largest knockout game (201 participants), recognized by Guinness World Records
– The knockout game occurred after a JMU basketball game on Feb. 2, 2011
– Played basketball and baseball at Orange County High School (Hornets)

 

The Series vs Wilmington — The Mudcats end the first half by making their final trip to Delaware for 2014. Frawley Stadium has been tough on the Mudcats. The team is 3-6 against the Blue Rocks in The Small Wonder this season and 11-18 overall. Wilmington holds a slight edge in the all-time series, winning 29 of 55 meetings.

Last Time Out — The Wilmington Blue Rocks plated six runs across the final three innings to foil a terrific outing by Shawn Morimando. The Blue Rocks won the contest 6-1. Morimando held the Blue Rocks to one hit across six innings. He tied his season best with six strikeouts. Offensively, the Mudcats sputtered despite ample opportunities. Carolina drew a campaign-high 10 walks, but finished 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The Mudcats tied a high watermark for 2014 with 13 stranded on base.

Today’s Pitching Probables — D.J. Brown gets his turn to start in a rotating piggyback with Michael Peoples. D.J. looks for his first win since April 24. The former James Madison Duke hopes to return to early season form. After holding a 1.63 ERA through his first four starts, Brown has allowed four or more runs in five of his last six outings, a 6.85 ERA. Glenn Sparkman gets the nod for Wilmington. The right-hander has sparkled for the Blue Rocks this season with a 3-1 record and a 1.28 ERA through 15 appearances (four starts).

“Money”mando — Shawn Morimando continued his recent run of dominance on Saturday night. The southpaw shutout the Blue Rocks as part of a six-inning, one-hitter. The start was the first scoreless appearance of 2014 for Morimando. The Virginian has dealt five consecutive quality starts and owns an impressive 1.79 ERA during this streak. He is 3-0 in his last six starts and sits tied with teammate Ryan Merritt for the team lead with six victories.

Patience is a Virtue — The Mudcats drew a season-high 10 walks in Saturday’s defeat. The club had drawn nine bases on balls in two prior games, the last on June 2nd against Myrtle Beach. The Mudcats have proven to be one of the most patient teams in the CL, walking 247 times. That total is second only to Salem’s 274 walks.

Quality Starts — Carolina starters own 29 quality starts in 66 games. The Mudcats are 18-11 when a starter pitches a quality outing. Ryan Merritt and Shawn Morimando pace the club with eight quality starts apiece. Both left-handers place in the CL’s top 10 for ERA and sit atop the league with six wins.

Late Inning Trouble — Late innings have been shaky for the Mudcats’ bullpen as of late. The club has blown leads in four of their last six games. On the year, the club has blown eight saves and the Mudcats have dropped 18 games when holding an advantage.

Chasing History — Ryan Merritt finished the first half of his 2014 campaign with an impressive worksheet. Through 12 starts, the southpaw has allowed just 14 earned runs across 76.0 innings. The Texan’s ERA sits second best in all of High-A behind the Dunedin Blue Jays’ Daniel Norris (1.32). It’s also ahead of Cody Anderson’s pace from last season. The Carolina League Pitcher of the Year for 2013, Anderson owned a 2.86 ERA through his first 12 starts last summer. Merritt’s current pace puts him second all-time among Mudcats qualified starters. Travis Wood’s 2009 campaign with Carolina still ranks tops. The left-hander finished with a 1.21 ERA in 19 starts, totaling 119 innings pitched. That summer, Wood won nine in a row from May 6-July 19.

Muddy’s Tales — The Mudcats host the Potomac Nationals for a three-game set beginning Monday, June 9th. It will be the final homestand before the All-Star break. The series with the P-Nats features Dollar Dog Night on Tuesday, June 10. All three games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 6:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling (919) 269-2287 or by visiting carolinamudcats.com.

Welcome to the Tribe — The Cleveland Indians had four of the first 61 draft picks this year. With the 21st overall selection, the Tribe took Bradley Zimmer, an outfielder from the University of San Francisco. The club chose, and signed, left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield from Tullhoma (TN) High School with the 31st overall pick. Outfielder Mike Papi from the University of Virginia went to the Indians with the 38th selection. Going 61st to the Indians was Grant Hockin, a right-handed pitcher out of Damien High School (CA).

Carolina All-Stars — The Mudcats had three players selected to the 2014 Carolina League All-Star team. LHP Ryan Merritt, infielder Erik Gonzalez and outfielder Anthony Gallas were named All-Stars. It is the first All-Star selection for Merritt and Gonzalez. It is the second for Gallas, his first being in 2011 in the Midwest League with Lake County. Merritt leads the league in wins (6), ERA (1.66), WHIP (0.97) and ranks second in innings pitched (76.0) and batting average against (.208). Gonzalez owned a 16-game hitting streak from April 8-24 and Gallas sits fourth in MiLB with 21 doubles.

Wakefield Elected to Southern League Hall of Fame — Tim Wakefield was named a part of the inaugural Southern League Hall of Fame class today. The knuckler spent 17 successful years in Boston, but came up through the minors with Pittsburg. Wakefield won 18 games with the Carolina Mudcats, but his most successful year came in 1991, the Mudcats’ inaugural season in the Southern League. Wakefield set some club records that still hold up today. He has the record for Wins in a Single Season (15), Complete Games in a Single Season (8) and Innings Pitched in a Single Season (183). Wakefield was also the club leader that year in ERA (2.93) and Strikeouts (123).

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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