Since his promotion to Wilmington in July, Zach Lovvorn has gone at least six innings in six of his nine starts and has allowed three runs or less in those six starts. While not much has gone right in the second half for the Blue Rocks, Lovvorn has been a bright spot.
Is he getting a feel for the Carolina League now? “I think so,” Lovvorn said after his start on Saturday. “Hitters are pretty much the same all around, but I’m just trying to master my craft.”
Two of his worsts starts came against Salem, but thankfully, the Blue Rocks do not face them again. His last start came against the Red Sox on Saturday and it was the first time I got a chance to see him pitch. After the first two innings (where he allowed four runs on six hits), Lovvorn settled down to last five innings. “I kind of settled down and got into a groove,” he said after that start.
Overall with the Blue Rocks, Lovvorn is 3-4 with a 3.96 ERA. Over 52.1 innings, he has allowed 49 hits (a .250 batting average) and walked 15 while striking out 26. His walks are up from his time in Lexington (he had 15 there) and his strikeouts are down (he had 50 there in 70.2 innings), but he has allowed less hits.
Only three of his nine starts have been at home and his next start, which is tonight, will come in Myrtle Beach. He should line up to pitch against both Winston-Salem and the Pelicans to end the regular season at home. Lovvorn would then set up to pitch either the first or second game of the Carolina League Championship Series (if the Blue Rocks advance past the Division Series).
Lovvorn previously shut out the Pelicans on August 5th over 6.2 innings (3H, BB, 4K). Against W-S, he allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over six innings on July 29th.
The Blue Rocks broke their ten-game losing streak to Carolina on Wednesday night and begin a four-game series at Southern Division first half champ Myrtle Beach tonight. They will be looking to start a winning streak and to get hot with the playoffs less than two weeks away. They will be sending Lovvorn to the mound.
What will Lovvorn be doing to prepare for tonight’s start? Well, he didn’t want to tell me all his pregame routines because “I don’t want to give away my secrets,” but he does “like to listen to music pretty much most of the day and then about thirty minutes leading up to the game, I turn everything off and get zoned in.”
Kevin Gates will be what he is listening to (a rapper from down South). “That’s what I listen to to get pumped before a game.”