Keys Game Notes 4-12-14
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!!
It’s Hockey Day at Harry Grove Stadium, and Craig Loughlin and Alan May will both be in attendance, signing autographs and greeting fans. On the field, Frederick tries to end a four-game slide following a 1-0 defeat on Friday. Frederick will send right-hander Jesse Beal to the mound. He is countered by Lynchburg’s Jarrett Miller, who pitched against the Keys on Sunday. It is his second year in the Carolina League.
Doug and I will have the pregame show at 1:45 with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. And don’t forget, today is the first edition of the 2014 Keys Corner! So make sure and tune in early, as Doug and I run down the highlights, chat with members of the Keys and highlight the first week-plus of action.
So tune make sure and tune us in, and if you’re coming to the game, make sure and wear your favorite hockey jersey!
A full batch of game notes are below.
Saturday, Apr. 12, 2014 · Game #9 · Home Game #5
Frederick Keys (2-6) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (5-3)
RHP Jesse Beal (0-0, 8.31) vs. RHP Jarrett Miller (0-0, 2.08)
A LITTLE HELP!:Frederick out-hit the Lynchburg Hillcats by a 6-5 tally on Friday night at Harry Grove Stadium, but an inability to convert with runners in scoring position resulted in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss. Unable to provide any run support for starter Brady Wager, the team went 0-for-8 with runners at second and third base. A trend that has been problematic of late, the Keys are just 2-for-22 with runners in scoring position over their last two contests, and are hitting a collective .208 as a club in those situations this year. As a result, the Keys have often come up short in close games, with half of the team’s defeats coming by one run.
LET’S GO STREAKING!:For the eighth straight game, Glynn Davis recorded a base hit. Going 2-for-4 on Friday, he was one of only two Keys players to record multiple hits on the game. The eight game streak is tied for the longest in the Carolina League this season (Courtney Hawkins of Winston-Salem has also hit safely in all eight games). Thanks to his fifth multi-hit effort of the year, the Baltimore native now leads all CL hitters with a .441 average. He also paces the loop in the hits (15) ranks second in total bases (20), and sits fourth in on-base percentage (.472).
SIGH OF RELIEF: Although the Keys came up short, reliever Matt Hobgood helped keep things close. Pitching against Lynchburg for the third time this season, the right-hander tossed three shutout innings. He walked a pair and struck out two. The three innings equaled the longest outing by a relief pitcher this season (Jesse Beal also pitched three at Lynchburg on April 4). Meanwhile, it was a welcome sign of life from the Keys bullpen, which had surrendered 16 runs over its previous 19.2 innings entering Friday’s action. Formerly a first round pick by Baltimore in 2009, Hobgood leads all Keys relievers with a 1.17 ERA (7.2 IP/1 R).
QUALITY AND QUANTITY: Brady Wager produced the third quality start by a Frederick starting pitcher this season. Tossing a season-high six innings, the 23-year-old surrendered one run on five hits. In total, he has allowed only two runs over his first 11 innings this year (1.64 ERA). Frederick’s rotation has been one of its strengths in the early going. Through eight games, the rotation has tallied an impressive 3.05 ERA, while Keys starters have given up only one earned run over their last 11 innings of work.
SPEAK SOFTLY, AND CARRY A BIG STICK: Wynston Sawyer enjoyed a nice performance at the plate in the series opener. After going just 2-for-19 over his first six games, the Keys catcher doubled his hit total, going 2-for-3 with a pair of base hits. On the night, Sawyer and Glynn Davis accounted for four of the team’s six hits. In his first season at Advanced-A, the Californian spent the last two seasons as the primary backstop at Low-A Delmarva. He was selected by the Orioles in the eighth round of the 2010 draft.
FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 3-2 advantage in the season-series. However all three of Lynchburg’s wins over Frederick have come by one run, and two have occurred in walk-off fashion. On April 4, Daniel Castro supplied a walk-off single in extra-innings, while the next night, Kyle Wren singled home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Both Keys wins have come by 6-2 margins. A closely contested series in 2013, Lynchburg held a slim 10-9 edge, with six of the 19 games being decided by a single run.
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 Jarrett Miller makes the Saturday start for Lynchburg. Making his 2014 debut against Frederick last Sunday, the right-hander allowed one run on four hits over 4.1 innings and drew a no-decision. In his second Carolina League season, the 24-year-old posted a 9-8 record and a 3.73 ERA over 30 games (25 starts) with the Hillcats last season. Miller finished fifth in the CL in strikeouts (122) and fourth in innings pitched (147.0), but occasionally struggled with command, as he also ended third-overall in walks (63). The righty spent 2011-12 with Low-A Rome. Selected by Atlanta in the 21st round of the 2011 draft out of UNC-Greensboro, Miller went 4-2 with a 4.08 ERA in 28 games (four starts) as a junior. Miller tries to become the first Spartans pitcher to reach the Major Leagues since Brian Moehler, who made his big league debut with Detroit in 1996, and pitched 14 years with the Tigers, Reds, Astros and Marlins. Miller throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a curve, a slider and a changeup.