Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-6-14
Good Afternoon Keys Fans!
Saturday night will be one to remember for the Keys. A cycle, a two home run game, and a 17-3 beheading of the Lynchburg Hillcats. Mike Yastrzemski became the first Keys player since 2005 to hit for the cycle, when he tripled off Benito Pruneda in the top of the ninth. Michael Burgess also had a fabulous night, with a two home run game, the first by a Keys player this season, as Frederick put together its best night offensively since June 5, 2008, when the orange and black disposed of the Winston-Salem Warthogs 19-4.
On Sunday, the team looks for a series win in its final game at City Stadium in 2014. Sebastian Vader makes his Carolina League debut for the Keys and will be opposed by Lucas Sims, the No. 1 overall prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization. First pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. from the Hill City, and you can listen to the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source starting at 5:50. I’ll keep you all company on the broadcast.
Some game notes are below. Talk soon, and shake your keys!
Sunday, July 6, 2014 · Game #84 · Road Game #44
Frederick Keys (37-46/5-11) vs Lynchburg Hillcats (42-44/8-8)
RHP Sebastian Vader (0-0, –) vs. RHP Lucas Sims (6-6, 5.22)
OH WHAT A NIGHT: Mike Yastrzemski hit for the cycle, while the Frederick Keys bats erupted for 19 hits in a 17-3 beatdown of the Lynchburg Hillcats on Saturday night at Calvin Falwell Field. It was runs Frederick had scored in a game since June 5, 2008, when the team defeated the Winston-Salem Warthogs 19-4 (the Keys lineup was headlined by Matt Wieters, who ended 4-for-5 with four runs scored). On Saturday, the Keys pounded out 12 extra-base hits, while every starter finish with at least one RBI. Eight out of nine starters finished with at least one hit, with Yastrzemski leading the charge going with a 5-for-6 showing. Michael Burgess finished with four-hit game, and Adrian Marin tied his season-high with three hits. The lopsided victory forces a rubber game on Sunday, as the Keys play their final game at Calvin Falwell Field in 2014.
IT’S CALLED THE CYCLE: Saturday night was a memorable evening for Mike Yastrzemski. For the first time in his professional career, the former Vanderbilt Commodore hit for the cycle, going 5-for-6 with a homer, a triple, two doubles, five RBIs and three runs scored. Yastrzemski completed the feat in the top of the ninth inning with a three-bagger to left-center. It was the first cycle by a Keys player since May 2, 2005, when Jeff Fiorentino accomplished the feat against Winston-Salem. The five hits for the Keys outfielder was a career-high. Not the only member of his family to hit for the cycle in a professional game, Yastrzemski’s legendary grandfather, Carl, did it on May 14, 1965 against the Detroit Tigers while playing for the Boston Red Sox.
BIG MIKE: Although Yastrzemski’s triple was the main attraction, Michael Burgess also enjoyed a monster night at the plate. Finishing 4-for-6 with two homers, a double, four RBIs and four runs scored, the Tampa native became the first Keys player to hit multiple home runs in a game this year. It was his ninth game of two homers or more since 2008, and the first multi-homer game by a Frederick player since August 26, 2013, when Michael Mosby hit a pair of longballs at Lynchburg. Thanks to the big night, Burgess took over the CL lead in RBIs (60), while he leads all active players with 15 homers. He also leads the league in extra-base hits (42) and total bases (159) while rating second in slugging percentage (.602) and third in doubles (23). A hitter that torched Carolina League pitching in June, 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.
SATURDAY NIGHT CLOSING NOTES:Saturday’s showing ranked as Frederick’s most lopsided win of the season, prior to last night, the Keys biggest margin of victory was seven (a feat which has occurred five times, most recently on May 30 against Wilmington). The 17 runs were five more than Frederick’s previous season-high, while the 19 hits were one short of the club’s high-water mark for the season (the Keys had 20 on May 14 against Potomac). Although the Keys 17-run outburst was impressive, it was not the best showing by an Orioles farm team. The Short-Season Aberdeen Ironbirds clobbered the Brooklyn Cyclones 18-2 on Seinfeld Night at MCU Park in Brooklyn.
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.
FOUR-RUN FORCE:In two of their last three games, 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.
NO LOVE FROM THE NORTH: Despite the Keys win on Saturday, the Keys are just 13-20 against Northern Division ballclubs, while the Keys only have 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).
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK: On Sunday, right-hander Sebastian Vader will make his first start for the Keys. He 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 16 games of the second-half, Keys arms have posted a 6.58 ERA (135.1 IP/99ER) and allowed 170 hits during that time as well as 19 home runs. This year, Frederick arms have given up 58 home runs, the second-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.
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 Lucas Sims makes his 18th start of the season on Sunday night and his fourth against the Keys. The No.1 overall prospect in the Atlanta Farm system according to Baseball America, the righty’s most recent outing came on Tuesday night, and was the roughest of Sims’ career. Over four innings, he allowed seven runs on nine hits and was tagged with his third loss in four games. That defeat comes on the heels of a seven-inning outing on June 26, where Sims collaborated with Alex Wilson on a no-hitter of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. One night later, Cody Scarpetta and Benito Pruneda did the same. It was believed to be the first time in Carolina League history that a club had thrown back-to-back no-hitters. Sims was at his best in the month of May, going 4-0 with a 3.82 ERA, but struggled mightily in June posting a 6.04 ERA and a 1-2 record over five games. Against the Keys this year, he is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA. Sims leads the league in earned runs allowed (51). Sims comes off a stellar 2013 campaign at Low-A Rome, where he went 12-4 with a 2.62 ERA over 28 games (18 starts). He finished second in the South Atlantic League in wins and ERA, fourth in strikeouts (134) and held opponents to a league-low .203 batting average. For his efforts, the righty was named the Braves Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Only 20 years old (his birthday was on May 10), Sims was on a strict innings limit last year, and pitched out of the bullpen until late May. Selected by Atlanta in the first round (21st overall) of the 2012 draft, the righty signed with the Braves for a reported 1.65 million dollars rather than attend Clemson University. A Braves fan growing up, the Lawrenceville, GA native idolized John Smoltz growing up. Sims features a 93-95 mph fastball, a mid-70s curveball, and a changeup.