Frederick Keys Game Notes 4-18-14
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
The Keys have arrived at Five County Stadium, and are set to begin a four-game series with the Carolina Mudcats tonight. Frederick goes for its fourth straight win and also looks for some payback after the Muddies pulled a three-game sweep at Harry Grove Stadium.
I’ll have the broadcast starting at 6:45. First pitch gets thrown at 7.
I’ve tossed in some notes below.
Friday, Apr. 18, 2014 · Game #15 · Road Game #8
Frederick Keys (6-8) vs Carolina Mudcats (8-6)
RHP Branden Kline (1-1, 4.20) vs. RHP D.J. Brown (1-0, 3.38)
SWEEP COMPLETE!:Frederick earned a three-game sweep of the Winston-Salem Dash on Thursday night, as the team used a three-run sixth to take down their Southern Division foe, 7-3. It was the Keys first sweep of the season, and marked the first time that Frederick had earned a three-game road sweep since May 5, 2013, when the club broomed Carolina. Down 3-2 to start the sixth, Michael Burgess evened the count with a deep home run to right, while Adrian Marin put the Keys on top for good on a two-run single to left. On the mound, Brady Wager tossed six innings of three-hit baseball, and Mark Blackmar slammed the door, tossing three scoreless innings to earn the save.
ATTACK OF THE BATS:On Thursday night, the Keys pounded out 12 hits in the ballgame. The bulk of those came between the fifth and seventh innings, where Frederick recorded nine hits and tallied six runs. This season, when Luis Pujols’ club ends with 10 or more hits in a game, Frederick is 4-0. In the series finale, eight out of the nine starters recorded at least one hit in the game, while Lucas Herbst, Wynston Sawyer, Adrian Marin and Jason Esposito each finished with two knocks apiece.
SLICK WITH THE LEATHER: Since making two errors last Saturday at Lynchburg, the Keys have played error-free baseball over the last five games. The team currently ranks third in the Carolina League in team-defense (.975 fielding percentage), trailing only Wilmington (.984) and Lynchburg (.977). Meanwhile, Jason Esposito has been perfect on all his chances at the hot corner, and leads all CL third baseman in defense. During the recent series at Winston-Salem, the Keys saw first-hand how poor defensive play can hurt a team. Over three games, the Dash committed eight errors, resulting in seven unearned runs.
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END: Glynn Davis’s 11-gamehitting streak came to an end in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader, as he finished 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. The longest streak of its kind in the Carolina League this season, the Baltimore native hit .458 (22-48) during the 11-game swing with four doubles, a triple and eight RBIs. Quickly putting the 0-for-3 game behind him, Davis finished 2-for-3 in the second contest, to bump his average back up to .444. That mark paces all Advanced-A hitters. Additionally, Davis leads the CL in hits (24) while he is second in runs scored (13) and on-base percentage (.492). He also rates fourth in total bases (30) and fifth in slugging percentage (.556).
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO WAGER?: Brady Wager became the first Keys pitcher to two wins on Thursday night. Picking up his second quality start of the season, the right-hander tossed six innings of three-run baseball. One more triumph would equal Wager’s total from last season with the Keys, where he went 3-10 over 15 games. Over six strong innings in the series finale, the 23-year-old scattered seven hits, walked one and struck out three. Wager also earned a quality start the outing before, surrendering just one run over six innings to Lynchburg. Currently, the Arizona native is tied for second in the Carolina League in victories, trailing only Jonathan Dziedzic of Wilmington.
ROAD WARRIORS: Through 14 games, the Keys have preferred the road rather than the friendly confines. In seven road tilts this season, Frederick is 5-2, and has won each of its last four games away from Harry Grove Stadium. In contrast, the Keys are 1-6 in home games. That includes being swept in three games by the Carolina Mudcats. This reverse home-road trend was the norm in 2013, with the Keys going 29-40 in home games and 32-38 in road games.
THE TIMES THEY ARE A’CHANGIN: On Tuesday, the Keys roster received a bit of a shakeup. Outfielder Trent Mummey and infielder Michael Mosby were both released, while infielder Jerome Pena was activated from the seven-day disabled list and outfielder Lucas Herbst was promoted from Low-A Delmarva. In seven games with Frederick this season, Mummey hit .182 (4-for-22) with a run scored. Mosby was 0-for-12 at the plate in three games. As for Herbst, he was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with two RBIs over four games with the Shorebirds. Starting the second game of the doubleheader in rightfield, he finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.
FREDERICK VS CAROLINA 2014: The Keys try for their first win over Carolina on Friday night, after the Muddies pulled a three-game sweep in the first head-to-head matchup of the year. In the first game between the two clubs in 2014, Dylan Baker tossed six perfect innings, as the Keys were shutout 7-0. In game two, it was Shawn Morimando’s turn to shine. Over six strong innings, the southpaw allowed only three hits and one unearned run, while the Mudcats exploded for five runs in the fifth to win 8-1. In the final game, the Keys held a 3-1 lead going into the eighth, but Miguel Chalas could not protect it, as Carolina posted three runs and batted around to complete the sweep, 5-4. The early results represent a departure from 2013, when the Keys went 12-8 record against the Mudcats, the most wins Frederick earned against a CL opponent last year.
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.
TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander D.J. Brown makes his fourth appearance of the season and his second start of the year. His first one came last Sunday at Potomac, when he tossed five innings and allowed two runs on two hits to earn his first Carolina League win. Opening the season in the bullpen, Brown takes the rotation spot of Dylan Baker, who suffered a fractured right ankle last weekend. Prior to joining the rotation, Brown allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits over three innings of work as a relief pitcher. That includes one game against the Keys on April 9, when he allowed one unearned run over two innings. Primarily a reliever in 2013, the Virginian spent his first season at Low-A Lake County. Named by MLB.com as the Indians A-Ball “Pitcher of the Year”, Brown went 3-4 with a 2.71 ERA and earned one save over 27 games (two starts). With the Captains, he held opponents to a measly .238 average, and was brutal against lefties, limiting them to a .200 clip. In two late-August starts, he was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA (10IP/2ER). Selected by Cleveland in the 39th round of the 2012 draft out of James Madison University, Brown missed his entire junior season due to a right labrum injury. However he thrived as a sophomore, going 9-1 with a 4.00 ERA and over team-high 96.2 innings. Starting the season as a starter, he finished the year as the Dukes closer, striking out 92 and holding opponents to a .245 batting average, as JMU claimed the 2011 CAA Championship. Standing at 6-6, Brown throws a low-90s fastball, a curveball, slider and a changeup.