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MM Game Notes & Lineups - Wed, Sep 15 DH vs Tampa

September 15, 2021 - Low-A Southeast League (Low-A Southeast) - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels News Release

The Mighty Mussels welcome the Tampa Tarpons (NYY) to Hammond Stadium for a doubleheader beginning at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.Coverage begins at 4:15 p.m. on the Mighty Mussels Baseball Network.

Pitching Matchups

Game 1 - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 3.12) vs RHP Juan Carela (0-1, 10.70)

Game 2 - RHP Jackson Hicks (A Debut) vs RHP Josue Panacual (A Debut)

Listen Live:


After taking five out of six from Palm Beach last week, the Mussels had the opener of their series against Tampa postponed due to weather on Tuesday. The teams will play a pair of seven-inning games on Wednesday starting at 4:30 p.m. The Tarpons took four of six games from Fort Myers at Steinbrenner Field back in May.


The Mighty Mussels wrap up the season with six home games this week - taking on the top team in the league in Tampa (NYY).The Tarpons lead Bradenton by three games in the standings for the top record (72-40) in the Low-A Southeast. Tampa will likely travel to Bradenton for Games 1 and 2 of the Championship Series next Tuesday and Wednesday - before playing Games 3-5 over the weekend in Tampa.


Oklahoma State's Christian Encarnacion-Strand is off to a scorching start with Fort Myers, having hit in 18 straight games to begin his professional career. Encarnacion-Strand's hitting streak is currently the longest in Minor League Baseball. There have been a total of 23 streaks of 18+ games this season, and 17 streaks of 19+ games. All told, the former Cowboy is hitting .411 with four home runs and 16 RBI (1.072 OPS) with the Mighty Mussels. The California native spent 2 years at Yavapai College (Ariz.) before transferring to Stillwater - where he won Big 12 Newcomer of the Year this spring. The Twins drafted him in the 4th round of this summer's draft.


Joining Encarnacion-Strand in the "hot start" category is Mighty Mussels' infielder Mikey Perez. In his first five professional games, the UCLA product is 9-for-17 with three doubles, five RBI, three walks and only one strikeout (1.306 OPS). He has split his time between second base and shortstop.


The Mighty Mussels' pitching staff needs seven strikeouts Wednesday to break the franchise record, set by the 2019 Miracle. The Miracle annals are a microcosm of the dramatic increase in strikeouts throughout the game. The 1993 Miracle struck out 792 batters in 1180 innings, while this year's team has fanned nearly 400 more batters in fewer innings:

Year W-L Place K K/9

2019 74-59 3rd 1,188 9.4

2021 57-53 4th 1,182 11.4

2006 80-60 1st 1,077 7.9

2018 68-69 9th 1,046 7.9

2000 83-57 2nd 1,037 7.6

2016 70-68 7th 1,035 7.8


The Mighty Mussels' offense had struggled for an entire month, but has completely broken out over the past few weeks:


July 16-Aug 19 10-16 3.4 5.2 .177 .289

Aug 20-Sep 4 5-10 4.7 7.3 .243 .354

Last 8 Games 7-1 7.3 10.3 .312 .460


The Mighty Mussels must finish this week 2-4 or better to finish with a winning record. The 2021 campaign would be the seventh time in the last eight years that the Fort Myers franchise finished with a winning mark. The Miracle qualified for the playoffs in five of their last seven seasons, winning the Florida State League Championship in 2014 and 2018.


The Mighty Mussels' have had only four players active on the roster all season (Garry Jr, Swain, Pichardo, Hanner)...The Mussels have the highest batting average in the league through 11 games in September (.270)

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