Keys Game Notes 5-13-14

Good evening Keys fans!

Come out to Harry Grove Stadium tonight to check out your Keys take on the Potomac Nationals in the second of a three game series. The Nationals took the series opener last night by a score of 8-4.

Right-hander Parker Bridwell gets the start for the Keys tonight against the Nationals, who will start lefty Brett Mooneyham.

Below are some of the game notes for tonight’s matchup.

Hope to see plenty of you here tonight! Shake your keys!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 · Game #36 · Home Game #18

Frederick Keys (15-20) vs Potomac Nationals (20-14)

RHP Parker Bridwell (0-5, 6.94) vs. LHP Brett Mooneyham (2-3, 7.06)

MOST WANTED MAN: Brandon Miller broke an eighth inning tie, then provided insurance for the Potomac Nationals, who defeated the Frederick Keys 8-4 on Monday night at Harry Grove Stadium. Tied at four entering the eighth, Miller led-off the inning with a deep home run to left off Matt Hauser, then doubled home two more in the ninth. Branden Kline struggled with command, walking a season-high three over four innings of work, while he allowed four runs in his final frame. In the inning, the Nationals batted around as Kline needed 44 pitches to escape. The loss returns the Keys to a season-worst five games below .500, and drops the team into last place in the Carolina League Northern Division standings.

FOURTH INNING FRUSTRATION: Branden Kline allowed only one hit through his first three innings, but was tagged for four runs on five hits in the fourth inning. In the frame, the Nationals batted around while the right-hander needed 44 pitches to retire the side. Exiting after four stanzas, Kline allowed four runs on six hits, he walked three and struck out one. The four innings equals a season-low for Kline, who also allowed four runs over four innings against Lynchburg on April 13. Monday’s start bumped Kline’s ERA from 2.01 to 2.64, but he still boasts the seventh-best ERA in the Carolina League.

LITTLE HELP!: Despite splitting their past series with Winston-Salem, the Keys struggled mightily with runners in scoring position. Over the four game series, the team went a combined 4-for-30 with men at second or third base. On the season, Frederick is hitting .223 with men closest to home, .171 with men at second and third and two outs, and only .190 with the bases loaded.

FEELING THE BREEZE: Over the last four days, Frederick has struck out a combined 35 times. During the final two games of the series, the Keys went down on strikes 13 times. On Friday, the orange and black went down 12 times, as Dash starter J.B. Wendelken recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts. That was the most strikeouts by an opponent starting pitcher against the Keys this season. Frederick also struck out 10 times on Thursday (with Mike Recchia recording nine punchouts). Currently, the Keys are fourth in the Carolina League in strikeouts (267).

A HOUSE BUT NOT A HOME: After Sunday’s split, the Keys are just 5-11 at Harry Grove Stadium this year. The 11 losses is tied for the second-most in the Carolina League, with the Keys trailing only Winston-Salem (6-12) in setbacks at home. In contrast, Frederick’s 10 road wins are tops in the Northern Division and third-most in the CL. In general, home wins have been tough to come by in the Carolina League this season. Only Potomac (10-8) has a winning record at home, while every other club excluding Salem (10-10) is below the .500 at their home venue.

TURN OUT THE LIGHTS, THE PARTY’S OVER: When the Keys have opened the eighth inning with a lead, the results have often been favorable for the orange and black. In games where the team has the lead after seven innings, the Keys are 13-2. That mark improves to 9-1 when Frederick is ahead going into the ninth. In contrast, the team’s success late in games has been limited. Prior to Brenden Webb’s walk-off RBI single in the penultimate game of the series, the Keys were 0-14 when playing from behind entering the ninth.

TOP DOG: A staple of consistency at the top of the lineup, Glynn Davis has recorded at least one hit in 26 of 32 games this season that he has played. Currently, the Baltimore native rates second in the Carolina League in batting average (.351), hits (46) and runs scored (29), while he is third in total bases (62). Davis’ 15 games of two-hits or more also lead the ballclub.

TWIN KILLINGS:Frederick has been susceptible to the double-play ball over the last eight days. During that time, the Keys have hit into 10 twin-killings. That has ticked the club’s season-total up to 29, the most in the Carolina League this season. Nearly one-third of that total has come from Jason Esposito and Wynston Sawyer who have each hit into five apiece.

FREDERICK VS POTOMAC: Frederick has dropped 15 of its last 23 games to Potomac stretching back to last year. This season, the orange and black are 1-2 against their Northern Division rival after the P-Nats pulled a 4-0 shutout in game one, and shocked the Keys by a 4-3 margin in game two, thanks to a walk-off double by Randolph Oduber. Luis Pujols’ club salvaged a win in the series finale, as Branden Kline tossed six scoreless innings and Matt Hauser worked around trouble for his second save. The Keys went 7-13 against the Nationals in both 2012 and 2013, while Frederick has not claimed a season series against the Nationals since 2010. Potomac earned three shutout wins over the Keys last season, while an 8-0 Nationals victory on June 13 gave the P-Nats the first-half CL North title.

 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 played at the Advanced-A level prior to 2014.

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