Game Notes 4-11-14
Good Evening Keys Fans!
Frederick tries to shake off a three-game losing streak when the Lynchburg Hillcats come to town. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, and the broadcast kicks off at 6:45 with Doug and yours truly.
To get you ready, I’ve attached some game notes below.
Harry Grove Stadium · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703
Friday, Apr. 11, 2014 · Game #8 · Home Game #4
Frederick Keys (2-5) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (4-3)
RHP Brady Wager (1-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Wes Parsons (0-0, 4.15)
KEYS LOCKED OUT IN FIRST HOME SERIES:Ahead 3-1 going into the top of the eighth, the Keys saw their two-run cushion slip away on Thursday night, as the Mudcats batted around and scored three runs off Miguel Chalas. In the ninth, Frederick put the first two aboard against Muddies closer Louis Head, but the hard-throwing righty struck out the side to hand the Keys a 4-3 defeat. It marked the first time Frederick had been swept in a series since last August 11, when the club dropped three straight to Myrtle Beach. Currently, Frederick is on a season-worst three game losing streak.
BULLPEN BLUES: On Thursday night, the struggles for the Keys bullpen continued. After Keys relievers allowed one run over eight innings to open the year, the group has surrendered 16 runs its last 19.2 frames (7.47 ERA). During that time, Keys bullpen-hands are 0-for-3 in save opportunities and have given up 30 hits. In contrast, Frederick starting pitching has been strong, posting a 3.31 ERA (35.1 IP/13 ER) in seven games.
LET’S GO STREAKING!: Glynn Davis extended his hitting streak to seven games on Thursday. He ended the night 2-for-5 with a double, RBI and a run scored. Currently, Davis and Winston-Salem outfielder Courtney Hawkins are the only two Carolina League players to hit safely in all seven games this season. Entering Friday, the Keys centerfielder is second in the Carolina League in hitting (.433). He trails only Odubel Herrera (.450) of Myrtle Beach. Davis’ 13 hits pace the league, while he is second in total bases (18), second in on-base percentage (.469) and fifth in slugging percentage (.600). His only bugaboo has been strikeouts (10) as he has the fifth most in the league.
TOUGH LUCK TAYLOR: For the second straight start, Matt Taylor pitched well, but received a no-decision. Over five innings, the former Crimson Tide lefty allowed one unearned run on six hits. He walked three and struck out two. Over 11 innings this season, Taylor has yet to allow an earned run. The excellent start comes after a strong season at Low-A Delmarva in 2013. He finished 12th in the South Atlantic League in ERA (3.77) and fourth in innings pitched (138.1).
FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG RD 1: 2014: The Keys and the Hillcats have split four games this season. Frederick earned wins in the series opener and the finale (both by 6-2 scores) but lost the middle two games. On both occasions, the Hillcats triumphed in walk-off fashion, as Daniel Castro and Kyle Wren delivered game-winning singles on consecutive nights. Glynn Davis was the primary offensive force against the Hillcats, going 8-for-17 with three RBIs and a pair of doubles. Brenden Webb and Creede Simpson also fared well against Lynchburg pitching. In four games, Webb went 5-for-16 with four RBIs, while Simpson went 5-for-18 with four doubles and four RBIs.
NAME THAT PUJOLS!: Luis Pujols becomes the 20th manager in Keys history, after spending 2013 as the skipper at Low-A Delmarva. He takes the reins from Ryan Minor, who went 61-78 in his lone season as Frederick’s head man. The cousin of Angels star, Albert Pujols, the 58-year-old has considerable experience as a player, manager and coach in the majors and minors. Since spending nine years as a big league catcher with Houston, Kansas City and Texas, Pujols has worked as a bench/first base coach for Montreal (1993-00) and San Francisco (2003-06), while he served as interim manager for the Detroit Tigers in 2002, after Phil Garner was fired six games into the season. He has also managed for Double-A affiliates in the Detroit and Houston systems.
PROSPECTING:This year’s Keys team does not lack for talent. Frederick’s Opening Day roster features five of Baltimore’s Top 30 prospects according to Baseball America. Shortstop Adrian Marin (12) highlights the list and is joined by right-handed pitchers Parker Bridwell (19), Branden Kline (20) and Mychal Givens (23). Glynn Davis (29) rounds out the group. Of the five players, only Givens (one game in 2010) and Davis have played at the Advanced-A level.
BLAST FROM THE PAST:In addition to an excellent group of prospects, the Keys return 16 players. Many of those familiar faces are outfielders and relief pitchers. Brenden Webb, Trent Mummey and Torsten Boss have all spent time in with Frederick, while seven of the club’s eight bullpen hands (Jesse Beal, Matt Hobgood, Miguel Chalas, Matt Price, Lex Rutledge, Mychal Givens and Gene Escat) have also sported a Frederick uniform at some point.
TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Wes Parsons makes the start for Lynchburg on Friday and is the No. 20 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America. Making his Carolina League debut against Frederick on April 5, Parsons drew a no-decision, allowing two runs over 4.1 innings. He walked two and struck out four. The righty made his professional debut with Low-A Rome in 2013, going 7-7 with a 2.63 ERA in 19 starts. Joining the club in late May, the Tennessee native was nearly unhittable in the second-half. In 14 starts, Parsons tallied a 2.02 ERA and scattered just 63 hits over 84.2 innings. On the season, he limited opponents to a .224 batting average and displayed excellent command. Over 109.2 total innings, he walked only 21. Signed by Atlanta as a non-drafted free agent in 2012, Parsons gave up baseball early in his high school career to focus on golf. By his junior year he returned to the hill and later pitched at Jackson State Community College. There, he missed the fall of his first semester due to a weightlifting accident, but made an immediate impact once the regular season got started. That success carried over to the summer collegiate Northwoods League, where Parsons pitched for the Thunder Bay Border Cats. Against top-college competition, he posted a 2.61 ERA and tossed a scoreless inning in the league’s All-Star game, where he was clocked at 95mph. Although multiple teams showed interest, Parsons signed with the Braves for $200,000. Employing an easy delivery, the 6-5 righty pitches with a low-mid 90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a changeup that is developing.