Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-5-14
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
The Keys continue their three-game series with Lynchburg, as Frederick plays its second-to-last game at Calvin Falwell Field in 2014. Lynchburg won last night 8-4, using a four-run sixth to pull away for good. Branden Kline gets the nod for the Keys tonight, and goes for his second win at Lynchburg this year (remember he won his opening night start here). He will be countered by Hillcats righty Wes Parsons.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m, while our radio coverage gets underway at 5:50 on 1450 AM The Source.
Some game notes are below. Shake your Keys!
Saturday, July 5, 2014 · Game #83 · Road Game #43
Frederick Keys (36-46/4-11) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (42-43/8-7)
RHP Branden Kline (4-3, 3.74) vs. RHP Wes Parsons (4-4, 3.96)
WILD THING: The Lynchburg Hillcats used one big inning and a good start from Jarrett Miller to defeat the Frederick Keys 8-4 on Friday night at Calvin Falwell Field. Entering the contest on a four-game losing streak, Lynchburg used a four-run sixth to take the lead for good. Sending eight men to bat in the frame, Will Skinner got the ball rolling with a two-run homer to right, while two singles, two walks, and three wild pitches by Jimmy Yacabonis made it a 7-4 Hillcats lead. The sixth inning surge would ensure a win for Miller, who allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits over 6.2 innings. The Keys recorded three of those runs in the top of the sixth, thanks to RBI doubles by Michael Burgess and Adrian Marin as well as an RBI single by Brenden Webb. However the Hillcats big inning, as well as 2.1 frames of shutout relief by Alex Wilson sealed the Keys fate.
FOUR-RUN FORCE: In their last two ballgames, the Keys have been victimized by a four-run inning. On Wednesday night against Salem, Parker Bridwell surrendered four runs in the top of the first inning, while the Keys managed only two runs the rest of the way in a rain-shortened 6-2 defeat. Since the start of the second-half, many of the Keys woes can be attributed to one bad inning. Six times, Frederick pitching has allowed an opponent to score four or more runs in an inning, while all six times the Keys have lost the game. The most number of runs allowed by the pitching staff in a second-half inning is seven, a feat accomplished by the Potomac Nationals on June 29.
BUNDY BLURBS:On Friday, Dylan Bundy made his fourth rehab start since undergoing “Tommy John” surgery last June, and his first with the Keys. Limited to 75 pitches, the right-hander allowed three runs on four hits over 4.2 innings. He exited after allowing a sac-fly to Jose Martinez, and received a no-decision. It was the Oklahoma native’s first appearance in a Frederick uniform since August 8, 2012. Prior to joining the Keys on Thursday, Bundy made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, the right-hander went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, Bundy allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.
NO LOVE FROM THE NORTH: Friday was the Keys 20th loss to a Northern Division ballclub. On the season, the orange and black are just 12-20 against their closest geographic rivals, while the club only has a winning record against Potomac (5-4). In contrast, nearly half of the Keys losses against intra-division competition have come to Lynchburg (3-9). That includes five straight defeats to the Hillcats going back to April 14, Lynchburg’s first visit to Harry Grove Stadium this season. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the Keys wins in 2014 have come against southern teams. Currently, Frederick is 24-26 against southern teams, with the bulk of those wins coming against Myrtle Beach (9-8).
ALL GOOD THINS MUST COME TO AN END: Parker Bridwell’s string of seven straight quality home starts came to an end on Wednesday. Lasting only four innings, the Texan allowed six runs on eight hits, while he walked three and struck out six. It was Bridwell’s shortest outing since June 4, and his first loss since May 20. Additionally, the six runs were the second-most the righty had given up all season (he surrendered seven on April 9 against Carolina).June was Bridwell’s best month of the year, as he went 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA over five games.
BIG MIKE: Michael Burgess ended his month of June on a high-note racking up his 21st multi-hit game of the year. Ending the night 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, and three runs scored, the Tampa native also finished with four RBIs which tied his season-high. A player that is sad to see the calendar flip, Burgess hit .371 over 23 contests during the season’s third month. During that time, he hit nine homers, three triples, seven doubles and drove in 22. The nine longballs was the most by a Carolina League player and tied for the fourth-most by a minor leaguer in June. His 22 RBIs were also third-most by a CL player in the month of June. Currently, Burgess is fifth in the eight-team circuit in batting average (.313), tied for second in home runs (13), while he leads the league in extra-base hits (39) and total bases (148).
NO RELATION TO DARTH: On Tuesday, right-hander Sebastian Vader was promoted to the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. In 13 games (all starts), the righty went 8-4 with a 3.04 ERA. In 83 innings, he gave up 79 hits, walked 15 and struck out 25. A native of San Marcos, CA, Vader spent all of 2013 at Short-Season Aberdeen where he went 7-3 with a 2.43 ERA in 14 games. Vader takes the roster spot of Joe Van Meter, who was released by the Orioles on Monday.
LONELY ISLAND: Since the start of the second-half, the Keys pitching staff has taken its lumps. Over the first 15 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 6.84 ERA (126.1 IP/96ER) and allowed 160 hits during that time as well as 19 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 58 home runs, the most longballs allowed by a CL pitching staff. In the second-half, Frederick starters have put together only three quality starts (Bridwell has two and Blackmar has one) and have not worked past the sixth inning in any start.
MOVING ON UP!: On Saturday June 21, after the Keys game at Carolina, Mychal Givens received word that he had been promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox. The right-hander becomes the first member of the Keys to be promoted in 2014, and the first to climb the ladder since Johnny Ruettiger was called up to the Baysox last August 31. One of the league’s most dominant relief pitchers, Givens was 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA over 18 games with the orange and black. Utilizing a hard sinker and sweeping changeup, the Floridian held opponents to a paltry .147 batting average. The lowest batting average against for either a starter or reliever in the eight-team loop. In a corresponding move, the Keys received right-hander Dennis Torres from Low-A Delmarva. In 17 games with the Shorebirds he went 1-3 with a 3.31 ERA. He made his CL debut on Saturday, giving up two runs on five hits over two stanzas.
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.
TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER:Right-hander Wes Parsons make his 16th start of the season and his fourth against the Keys. Rated the No. 20 prospect in the Atlanta organization according to Baseball America, the righty is coming off his worst outing of the season on Monday. Facing Myrtle Beach, Parsons allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits over five innings in a no-decision. It was the most runs he had allowed in a game since July 13 at Hagerstown, when he was pitching for Low-A Rome. One of the Hillcats most consistent starters this season, Parsons went 4-3 with a 3.76 ERA during the first-half of the season. A pitcher whose command has been very sharp, the right-hander is fifth in the Carolina league in walk/nine inning ratio, handing out only 1.93 free tickets per game. On the season, he has walked only 19 in 84 frames, and has not given out any more than three walks a game. In three starts against the Keys this year, Parsons is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA, and has allowed only three runs on 11 hits over 13.1 stanzas. 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 unhittable in the second-half. In 14 starts, he tallied a 2.02 ERA and scattered just 63 hits in 84.2 innings. Displaying excellent command, he walked only 21 over 109.2 innings. 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. The success carried over to the simmer 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 95 mph. Multiple teams showed interest in Parsons, but he signed with the Braves for a reported $200,000. Employing an easy deliver, the 6-5 Tennessean throws a low-mid 90s fastball, a slider and a changeup.