Game Notes 4-13-14

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Frederick tries to snap a five-game losing streak when the team plays game three of four against the Lynchburg Hillcats. Branden Kline makes his second start of the year at Harry Grove (and third of the season), and if that’s not enough motivation to come out, before the game fans can MEET THE TEAM!!! So make sure to drop on by. However if you’ve got plans or are out of town, you can still listen to the game on 1450 AM The Source or frederickkeys.com. Doug and I will keep you company.

Here are some game notes for today. The highlight: Glynn Davis not only leads the Carolina League in hitting, but paces ALL OF ADVANCED-A. That means he has the highest batting average of any player in the Carolina, Florida State or California Leagues.

Talk soon!

Geoff

Sunday, Apr. 13, 2014 · Game #10 · Home Game #6

Frederick Keys (2-7) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (6-3)

RHP Branden Kline (1-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Andrew Waszak (0-0, 6.23)

 

UNLUCKY SEVEN:Lynchburgsent eight men to bat during a four-run seventh inning, while Frederick’s struggles with men in scoring position continued, as the Keys dropped their fifth straight, 8-1. After finishing 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Friday night, the team ended 0-for-9 on Saturday. Over the last three games, the Keys are a collective 2-for-31 with runners at second or third base. Meanwhile, the club’s five-game losing streak is its longest since last June 10-14, when the Keys dropped five straight to Myrtle Beach and Potomac.  

LET’S GO STREAKING!:On Saturday, Glynn Davis extended his hitting streak to nine games. Finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored, it was also his sixth multi-hit effort of the season. Davis now has the longest hitting streak in the Carolina League, after Winston-Salem’s Courtney Hawkins went 0-for-3 on Saturday night. Off to an outstanding start, Davis leads all CL hitters with a .447 average (30 pts higher than his closest competition). That mark is also tied for the highest at Advanced-A, with Jupiter’s Terrence Dayleg. Additionally, Davis paces the loop in the hits (17), ranks second in total bases (22), second in on-base percentage (.472) and fourth in slugging percentage (.579).

BULLPEN BLUES:Following an excellent performance by Matt Hobgood on Friday, the club’s bullpen struggles returned on Saturday. Pitching for the third time, Mark Blackmar was roughed up over 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs (six earned). The majority of those came in the Lynchburg seventh, when six straight Hillcats reached base. This season, the Keys bullpen has posted a 5.70 ERA (36.2 IP/23ER) over nine games. In contrast, the starting rotation has been sharp, tallying a 3.05 ERA (44.1/15ER) since the start of the season.

SLUMPBUSTING:Coming into Saturday on a 2-for-16 slide, Brenden Webb busted out, recording singles in each of his first three at-bats. He closed out of the day 3-for-4, and moved his batting average back over the .300 mark. The three hits was the most Webb had recorded in a Carolina League game since Opening Day 2013, when he went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs against Salem. In his third season at Advanced-A, Webb hit .201 over 84 games last season.

FREDERICK VS LYNCHBURG 2014: The Hillcats have an early 4-2 advantage in the season-series. However, three of Lynchburg’s four 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 Andrew Waszak takes the mound for Lynchburg on Sunday. In his first start of the season this past Tuesday at Potomac, he allowed five runs (three earned) on four hits over three innings. He walked two, struck out one and hit a batter. His Carolina League debut came against the Keys on Opening Day. In 1.1 innings, the Michigan native struck out one and did not allow any runs. A 22nd round selection by Atlanta in 2013, Waszak spent his first professional season in the Appalachian League. With Danville, he went 3-5 with a 2.03 ERA over 13 games (nine starts) and paced the team with 53.1 innings pitched. He also held opponents to a .175 batting average. For his efforts, Waszak was named Danville’s Pitcher of the Year, and the club’s pitcher of the month in June and July. A standout pitcher at Michigan State, the right-hander earned third team All-Big 10 honors as a senior, and ranked fifth in the conference in ERA (2.36). In his college career, he went 18-11 with a 3.82 ERA. As a member of the Spartans, he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss.

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