Frederick Keys Game Notes 7-31-14

Good Evening Keys Fans!

Frederick tries to avoid tying its longest losing streak on the season 0n Thursday night, when the club plays its final game of the regular season against Winston-Salem.

Parker Bridwell takes the mound for the Keys and will be opposed by Dash righty Terance Marin.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. and Doug Raftery has all the play-by-play starting at 6:45 on 1450 AM The Source. Some game notes are below.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

Thursday, July 31, 2014 · Game #106 · Road Game #57

Frederick Keys (48-57/16-22) vs Winston-Salem Dash (51-58/21-19)

RHP Parker Bridwell (5-7, 4.11) vs. RHP Terance Marin (3-2, 3.16)

SLIDE TO SIX: The Winston-Salem Dash scored multiple runs in four different innings, and got outstanding pitching from J.B. Wendelken to top the Frederick Keys 12-2 on Wednesday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. It was Frederick’s sixth straight loss, and pushed the club to nine under .500 (48-57) for the season. Dominant through seven shutout innings, Wendelken allowed only two hits, and struck out 13, a Dash-era record, giving Winston-Salem the series win. Chih-Hsien Chiang was the lone bright spot for Frederick offensively, going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs on a day where the orange and black were limited to three hits and struck out 19 times. Brady Wager was hit with the loss, going three innings and surrendering six runs on eight hits. It was his second-shortest outing of the year. For the Dash, five members of the starting lineup ended with multiple hits and four tallied two or more RBIs. The 10-run defeat is tied for the Keys second-worst loss of the year, and equals the club’s worst loss of the second-half.

STUCK IN A TAILSPIN: Wednesday’s loss was Frederick’s sixth in a row, the club’s second-longest slide of the second-half. Frederick has not won a game since last Wednesday, while a loss tonight would equal the team’s longest losing streak of the year. Previously, the Keys dropped seven in-a-row from June 21-27. A loss would also drop to the team to a season-worst 10 games below .500 (a spot the team has not been in since July 4) while it would give the Dash a series sweep.

AVOIDING THE BROOMS: The Keys were swept by Lynchburg in their last series, and are trying to avoiding being broomed for the seventh time this season. Frederick has been swept four times since the All-Star break, including once in succession (June 22-27). That occurred at Harry Grove Stadium, with Wilmington taking three straight (22-24) and Winston-Salem following with three wins of their own (25-27). Fortunately, Frederick has often avoided road sweeps. Five of the six broomings have occurred at the friendly confines, as the Keys have only been swept on the road by Lynchburg (May 27-29).   

THE WHIFF: In the middle game of the series against the Dash, the Keys struck out a season-high 19 times. The club’s previous high was 16, which occurred on April 25 against Lynchburg. Adrian Marin was the only member of the starting lineup who did not strike out, while Frederick had six players strike out three times or more. Jerome Pena had the worst day at the plate, finishing with the golden sombrero (the second time he has struck out four times in a game this year). Steel Russell, Lucas Herbst and Jason Esposito all struck out three times. Of the 19 strikeouts, 13 came against J.B. Wendelken, the most punch outs by an opposing pitcher against the Keys this year. This season, the team has struck out 802 times, and trails only Myrtle Bach (899) in total whiffs.

I SAW HIM STANDING THERE: Over their last five games, Frederick has only one hit with a runner in scoring position. During that time, the club has gone 1-for-33 with men at second and third base and left 34 on the basepaths (including 17 during this series). A point of emphasis all season, the Keys are batting .247 as a team with runners in scoring position. Hitting with runners at second and third and two outs has been especially problematic. This year, the Keys are batting .215 in those spots.

BUNDY BLURBS: Coming off his first post-Tommy John surgery win (and first since August 28, 2012) Dylan Bundy struggled with command on Tuesday. Walking a career-high five batters, the 21-year-old eclipsed his previous high-water mark of four (also set on August 28, 2012). Lasting 4.1 innings, Bundy allowed two runs on five hits and struck out one. In five starts with the orange and black, the former first rounder is 1-2 with a 5.73 ERA, while he has walked 13 and struck only eight. Prior to joining Frederick, the righty made three rehab starts with Short-Season Aberdeen. Working five innings in each outing, Bundy went 0-1 with a 0.60 ERA. In 15 innings, he allowed only one run on 10 hits while he walked three and struck out 22. Opponents were hitting just .189 against him.

LOST IN THE SHUFFLE: Chih-Hsien Chiang and Lex Rutledge were two bright spots in the Keys loss to the Dash on Wednesday. Going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, Chang accounted for two of Frederick’s three hits. It was also a nice boost for the Taiwan native, who entered the day batting only .154 through his first seven games. On the mound, Rutledge tossed two shutout innings of relief to cut his ERA to 3.38, the lowest it has been since April 18. Excellent in the month of July, the southpaw is 1-1 with a 0.69 ERA (13IP/1 ER) over seven games.

MOVING ON UP!!: Following last Monday’s game, Michael Burgess and Glynn Davis received word they had been promoted to Double-A Bowie. The duo become the third and fourth members of the Keys to move to Double-A this season, joining Mychal Givens and Mike Yastrzemski. Sammie Starr was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk on June 27 and later transferred to Bowie, while Zane Chavez and Ashur Tolliver opened the year with the Baysox and have shuttled between Advanced-A and Double-A. For Burgess, Monday’s call-up marks a return to Double-A, as the Tampa native spent 2012 with the Cubs Double-A affiliate in Tennessee and 2013 with the Astros Double-A team in Corpus Christi. One of the league’s top offensive threats, Burgess hit .315 over 83 games to go along with 15 homers, 68RBIs, 32 doubles and four triples. At the time of his promotion, Burgess led the league in RBIs, doubles, slugging percentage (.579), extra-base hits (51), total bases (186) and intentional walks (four). He was tied for second in home runs and was third in batting average and hits (101). Burgess was named Carolina League Player of the Month for June and CL “Player of the Week” for June 9-15. Meanwhile, Davis gets his first crack at Double-A. A mid-season Carolina League All-Star, the 22-year-old hit .295 over 89 games. He heads to the Eastern League tied for the Carolina League lead in hits (104), while he was second in runs scored and tied for eighth in batting average (.295).

NEWCOMERS: Taking the roster spots of Burgess and Davis are Johnny Ruettiger and Chih-Hsien Chang who both come down from Double-A Bowie. In 61 games with the Baysox this season, Ruettiger was batting .282 with a triple, six doubles and eight stolen bases. No stranger to the Keys, the former Arizona State product hit .246 over 106 games with the orange and black last season, while he stole 43 bases, a career-high, and the seventh-most by a Keys player all-time. Chiang struggled with the Baysox, hitting .219 with three home runs and 20 RBIs. This is the first time that he has been at the Advanced-A level since 2009, when he was a member of the Salem Red Sox. Originally signed by Boston as an international free agent out of Taiwan in 2005, the outfielder spent all of 2013 with the Rangers Double-A club in Frisco. There, he hit .263 over 124 games, led the club in doubles (36) and placed second in hits (125). Chiang has also spent time with the Mariners organization, advancing as high as Triple-A Tacoma in 2012.

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) and Branden Kline (20). Jon Keller (17) and Trey Mancini (25) joined the club after the All-Star break, while Mychal Givens (23) and Glynn Davis (29) opened the year with the Keys but were promoted in the second-half. 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 Terance Marin makes his 11th appearance of the season as well as his ninth start as a member of the Dash. In his last start on Saturday night, the righty allowed only one run on two hits over seven innings and struck out six in a no-decision. In eight starts as a member of the starting rotation, Marin is 3-2 with a 2.50 ERA, while he has worked seven or more innings five times.  Opening the season with Winston-Salem, Marin endured a disastrous start, where he surrendered 10 runs (four earned) over his first inning-plus on 10 hits. On April 11, he was released by the White Sox organization. Moving on to the Evansville Otters of the Independent Frontier League, Marin got things back on track, going 4-1 with a 2.05 ERA over six starts, to go along with 39 strikeouts in 39.1 innings pitched (the 39 strikeouts was one off the league lead at the time his contract was purchased). Dominant as a member of the Otters, Marin carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning in three of his six outings. A member of the Dash the previous two seasons, the righty went 5-5 with a 4.76 ERA over 33 games (seven starts) last year. He placed sixth on the Dash with 92.2 innings worked. A pitcher was much better in the second-half, Marin went 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA in his final 18 games (one start) after going 4-5 with a 6.20 ERA in his first 15 contests. August was particularly good, as he allowed only two earned runs in 18.1 stanzas (0.98). He went 5-6 with a 2.42 ERA in 33 games with Winston-Salem in 2012. Signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Marin played two seasons at Modesto Junior College (18 games/17 starts).

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