Author Archive

Keys Go For Series Win in Winston-Salem

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys try for their first series win in six sets on Sunday at 5 pm as the Keys wrap up their series with the Winston-Salem Dash. Keys pitching has held Winston bats off the board for 16 straight innings, while Frederick arms have combined to shutout their CL South foe in each of the last two nights (just the second time that has happened this year).

Franderlin Romero makes the start for the Keys tonight and will be opposed by Dash righty Zach Thompson (who made his CL debut against the Keys back in July.

We’ll be on the airwaves starting at 4:45 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com as well as on the TuneIn Radio App (by searching WTHU).

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Sunday, August 7, 2016 · Game #112 · Road Game #59

Frederick Keys (55-56/19-22) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (47-66/19-24)

RHP Franderlin Romero (4-4, 6.31) vs. RHP Zach Thompson (2-2, 6.33)

                                                                                                                                                              

PITCHING RULES IN SHUTOUT WIN: Mitch Horacek, Ryan Meisinger and Jeff Beliveau collaborated on a six-hit shutout as the Frederick Keys defeated the Winston-Salem Dash 1-0 on Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark. It was the Keys second shutout win in as many nights. Eight of Winston-Salem’s nine starters struck out at least once as the Dash struck out 12 times. Frederick’s only run scored in the fourth inning. DJ Stewart singled to open things up, advanced to third on a passed ball and a fly out, before scoring on a wild pitch. That was all the support Frederick pitching needed. Horacek tossed the first innings and tied his season-high with nine strikeouts, while Keys arms set down the final 12 Dash hitters of the game.

FIRING BLANKS: Although the orange and black have won only four times in their last 13 games, each of the last four Keys wins have come via shutout. The Keys also defeated the Dash 1-0 on Friday (rain shortened game) while Frederick topped Wilmington 2-0 on July 28 and Salem by a 7-0 count on July 24. Currently, the Keys lead the CL in shutout wins (12) giving them one more than Lynchburg. Additionally, the Keys have claimed back-to-back shutout wins for the second time this year (they did it during a June 11 doubleheader at Potomac). Frederick has yet to win three straight via shutout.

PITCHING REIGNS SUPREME: Keys pitching has held Winston-Salem off the scoreboard for the last 16 innings (the Dash have not scored a run since scoring two in the seventh inning on Thursday). In this three-game series, Keys pitching has posted a 0.39 ERA (23 IP/3R/1ER). The bullpen has not allowed a run, while Lucas Long and Mitch Horacek have turned in quality starts in two of the last three games. After Keys starters registered only two quality starts in July and posted a 5.98 ERA, that group has delivered quality outings in three of its first five August games. In the process, they have turned in a 0.84 ERA (32.1 IP/3ER).

TROUBLE WITH THE LUMBER: While the pitching has been impressive to start this month, Keys bats are hitting only .196 in five August games. In the last four contests, the team has posted six hits or less, while in the last 15 games, the Keys are batting only .196 (95-for-483). In that stretch, they have scored two runs or less on eight occasions. The low point came on Thursday, when Dash pitching combined to one-hit the Keys (the second time it had happened this year). Although it has not been the norm, the Keys last three wins have come by scoring three or less runs (10-36) (as opposed to going 45-20 when plating four or more).  

RODRIGUEZ EARNS MORE HARDWARE: After being named the Orioles Minor League Player of the Month for July on Thursday, Aderlin Rodriguez was named the Carolina Player of the Month on Friday. It marks the third straight month where a Keys player has won the CL Player of the Month Award (Matthew Grimes won in May and Conor Bierfeldt won in June). In 28 July games, Rodriguez batted .375 with eight homers, 29 RBIs, a .688 slugging percentage and a 1.110 OPS. He led the circuit in hitting, slugging and OPS while tying for first in RBIs and ending second in homers. A Triple Crown candidate, Rodriguez is fourth in hitting (.302), second in home runs (19) and fourth in RBIs (74). There has not been a Triple Crown winner in the CL since Leo Daigle of the Winston-Salem Warthogs in 2005, while the only other league Triple Crown was by Ray Jablonski in 1951 with the Winston-Salem Cardinals.

CLOSE CALLS: Since a 10-1 loss to Winston-Salem last Monday, the Keys have repeatedly been locked in close games. 10 of the last 11 games the Keys have played have come down to three runs or less, while seven have been one-run games. That includes the last two nights. Before taking each of the last two one-run games, the Keys had dropped five straight one-run ballgames. Frederick is 15-17 in one-run games (5th CL) this year and 10-10 in two-run games (5th CL).

LITTLE HELP!: Tuesday snapped a string of seven straight games with an error by a Keys player. Still, over the last 12 games, the orange and black have committed multiple errors four times, while they have made 18 during that stretchDue to these errors, 13 of the last 52 runs charged against Keys pitching have been unearned. Currently the Keys are sixth in the CL in fielding percentage (.972) and have made 116 errors (third-most). Only Wilmington (122) and Carolina (120) have more errors.

TIME TO REDISCOVER THE ROAD MOJO: After racking up the best first-half road record in the Carolina League (22-13) the Keys have gone just 10-13 since the all-star break. During that time, the orange and black have won just one of their six road sets in the second-half (1-3-2). That includes setbacks in the last two series (the Keys last road series win came at Myrtle Beach from July 13-15). Frederick is now 32-26 in road games, while five of eight teams in the league have road marks above .500.

ODDS AND ENDS: DJ Stewart scored the winning run on Saturday after driving home the winning run on Friday. He has gone 3-for-7 in this series. Aderlin Rodriguez has gone hitless in his last 10 at-bats (his last hit was a 13th inning double on Wednesday). Austin Wynns has caught four of the Keys five games since returning from Triple-A Norfolk (he is 5-for-15 at the plate during that time). The International Olympic Committee has approved the return of baseball/softball for 2020. Baseball last was played in 2008, while then-Key Jake Arietta was a member of the team.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Zach Thompson makes his sixth start with the Dash on Sunday and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came at Carolina on Tuesday. Tagged with the loss, Thompson gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits in five stanzas. The righty joined the Dash from Low-A Kannapolis on July 11. With the Intimidators, the righty went 6-3 with a 2.62 ERA in 16 starts while logging 86 innings. At the time of his promotion, he was first in the South Atlantic League in batting average against (.193) and fourth in ERA. Selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2014 draft out of UT Arlington, Thompson went 5-4 with a 4.64 ERA as a junior and was the first player from the Sun Belt Conference to be taken that year. He was taken by Pittsburgh in the 48th round of the 2011 draft out of Arlington Grace Prep (TX) but did not sign.

The Slide is Over..

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys snapped a season-worst six-game losing streak on Friday thanks to a 1-0 rain-shortened win. Each of the last three Keys victories have come via shutout, while last night ended a string of four straight Dash wins.

Tonight, Mitch Horacek makes the start for the Keys and will be opposed by Dash righty Jordan Stephens. A familiar face at this point, Frederick will see Stephens for the fourth time this season. Against the Keys he is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA.

First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m and pre-game coverage starts 15 minutes prior on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn radio App (search WTHU).

Once again, Lary Sorensen will be with us. An 11-year Major League pitcher (and an all-star in 1978) Lary has broadcast games for ESPN and the Detroit Tigers among others. He’s got so many great stories to tell and I hope you’ll tune in if you’ve got some time tonight.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

 

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, August 6, 2016 · Game #111 · Road Game #58

Frederick Keys (54-56/18-22) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (47-65/19-23)

LHP Mitch Horacek (4-10, 4.64) vs. RHP Jordan Stephens (5-7, 3.86)

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS TAKE RAIN-SHORTENED AFFAIR: The Frederick Keys earned a 1-0 rain-shortened win over the Winston-Salem Dash on Friday night at BB&T Ballpark. Umpires stopped the game with two outs in the top of the seventh, while it snapped a six-game Keys losing streak. The only run of the game came across in the top of the third, thanks to three singles off Robinson Leyer. DJ Stewart had the decisive RBI, which scored Yermin Mercedes. Winston-Salem failed to crack the scoreboard despite a multitude of chances. In six trips to bat, the home team left eight on base and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

SLIDE SNAPPED: Friday’s win ended a season-worst six game slide, the club’s longest drought since last July 26-31. It was the Keys first victory since last Thursday/Friday when the team defeated Wilmington in the front-end of a quasi-doubleheader. Although the orange and black have won only three times in their last 12 games, each of the last three Keys victories have come via shutout. Before last night’s win the Keys defeated Wilmington 2-0, while on July 24 Frederick blanked Salem 7-0. As a result, the orange and black are now tied for the CL lead in shutout wins with Lynchburg (11).

TROUBLE WITH THE LUMBER: Friday marked the third straight game where the Keys had been out-hit, while on Thursday the Keys were one-hit for the second time this year. A major source of frustration over the recent slide, Keys hitters are batting .189 over the last seven games (42-for-222) while in the last 14 ballgames, the Keys are hitting only .197 (89-for-452). In the last 14 contests, the Keys have scored two runs or less.

RODRIGUEZ EARNS MORE HARDWARE: One day after winning the Orioles Minor League Player of the Month for July, Aderlin Rodriguez was named the Carolina Player of the Month. It marks the third straight month where a Keys player has won the CL Player of the Month Award (Matthew Grimes won in May and Conor Bierfeldt won in June). In 28 July games, Rodriguez batted .375 with eight homers, 29 RBIs, two triples, seven doubles and 21 runs scored. He posted a .688 slugging percentage and 1.110 OPS. He led the circuit in hitting, slugging and OPS while tying for first in RBIs and ending second in homers. A Triple Crown candidate, Rodriguez is third in hitting (.305), second in home runs (19) and fourth in RBIs (74). There has not been a Triple Crown winner in the CL since Leo Daigle of the Winston-Salem Warthogs in 2005, while the only other league Triple Crown was by Ray Jablonski in 1951 with the Winston-Salem Cardinals.

CLOSE CALLS: Since a 10-1 loss to Winston-Salem last Monday, the Keys have repeatedly been locked in close games. Nine of the last 10 games the Keys have played have come down to three runs or less, while six have been one-run games. Last night, the Keys snapped a string of five straight one-run losses. Frederick is 14-17 in one-run games this year and 10-10 in two-run games.

LITTLE HELP!: Tuesday snapped a string of seven straight games with an error by a Keys player. Still, over the last 11 games, the orange and black have committed multiple errors four times, while they have made 18 during that stretchDue to these errors, 13 of the last 52 runs charged against Keys pitching have been unearned. Currently the Keys are sixth in the CL in fielding percentage (.971) and have made 116 errors (third-most). Only Wilmington (121) and Carolina (120) have more errors.

TIME TO REDISCOVER THE ROAD MOJO: After racking up the best first-half road record in the Carolina League (22-13) the Keys have gone just 9-13 since the all-star break. During that time, the orange and black have won just one of their six road sets in the second-half (1-3-2). That includes setbacks in the last two series (the Keys last road series win came at Myrtle Beach from July 13-15. Frederick’s 31-26 road record now ranks fourth in the CL, while five of eight teams in the league have road marks above .500.

SALCEDO’S STREAK ENDS: Erick Salcedo saw his 11-game hitting streak end on Thursday, going 0-for-2 with a run and two walks. Over the 11-gamer, the Venezuelan hit .333 (14-for-42) with a homer, five RBIs, two doubles and eight runs scored. It was his second-longest streak of the year (he hit in 14 straight from May 15-29). Despite losing the streak, Salcedo has hit safely in 18 of his last 21.

HEIM TRADED TO RAYS: On the day of the trade deadline, the Keys lost one member of their roster. Catcher Jonah Heim was dealt to the Tampa Rays in exchange for infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce. In 88 games with the Keys, Heim was batting .216 in 88 games with seven homers and 33 RBIs. Heim marks the first Key to be traded since August 31, 2014 when Mark Blackmar (and then former Key Miguel Chalas) were sent to the Chicago White Sox for Alejandro de Aza.

ODDS AND ENDS: Reliever Mike Zouzalik was transferred back to Frederick from Double-A Bowie. Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 15 innings. The International Olympic Committee has approved the return of baseball/softball for 2020. Baseball last was played in 2008, while then-Key Jake Arietta was a member of the team.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jordan Stephens makes his 22nd start and is the No. 15 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Carolina. Getting a no-decision, the righty allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits in five frames. He struck out six. Stephens is first in the CL in strikeouts (111) and ninth in ERA (3.86). The 23-year-old split 2015 between the AZL White Sox and Rookie Great Falls. Between the two stops, he finished with no record and a 0.51 ERA in 11 games (one start). Over 17.2 innings he allowed one run, walked three and struck out 21. A fifth round pick out of Rice University in 2015, Stephens was named All-Conference USA first team last year, posting a 3.17 ERA. His 2014 season was limited to just 14 innings after having Tommy John surgery. Originally from Alvin, Texas, the 23-year-old’s grew up in the same town as Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan. There is a Nolan Ryan Museum on the Campus of Alvin Community College.

Keys Look to Rebound in Winston-Salem

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, August 5, 2016 · Game #110 · Road Game #57

Frederick Keys (53-56/17-22) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (47-64/19-22)

RHP David Richardson (3-4, 4.44) vs. RHP Robinson Leyer (1-2, 5.49)

                                                                                                                                                              

CLIFTON FLIRTS WITH NO-HITTER, PELICANS COMPLETE SWEEP: One day after being no-hit through seven innings by Myrtle Beach’s Trevor Clifton and recording just three hits, the Keys were one-hit by Winston-Salem on Thursday in a 3-1 loss at BB&T Ballpark. Thad Lowry, Taylore Cherry and Connor Walsh combined on the effort as the Keys dropped their sixth straight game. Austin Wynns had a second inning single which accounted for the Keys lone hit, while the lone run scored in the first on an Aderlin Rodriguez sac-fly. Winston-Salem tied the game in the third on a Landon Lassiter RBI single, before taking the lead for good in the seventh. With two outs and men at first and second, Toby Thomas single into left. Coming in to get it, the ball got past DJ Stewart allowing both runners to score.

TOUGH SLEDDING: The Keys six-game losing streak is the team’s longest drought of the year, while the team has fallen in 11 of its last 13 (and nine of 10). Frederick’s six-game slide is the club’s longest since last July 26-31. Frederick has not lost seven in-a-row since June 21-27, 2014 when they lost that number to Carolina, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Before this current six-game slide, the Keys longest losing stretch was five games (twice). Frederick’s last win came last Thursday/Friday when they defeated Wilmington 2-0 in the front-end of a quasi-doubleheader.

NEED TO ACT FAST: With the recent struggles, the Keys find themselves three games below .500 for the first time since June 6, when club was 27-30. Entering Friday’s action, they are nine games behind Potomac, (their largest second-half deficit) with 31 games left to play. Nearly one-third of those games will come against Potomac (nine). Two of those three-game sets will take place at Nymeo Field.

TROUBLE WITH THE LUMBER: Thursday marked the second time the Keys had been one-hit in a game this year (it first happened on May 8 at Potomac when Phillips Valdez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning). A major source of frustration over the six-game slide, Keys hitters are batting .182 over the six games (36-for-198) while in the last 13 ballgames, the Keys are hitting only .194 (83-for-428) and are averaging three runs per game (they’ve been held to two runs or less in six of those contests).

RODRIGUEZ NAMED O’s MILB POM: On Thursday, Aderlin Rodriguez was named the Orioles Minor League Player of the Month for July. The second time he has won a monthly honor this year, the Keys first baseman received the same honor in May (Matthew Grimes was also the Pitcher of the Month). In 28 July games, Rodriguez batted .375 with eight homers, 29 RBIs, two triples, seven doubles and 21 runs scored. He posted a .688 slugging percentage and 1.110 OPS. He led the circuit in hitting, slugging and OPS while tying for first in RBIs and ending second in homers. A Triple Crown candidate, Rodriguez is third in hitting (.307), second in home runs (19) and fourth in RBIs (74). There has not been a Triple Crown winner in the CL since Leo Daigle of the Winston-Salem Warthogs in 2005, while the only other league Triple Crown was by Ray Jablonski in 1951 with the Winston-Salem Cardinals.

CLOSE CALLS: Since a 10-1 loss to Winston-Salem last Monday, the Keys have repeatedly been locked in close games. Eight of the last nine games the Keys have played have come down to three runs or less, while five have been one-run games. Unfortunately, all five one-run games have been Keys losses. The five straight one-run defeats come on the heels of four straight one-run victories. Frederick is 13-17 in one-run games this year and 10-10 in two-run games.

LITTLE HELP!: Tuesday snapped a string of seven straight games with an error by a Keys player. Still, over the last 10 games, the orange and black have committed multiple errors four times, while they have made 17 during that stretchDue to these errors, 13 of the last 52 runs charged against Keys pitching have been unearned. Currently the Keys are sixth in the CL in fielding percentage (.971) and have made 115 errors (third-most). Only Wilmington (121) and Carolina (120) have more errors.

SALCEDO’S STREAK ENDS: Erick Salcedo saw his 11-game hitting streak end on Thursday, going 0-for-2 with a run and two walks. Over the 11-gamer, the Venezuelan hit .333 (14-for-42) with a homer, five RBIs, two doubles and eight runs scored. It was his second-longest streak of the year (he hit in 14 straight from May 15-29). Despite losing the streak, Salcedo has hit safely in 17 of his last 20.

HEIM TRADED TO RAYS: On the day of the trade deadline, the Keys lost one member of their roster. Catcher Jonah Heim was dealt to the Tampa Rays in exchange for infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce. In 88 games with the Keys, Heim was batting .216 in 88 games with seven homers and 33 RBIs. Heim marks the first Key to be traded since August 31, 2014 when Mark Blackmar (and then former Key Miguel Chalas) were sent to the Chicago White Sox for Alejandro de Aza.

ODDS AND ENDS: In addition to being named the O’s MiLB Player of the Month, Aderlin Rodriguez was named the Carolina League Player of the Month on Friday. He becomes the third straight Keys to win the award. The Keys have dropped seven of their last eight road contests. Reliever Mike Zouzalik was transferred back to Frederick from Double-A Bowie. Winston-Salem has won the last four at BB&T Ballpark after the Keys won the first three games.  The active leader in the South Atlantic League in batting average (.353) before his promotion to Frederick, Yermin Mercedes is 0-for-15 with six strikeouts since his call-up to Frederick. Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 15 innings. Lynchburg’s Francisco Mejia extended his hitting streak to 46 games on Thursday, the longest streak in the Modern era. The International Olympic Committee has approved the return of baseball/softball for 2020. Baseball last was played in 2008, while then-Key Jake Arietta was a member of the team.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Robinson Leyer makes 32nd overall appearance and his fifth start on Friday night. His most recent outing came last Sunday against Lynchburg. Tagged with the loss, he allowed five runs (four earned) on five hits in three innings. His previous outing came against the Keys, and he allowed one run on two hits in six innings. It was his first CL victory of the year. Against the Keys, Leyer is 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA (7.2 IP/4R) while the Keys are batting .200 against him. Leyer rejoined the Dash on July 5 after beginning the year with Double-A Birmingham. In 24 relief outings he was 1-2 with a 5.79 ERA while opponents batted .308 against him. Command was an issue, as he walked 20 in 32.2 innings. His second appearance with the Dash came against Frederick on July 9, as he surrendered three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings. A member of the Dash in 2015, Leyer was 3-6 with a 4.30 ERA in 83.2 innings before a call-up to Double-A on July 16. From El Seibo, DR, Leyer’s brother Euclides is also on the Dash and is a relief pitcher.

 

Weren’t We Just in Winston-Salem?

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

After playing three games against the Dash at BB&T Ballpark last week, the Keys return to the Triad for four more starting tonight. Both sets in Winston-Salem have been one-sided, with the Keys taking three straight back in May before the Dash took all three one week ago.

Lucas Long gets the ball tonight for the Keys and will be seeing the Dash for the second time. He will be opposed by right-hander Thad Lowry. We’ll kickoff our broadcast tonight at 6:45 on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App by searching WTHU.

With Olympic Opening Ceremonies starting tomorrow, some good news to report on the 2020 games. Baseball/Softball will be returning for the next games in Tokyo. Both sports were eliminated after the 2008 games, one in which a former Keys pitcher participated in for Team USA. Can you name him? (The answer is in the Odds and Ends Section).

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, August 4, 2016 · Game #109 · Road Game #56

Frederick Keys (53-55/17-21) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (46-64/18-22)

RHP Lucas Long (6-5, 4.37) vs. RHP Thad Lowry (7-7, 3.86)

                                                                                                                                                              

CLIFTON FLIRTS WITH NO-HITTER, PELICANS COMPLETE SWEEP: Trevor Clifton carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, while the Frederick Keys managed only three hits in a 5-0 loss to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Wednesday afternoon at Nymeo Field. The win completed a three-game sweep for the Pelicans, while the Keys suffered their fifth straight loss. Clifton allowed only two baserunners over his first seven innings, before giving up a leadoff double in the eighth to Jomar Reyes. Frederick loaded the bases in that inning, but an interference call and a flyout curtailed the threat. Jeffrey Baez paced the Myrtle Beach offense with a pair of home runs, while Yasiel Balaguert added a two-run double in the eighth.

BROOMED: The Keys suffered their third sweep of the year on Wednesday, while it marked the second time in the last three sets the orange and black had been broomed. Frederick was also swept by Winston-Salem over three games from last Monday-Wednesday. Before suffering a pair of sweeps, the Keys had been the ones doing the brooming, earning four straight sweeps following losses in four straight to Lynchburg from April 14-17.

TOUGH SLEDDING: With the sweep the Keys have equaled their longest losing streak of the year (five straight), while the team has fallen in 10 of its last 12. The only other time the Keys dropped five in-a-row came from April 19-23 (to Wilmington and Lynchburg). Frederick has not lost six straight since last July 26-31, when the team dropped that number to Winston-Salem, Carolina and Myrtle Beach. Over this rocky stretch, the Keys have dropped three straight series. Offense has been a major source of frustration. During the five-game slide, the team is batting a collective .203 (35-for-172), while in the last 12 ballgames, the Keys are hitting only .204 (82-for-402) and are averaging 3.16 runs per game (they have been held to two runs or less in five of those contests).

NEED TO ACT FAST: With the recent struggles, the Keys find themselves two games below .500 for the first time since June 10, when club was 29-31. Meanwhile the Keys are four games below .500 for the first time in second half play (17-21). Entering Thursday’s action, they are seven games behind Potomac and eight behind Lynchburg. Although the eight-game hole is the Keys largest second-half deficit, Winston-Salem has dropped four of its last five games following a season-best five-game winning streak.

THESE GUYS AGAIN?: Following three games against Winston-Salem at BB&T Ballpark last week, the Keys return to the Triad for four more. The Keys hold a 7-6 lead in the season set, while the two sets in the Ole North State have been notably one-sided. The first time the Keys were at BB&T Ballpark, they swept the Dash over three games and hit .306 (33-108) with 14 extra-base hits and six homers. In contrast, the Dash swept the series last week by hitting .337 (35-104) and scoring 19 runs in three games (6.3 average). Of the 19 runs, 10 came in the first game, while Winston-Salem pounded out 17 hits, tying the most given up by Keys arms in a game this year. Defensively, Frederick struggled, committing six errors in three days.

CLOSE CALLS: Since a 10-1 loss to Winston-Salem last Monday, the Keys have repeatedly been locked in close games. Seven of the last eight games the Keys have played have come down to three runs or less, while five have been one-run games. Unfortunately, all five one-run games have been Keys losses. The five straight one-run defeats come on the heels of four straight one-run victories. Frederick is 13-17 in one-run games this year and 10-9 in two-run games.

LITTLE HELP!: Tuesday snapped a string of seven straight games with an error by a Keys player. Still, over the last nine games, the orange and black have committed multiple errors four times, while they have made 16 during that stretchDue to these errors, 11 of the last 49 runs charged against Keys pitching have been unearned. Surprisingly though, six of the 16 errors have come on miscues by Frederick pitching. Currently the Keys are sixth in the CL in fielding percentage (.961) and have made 114 errors (third-most). Only Wilmington (121) and Carolina (119) have more errors.

SALCEDO’S STREAK CONTINUES: It may have come in unusual fashion, but Erick Salcedo extended his hitting streak to 11 games on Wednesday. Hitting in the bottom of the eighth inning, Salcedo grounded a ball to the right side which hit Aderlin Rodriguez. Although Rodriguez was called out for interference, Salcedo was credited with a single. Over his current streak, the Venezuelan is batting .333 (14-for-42) with a homer, five RBIs, two doubles and eight runs scored. His batting average has climbed from .271 to .278. Going back farther, Salcedo has hit safely in 17 of 19. Salcedo’s 11-game streak is his second-longest of the year (his longest was a 14-gamer from May 15-29).

HEIM TRADED TO RAYS: On the day of the trade deadline, the Keys lost one member of their roster. Catcher Jonah Heim was dealt to the Tampa Rays in exchange for infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce. In 88 games with the Keys, Heim was batting .216 in 88 games with seven homers and 33 RBIs. Heim marks the first Key to be traded since August 31, 2014 when Mark Blackmar (and then former Key Miguel Chalas) were sent to the Chicago White Sox for Alejandro de Aza.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Keys have dropped six of their last seven road contests. Steve Wilkerson went 6-for-13 with two doubles and three runs scored during the Keys homestand, following a roadtrip where he finished 1-for-21 with 11 strikeouts. The active leader in the South Atlantic League in batting average (.353) before his promotion to Frederick, Yermin Mercedes is 0-for-12 with six strikeouts since his call-up to Frederick. Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 15 innings. Lynchburg’s Francisco Mejia extended his hitting streak to 45 games on Wednesday. With a hit tonight, it will mark the longest streak in both Minor and Major League Baseball since 1954. The International Olympic Committee approved the return of baseball/softball for 2020. Baseball last was played in 2008, while then-Key Jake Arrieta was a member of the team.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Thad Lowry makes his 21st start with the Dash and his fourth against the Keys. The CL’s active leader in innings pitched (119) and is tied for seventh in ERA (3.86). His most recent outing came last Saturday against Lynchburg. Tagged with the loss, he allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. It was his third quality outing in his last four games. Lowry gave up one unearned run in six innings against the Keys last Monday. The righty spent  2016 with the Kannapolis Intimidators. He led the league in innings pitched (150.2) while going 12-8 with a 4.48 ERA in 26 games. He was also tied for second in the South Atlantic League in wins. A catching prospect at Spring (TX) High School, Lowry was selected by the White Sox in the fifth round of the 2013 Draft. Lowry started getting attention for his pitching at the World Wood Bat Association World Championships.

It’s Super Splash Day!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys wrap up a quick three-game homestand with a special 12 pm first pitch today. The orange and black were edged out in a 13-inning, nearly four-hour thriller last night, dropping a 5-4 decision. Steve Wilkerson reached base four times and starter Franderlin Romero allowed just three hits in six innings.

Jon Keller makes his second start of the season for the Frederick Keys this afternoon. During his last start, he struck out seven batters and didn’t allow one hit during his three innings of work. He’ll be opposed by Pelicans right-hander Trevor Clifton.

Today is also Super Splash Day! We’ll have local campers in attendance as we’ll be beating the heat with water balloons, super soakers, and more!

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, August 3, 2016 · Game #108 · Home Game #53

Frederick Keys (53-54/17-20) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (58-51/22-17)

RHP Jon Keller (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Trevor Clifton (5-7, 3.40)

                                                                                                                                                              

PELICANS HOLD ON IN 13 INNINGS: The Frederick Keys put the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the bottom of the 13th but could not match a three-run Myrtle Beach surge in the top half of the inning, resulting in a 5-4 Keys setback on Tuesday night at Nymeo Field. The longest game in innings Frederick has played all season, it dropped the team one game below .500. With the game tied at two, David Bote gave his team the lead with a two-out RBI single, while Jeffrey Baez added a base hit to knock in two more. In the bottom of the 13th, the Keys refused to go quietly, as James Norwood needed almost 40 pitches to secure the victory. An Aderlin Rodriguez double brought home Steve Wilkerson, while the former scored on a Jomar Reyes single. From there, Norwood retired Josh Hart to lock up the win.

UP LATE LAST NIGHT: A noon turnaround on Wednesday was hardly the ideal scenario for the Keys and Pelicans who needed 13 innings and 3 hours and 57 minutes to complete Tuesday’s contest. The 13 frames was the longest game in terms of innings for the Keys this year and the lengthiest since last April 13, when the orange and black defeated Lynchburg 5-4 in 16 innings. Drew Dosch provided the final blow with a sac-fly that scored Anthony Caronia, while position player, Tucker Nathans, got the win in relief. Meanwhile, the three hours and 57 minutes were one minute short of a season-high (Frederick and Myrtle Beach went 3 hours and 58 minutes on July 15 at TicketReturn.com Field).

TOUGH SLEDDING: Tuesday’s extra-inning loss was the Keys fourth straight setback (and ninth in their last 11 games). The four-game slide is the team’s first since May 30-June 2, when the Keys dropped the same number to Carolina and Potomac. Frederick’s longest losing streak in 2016 is a five-gamer from April 19-23.

NEED TO ACT FAST: With the recent struggles, the Keys find themselves below .500 for the first time since June 11, when club was 30-31. Meanwhile the Keys are two games below .500 for the first time in second half play (17-20). Entering Wednesday’s action, the Keys are seven games behind Potomac and Lynchburg who are tied for first (25-14). The two sides split a doubleheader on Tuesday, but the seven game hole is the farthest Frederick has been out of first since the All-Star break.

CLOSE CALLS: Since a 10-1 loss to Winston-Salem last Monday, the Keys have repeatedly been locked in close games. Each of the last seven games the Keys have played have come down to three runs or less, while five have been one-run games. Unfortunately, all five one-run games have been Keys losses. The five straight one-run defeats come on the heels of four straight one-run victories. Frederick is 13-17 in one-run games this year and 10-9 in two-run games.

LITTLE HELP!: Tuesday snapped a string of seven straight games with an error by a Keys player. Still, over the last eight games, the orange and black have committed multiple errors four times, while they have made 15 during that stretchDue to these errors, 10 of the last 44 runs charged against Keys pitching have been unearned. Surprisingly though, six of the 15 errors have come on miscues by Frederick pitching, with the staff making an error in five of the last eight contests.

SALCEDO EXTENDS STREAK: Following a first inning homer on Tuesday, Erick Salcedo ran his hitting streak to 10 games with a 10th inning single off Daury Torrez. Over his current streak, Salcedo is batting .333 (13-for-39) with a homer, five RBIs, two doubles and eight runs scored. His batting average has climbed from .271 to .277. Going back farther, Salcedo has hit safely in 16 of 18. Currently, Salcedo’s 10-gamer is tied for his second-longest streak of the year (his longest was a 14-gamer from May 15-29).

IN SEARCH OF LENGTH: Following four straight starts of four or less innings by Key pitching, Franderlin Romero and Mitch Horacek have tossed 11 combined innings of two-run baseball against Myrtle Beach. Coming off the shortest outing of his career (0.2 IP) Romero allowed two runs in six innings, tying his longest outing with Frederick. It was also his first quality start since June 3. The longest start by a Frederick pitcher since July 24, Keys starters are coming off a July where their ERA was almost six (5.98). There were only two quality outings all month.

HEIM TRADED TO RAYS: On the day of the trade deadline, the Keys lost one member of their roster. Catcher Jonah Heim was dealt to the Tampa Rays in exchange for infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce. In 88 games with the Keys, Heim was batting .216 in 88 games with seven homers and 33 RBIs. In 60 games with Tampa Bay this year, Pearce was batting .309 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs. A return to Baltimore, the utility man batted .258 with 43 homers and 116 RBIs in 266 games for Baltimore. Heim marks the first Key to be traded since August 31, 2014 when Mark Blackmar (and then former Key Miguel Chalas) were sent to the Chicago White Sox for Alejandro de Aza.

ODDS AND ENDS: Austin Wynns returned to Frederick’s lineup from for the first time since May 30. He has split time with Frederick, Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. Anthony Caronia also returned from Double-A Bowie and Franderlin Romero was added from Low-A Delmarva. With a loss in the middle game, the Keys are 3-3 in extra-inning games. Yermin Mercedes joined the Keys from Low-A Delmarva on Monday. At the time of his call-up he was the South Atlantic League’s active leader in average (.353). Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 15 innings and given up just five hits in his last eight games.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Trevor Clifton makes his 19th start on Wednesday and his third against the Keys. In his most recent start last Thursday, Clifton took the loss at Salem, allowing three runs over six innings.  Only 21 years old, the right-hander is ranked at the No. 18 prospect in the Cubs system according to Baseball America. Clifton pitched all of last season at Low-A South Bend, going 8-10 with a 3.98 ERA in 23 games (22 starts). Across 108. 2 innings, Clifton walked 47, struck out 103 and help opponents to a .230 average. Clifton was drafted by Chicago in the 12th round of the 2013 draft out of Heritage High School (TN). Before signing with the Cubs, Clifton was committed to pitch at Kentucky, in spite of growing up in Maryville, TN, 30 miles south of Knoxville (home of the Tennessee Vols).

 

It’s PoKEYmon Go Night!

Good Evening Keys Fans!

Do you want to be the very best like no one ever was? Head on out to Nymeo Field tonight as we host #PoKEYmon Go Night! If you’ve got the app (don’t lie, we all play it), just show us at the box office and you’ll get a $5 general admission ticket. We’ll be having a pre-game gym battle, dropping lures throughout the game, and hosting a post-game hunt in the outfield!

On the diamond, the Keys will try to avenge last night’s 5-4 loss as they look to to even up the series. Frederick’s offense looks to get rolling, as they’ll face Pelicans starter and Maryland product Jake Stinnett.

Pokemon hunting and baseball on a warm summer evening? What could be better!

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, August 2, 2016 · Game #107 · Home Game #52

Frederick Keys (53-53/17-19) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (57-51/21-17)

RHP Franderlin Romero (4-4, 6.70) vs. RHP Jake Stinnett (7-4, 4.53)

                                                                                                                                                              

ERRORS HURT KEYS IN ONE-RUN LOSS: The Frederick Keys committed three errors, resulting in three unearned runs, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans picked up a 5-4 win on Monday night at Nymeo Field. Two of the three unearned tallies came in the first inning. After an error by Jomar Reyes on a groundball to third, a wild pitch moved two men into scoring position while both scored on a sac-fly and a double by Jeffrey Baez. Erick Salcedo moved the Keys within a run with a solo homer in the home first and singles by Cam Kneeland and Aderlin Rodriguez gave the Keys a 3-2 edge after three. From there, Myrtle Beach scored three of the last four, utilizing an RBI double by Donnie Dewees and a David Bote single in the seventh to go on top for good.

LITTLE HELP!: For the second time in three games, the Keys made three or more errors. Over the last seven games, the orange and black have committed multiple errors four times, while they have made 15 during that stretch.  They have at least one in each of those seven games. Due to these errors, 10 of the last 39 runs charged against Keys pitching have been unearned. Surprisingly though, six of the 15 errors have come on miscues by Frederick pitching, with the staff making an error in five of the last seven contests.

SALCEDO EXTENDS STREAK: After extending his hitting streak with just one hit over his last six games, Erick Salcedo’s streak reached nine on Monday thanks to a 3-for-5 effort. Finishing with two RBIs and two runs scored, the Venezuelan extended things in the first with a solo homer to right.  Over his current streak, Salcedo is batting .343 (12-for-35) with a homer, five RBIs, two doubles and seven runs scored. His batting average has climbed from .271 to .278. Going back farther, Salcedo has hit safely in 15 of 17. Currently, Salcedo’s nine-game is tied for his second-longest streak of the year (his longest was a 14-gamer from May 15-29).

IT’S NOW OR NEVER: With Monday’s setback, the Keys have dropped eight of their last 10 (and six of seven).   Making matters worse on Monday, the Keys loss came on the heels of a Potomac Nationals loss. Winners of nine of their previous 12 before last night, Potomac holds a 6.5 game lead on the orange and black. Entering Tuesday’s action, the Keys are back to .500 overall this year, the first time they have not been a game above sea-level since June 17. Frederick has not been below .500 since June 11, when club was 30-31. Meanwhile the Keys are two games below .500 for the first time in second half play (17-19).

IN SEARCH OF LENGTH: After four straight games of a Keys starter not completing five innings, Mitch Horacek got through five on Monday. Still, Horacek remains the only pitcher to get through five frames since Lucas Long’s seven inning gem on July 24 against Salem. Over the recent six-game roadtrip, Frederick starters racked up an 8.85 ERA (20.1 IP/20ER) and allowed 39 hits. The result was a final July ERA of almost six (5.98) in July. During that time, starters gave up 83 earned runs in 125 innings, while there were only two quality outings all month.

HEIM TRADED TO RAYS: On the day of the trade deadline, the Keys lost one member of their roster. Catcher Jonah Heim was dealt to the Tampa Rays in exchange for infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce. In 88 games with the Keys, Heim was batting .216 in 88 games with seven homers and 33 RBIs. In 60 games with Tampa Bay this year, Pearce was batting .309 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs. A return to Baltimore, the utility man batted .258 with 43 homers and 116 RBIs in 266 games for Baltimore. Heim marks the first Key to be traded since August 31, 2014 when Mark Blackmar (and then former Key Miguel Chalas) were sent to the Chicago White Sox for Alejandro de Aza.

CLOSE CALLS: Since a 10-1 loss to Winston-Salem last Monday, the Keys have been locked in a myriad of close games. Each of the last six games the Keys have played have come down to three runs or less, while four have been one-run games. Unfortunately, all four one-run games have been Keys losses. The four straight one-run defeats come on the heels of four straight one-run victories. Frederick is 13-16 in one-run games this year and 10-9 in two-run games.

RODRIGUEZ KEEPS ROLLING: Aderlin Rodriguez led the Carolina League in batting average in July (.375) while he tied for first with 29 RBIs (a mark also tied for first at Advanced-A) and placed second with eight homers (Anthony Santander of Lynchburg had nine. A Triple Crown candidate, Rodriguez is second in the CL in homers (19), is third in hitting (.311) and fourth in RBIs (72). In Carolina League history only Ray Jablonski of the Winston-Salem Cardinals (1951) and Leo Daigle (2005) of the Winston-Salem Warthogs have hit for the Triple Crown. The last minor league baseball Triple Crown (affiliated) came by Clint Robinson of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2010. Robinson played for the Blue Rocks in 2009 (he now plays for the Washington Nationals).

ODDS AND ENDS: Prior to his two homers this year, Erick Salcedo had played six seasons and 394 games without one. Yermin Mercedes joined the Keys from Low-A Delmarva on Monday. At the time of his call-up he was the South Atlantic League’s active leader in average (.353). Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 15 innings and given up just five hits in his last eight games. After four straight one-run wins, the Keys have endured three straight one-run losses.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Jake Stinnett makes his 18th start on Tuesday and his third against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against Carolina, where he tossed four shutout innings but walked four. The 23-year-old spent all of last season at Low-A South Bend. In 22 starts, he went 7-6 with a 4.46 ERA. After a tough first-half of the year (5.29) Stinnett made strides (3.86) after the all-star break. Originally selected by the Cubs in the second round of the 2014 draft, Stinnett played his college baseball at the University of Maryland, while College Park, MD is just under an hour ride from Frederick. With the Terps he began his college career as a third baseman, designated hitter and relief pitcher before transitioning to a full-time starter’s role as a junior in 2013. He was also selected by the Pirates in the 29th round of the 2013 draft but did not sign.

Three Game with the Pelicans Start Tonight!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

 

First off, best of luck to Jonah Heim who was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays organization this afternoon! The 2013 draftee has been with the Keys since Opening Day. We wish him the best of luck in his career!

The boys are back in town today! We take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans this evening at 7 pm at Nymeo Field. The orange and black are returning after an ugly 1-5 road trip versus Winston-Salem and Wilmington.

Mitch Horacek will look to right the ship for the Keys today, as he’s in search for his third consecutive start allowing no earned runs.

We’re also be celebrating ‘80s Night tonight! We’ll turn back the clock tonight as we’ll be spinning your favorite ‘80s tunes and playing some ‘80s-themed games!

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, August 1, 2016 · Game #106 · Home Game #51

Frederick Keys (53-52/17-18) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (56-51/20-17)

LHP Mitch Horacek (4-10, 4.88) vs. RHP James Pugliese (4-6, 4.20)

                                                                                                                                                              

BLUE ROCKS BULLPEN LOCKS UP SERIES WIN: The Frederick Keys managed only one hit in their last four innings, as the Wilmington Blue Rocks bullpen closed the door on a 6-3 win on Sunday night at Frawley Stadium. The loss meant a series victory for the Blue Rocks, who claimed the final two games of the de-facto three-game set. Frederick scored in their first at-bats, on an RBI single by Aderlin Rodriguez. Wilmington countered with three in the bottom of the first off David Richardson. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Anderson Miller and Brandon Downes tied the game, while a fielder’s choice by Austin Bailey made it 3-1. Frederick tied the game in the fifth on a bases loaded walk and a Cam Kneeland sac-fly, but Wilmington took the lead for good in the home fifth. Anderson Miller homered to level the game, Elier Hernandez drove in another with a single and a wild pitch made it 6-3. Jake Kalish, Jacob Bodner and Luis Rico took control from there, working 4.1 innings of scoreless relief.

BATS QUIET OF LATE: Offensively, the Keys struggled during the Winston-Salem, Wilmington roadtrip, batting just .190 (38H/200AB) over the six-game jaunt. During that time, the Keys averaged just 3.5 runs per game, while they scored two runs or less in three of the six contests. One other frustrating trend was a high number of strikeouts, with the Keys striking out 49 times in six games (8.2 per game average). Nearly one-third of those came in game two of the Wilmington series, when Frederick tied its season-high with 15 punch outs.  

IT’S NOW OR NEVER: Coupled with the Keys loss on Sunday, the Potomac Nationals earned a 2-1 win over the Carolina Mudcats (P-Nats starter Matthew Crownover delivered seven innings of one-run baseball). That extended Potomac’s second-half CL North lead to 6.5 games (they’ve had sole control of first since last Thursday). Hot of late, the Nationals have claimed nine of their last 12 (and four of five) while the Keys have dropped seven of their last nine (and five of six). Sunday’s loss, also dropped the orange and black to one game below .500 in the second-half for just the second time (Frederick was 1-2 on June 26). Entering Monday’s action at 53-52 overall, the team has been above .500 since June 17.

IN SEARCH OF LENGTH: Keys starting pitching has not completed five innings in four straight games, while over the six-game roadtrip, Frederick starters racked up an 8.85 ERA (20.1 IP/20ER) and allowed 39 hits. Following a good first half where the orange and black tallied a 3.69 ERA and no monthly mark higher than 4.38, Keys starters pitched to an ERA of almost six (5.98) in July. During that time, starters gave up 83 earned runs in 125 innings, while there were only two quality outings all month.

DEFENSIVE WOES: The Keys have committed errors in six straight games and have made 12 during that stretch. In game two of the Wilmington series, Frederick tied a season-high with four errors, resulting in four of Wilmington’s nine runs being unearned. It marked the sixth time the Keys had committed four errors this year and the second time it had happened in eight days. Surprisingly, five of those came by Keys pitchers, with the staff making an error in four of the last six contests.

HEIM TRADED TO RAYS: On the day of the trade deadline, the Keys lost one member of their roster. Catcher Jonah Heim was dealt to the Tampa Rays in exchange for infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce. In 88 games with the Keys, Heim was batting .216 in 88 games with seven homers and 33 RBIs. In 60 games with Tampa Bay this year, Pearce was batting .309 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs. A return to Baltimore, the utility man batted .258 with 43 homers and 116 RBIs in 266 games for Baltimore. Heim marks the first Key to be traded since August 31, 2014 when Mark Blackmar (and then former Key Miguel Chalas) were sent to the Chicago White Sox for Alejandro de Aza.

RODRIGUEZ KEEPS ROLLING: Aderlin Rodriguez led the Carolina League in batting average in July (.375) while he tied for first with 29 RBIs (a mark also tied for first at Advanced-A) and placed second with eight homers (Anthony Santander of Lynchburg had nine. A Triple Crown candidate, Rodriguez is tied for the CL lead in homers (19), is third in hitting (.312) and fourth in RBIs (71). In Carolina League history only Ray Jablonski of the Winston-Salem Cardinals (1951) and Leo Daigle (2005) of the Winston-Salem Warthogs have hit for the Triple Crown. The last minor league baseball Triple Crown (affiliated) came by Clint Robinson of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2010. Robinson played for the Blue Rocks in 2009 (he now plays for the Washington Nationals).

SALCEDO EXTENDS STREAK: Erick Salcedo singled in the third inning on Sunday to extend his hitting streak to eight games. During that time, he is batting .267 (8-for-30) with three RBIs, two doubles and five runs scored. His batting average has climbed only two points over the streak since he has only one hit in seven of eight games. Going back farther, even though Salcedo has hit safely in 14 of 16, his mark has also gone up just two points (he has only two multi-hit games during that time). This year Salcedo has three different streaks of eight or more games (his longest was a 14-gamer from May 15-29).

ODDS AND ENDS: Yermin Mercedes joins the Keys from Low-A Delmarva. At the time of his call-up he was the South Atlantic League’s active leader in average (.353). Cam Kneeland hit his 10th home run on Saturday, giving him a new career-high as a professional (he hit nine with Trois-Rivieres in the Can-Am League in 2013). Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 15 innings and given up just five hits in his last eight games. After four straight one-run wins, the Keys have endured three straight one-run losses.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander James Pugliese makes his 24th overall appearance and his second start with the Pelicans on Monday. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against Carolina. Tossing two innings of relief, he surrendered three runs on four hits to go with a walk and three strikeouts. Pugliese’s only other start came two game ago against Wilmington, where he pitched five shutout innings to earn the win. Great since the all-star break, Pugliese has gone 2-2 with a 2.93 ERA. The righty made a four-day cameo with Double-A Tennessee in late-April. An 18th round pick by the Cubs in 2011, Pugliese played his college baseball at Mercer County Community College.

Keys Wrap up their Series After a Saturday Rain Out

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys conclude their series with Wilmington following a Saturday rainout. In lieu of a Sunday doubleheader, the team’s will play a twinbill when the Keys return to Frawley Stadium a week from Tuesday. No makeup day has been announced yet.

David Richardson starts for the Keys and will be opposed by Blue Rocks righty Zach Lovvorn. First pitch is slated for 5:05 p.m and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. You can also go to the TuneIn Radio App and search for WTHU.

Today’s notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Sunday, July 31, 2016 · Game #105 · Road Game #55

Frederick Keys (53-51/17-17) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (38-66/11-24)

RHP David Richardson (3-3, 3.66) vs. RHP Zach Lovvorn (2-12, 3.55)

                                                                                                                                                              

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: Saturday’s game between the Keys and the Blue Rocks was postponed on account of rain. With the Keys returning to Frawley Stadium a week from Tuesday, the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in the next series. Both games will be seven innings. With the postponement it sets up a Sunday rubber game. In deciding contests this year, the Keys are 3-4, with the club taking its last game on July 15 against Myrtle Beach. The team is 1-1 in rubber matches in the second half and 1-1 in these games against the Blue Rocks.

KEYS AND BLUE ROCKS SPLIT QUASI-DOUBLEHEADER: The Frederick Keys completed a 2-0 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks before falling 9-8 in the second contest in Friday’s quasi-doubleheader at Frawley Stadium. The Keys have split both quasi-doubleheaders they have played this year (one against Wilmington the other against Salem). In game one, Erick Salcedo gave the Keys both of their runs in the seventh with a double down the left field line. On the mound, the quartet of Jon Keller, Ivan Hernandez, Garrett Cleavinger and Garrett Cortright combined to give up only four hits. Wilmington   jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the nightcap, before an Ademar Rifaela groundout leveled the game after 4.5 innings. The Blue  Rocks recovered the lead in the home fifth with an Austin Bailey two-run homer and added five of the next six, but the Keys made things interesting in the ninth. With two outs, Aderlin Rodriguez hit a three-run homer off Derek Gordon to send up the tying run, but Gordon locked down things from there with a strikeout of Rifaela.

DEFENSE HALTS LATE CHARGE: The Keys managed to score eight runs in game two, as Keys rallied from a four-run deficit, two days after nearly fighting back from a six-run hole in Winston-Salem. Although the orange and black tied the game in the fourth, poor defense contributed to the comeback falling short. Tying a season-high with four errors in game two, four of Wilmington’s nine runs were unearned. It marked the sixth time the Keys had committed four errors this year and the second time it had happened in eight days. On this roadtrip, the Keys have made multiple errors in three of the five games and have made 11 on the trip. Surprisingly, five of those have come by Keys pitchers, with Keys arms making an error in four of the last five contests.

FIRING BLANKS: The Keys 2-0 shutout win was the team’s 10th of the season. It was also the team’s second in less than a week. Frederick’s 10 shutouts are second-most in the league behind only Lynchburg (11-1), while the Keys have the third-best shutout record. This year the orange and black have shutout Wilmington three times and have blanked five different CL teams. Six of those shutouts have also come against division rivals (Wilmington and Potomac both three times).

THE WHIFF: In game two, the orange and black tied their season-high with 15 strikeouts. Just the second time it had happened this year, Keys hitters also struck out 15 times on April 23 at Lynchburg. With the exception of Cam Kneeland, every other starter struck out at least once and five struck out three times or more, with Steve Wilkerson and Josh Hart going a combined 0-for-7 with six strikeouts. Frederick also struck out nine times in the first game of the series and eight times in the series finale at Winston-Salem. Despite the higher strikeout totals of late, the Keys have the second-fewest punchouts in the CL  (732).   

RODRIGUEZ KEEPS ROLLING: Aderlin Rodriguez is tied for the Carolina League lead in hitting this month (.380) along with Winston-Salem’s Mason Robbins.  He is second in home runs (eight) and tied for second with 28 RBIs. All of his damage came in game two on Friday, when he added his 19th home run to move into a tie for first in the league in longballs. A Triple Crown candidate, Rodriguez is fourth in RBIs (eight behind Anthony Santander) and third in batting average (trailing only Winston-Salem’s Nick Basto and Mason Robbins). In Carolina League history only Ray Jablonski of the Winston-Salem Cardinals (1951) and Leo Daigle (2005) of the Winston-Salem Warthogs have hit for the Triple Crown. The last minor league baseball Triple Crown (affiliated) came by Clint Robinson of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2010. Robinson played for the Blue Rocks in 2009 (he now plays for the Washington Nationals).

A TRIP TO ENJOY:  Aderlin Rodriguez was probably very happy when he saw the upcoming roadtrip to Winston-Salem and Wilmington. This year he is batting a collective .354 (40-113) against the two teams with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. Against the Blue Rocks, he is hitting .333 (team-high) with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 14 games and has a .601 slugging percentage against Wilmington pitching. A hitter who is not afraid of Frawley Stadium’s spacious dimensions, all four of Rodriguez’s home runs against the Blue Crew have come at their stadium.

SALCEDO EXTENDS STREAK: Erick Salcedo drove home both runs in game one, before singling in his last at-bat in game two to extend his hitting streak to seven games. During that time, he is batting .259 (7-for-27) with two RBIs, two doubles and five runs scored. His batting average has not gone up since he has only one hit in six of seven, while even though he has hit safely in 13 of 15, his mark his gone up only two points. This year Salcedo has three different streaks of seven or more games (his longest was a 14-gamer from May 15-29).

ODDS AND ENDS: Jon Keller struck out seven in his first start since 2013. The seven punch outs were a career-high while he threw a first pitch strike to all 10 batters he faced. Cam Kneeland scored a season-high four runs on Saturday while he turned in his second 10-pitch plate appearance in his last four games. Kneeland also hit his 10th home run, giving him a new career-high as a professional (he hit nine with Trois-Rivieres in the Can-Am League in 2013). Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 13 innings and given up just five hits in his last seven games. After four straight one-run wins, the Keys have endured three straight one-run losses.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Righty Zach Lovvorn makes his 21st appearance and his 19th start on Wednesday. His most recent outing came on Monday at Lynchburg. Picking up just his second win of the year, Lovvorn tossed five innings of one-run, four-hit baseball. He struck out eight and walked two. Despite leading the league in losses (12) he is fifth in ERA (3.55). Saturday will be the fourth time he has faced the Keys. In three games (two starts) he is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Keys hitters are batting .250 against hin. Lovvorn was selected by Kansas City in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Oxford (AL) High School. The third pitcher in his high school rotation (the first two signed with Florida and Alabama) the righty rose up draft boards thanks to a good showing in the National High School Invitational. He received a $275,000 bonus, $80,000 over the recommended slot value. Before signing with the Royals, Lovvorn was committed to Stamford.

Keys and Blue Rocks Back at it Saturday

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, July 30, 2016 · Game #105 · Road Game #55

Frederick Keys (53-51/17-17) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (38-66/11-24)

RHP David Richardson (3-3, 3.66) vs. RHP Zach Lovvorn (2-12, 3.55)

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS AND BLUE ROCKS SPLIT QUASI-DOUBLEHEADER: The Frederick Keys completed a 2-0 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks before falling 9-8 in the second contest in Friday’s quasi-doubleheader at Frawley Stadium. The Keys have split both quasi-doubleheaders they have played this year (one against Wilmington the other against Salem). In game one, Erick Salcedo gave the Keys both of their runs in the seventh with a double down the left field line. On the mound, the quartet of Jon Keller, Ivan Hernandez, Garrett Cleavinger and Garrett Cortright combined to give up only four hits. Wilmington   jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the nightcap, before an Ademar Rifaela groundout leveled the game after 4.5 innings. The Blue  Rocks recovered the lead in the home fifth with an Austin Bailey two-run homer and added five of the next six, but the Keys made things interesting in the ninth. With two outs, Aderlin Rodriguez hit a three-run homer off Derek Gordon to send up the tying run, but Gordon locked down things from there with a strikeout of Rifaela.

DEFENSE HALTS LATE CHARGE: The Keys managed to score eight runs in game two, as Keys rallied from a four-run deficit, two days after nearly fighting back from a six-run hole in Winston-Salem. Although the orange and black tied the game in the fourth, poor defense contributed to the comeback falling short. Tying a season-high with four errors in game two, four of Wilmington’s nine runs were unearned. It marked the sixth time the Keys had committed four errors this year and the second time it had happened in eight days. On this roadtrip, the Keys have made multiple errors in three of the five games and have made 11 on the trip. Surprisingly, five of those have come by Keys pitchers, with Keys arms making an error in four of the last five contests.

FIRING BLANKS: The Keys 2-0 shutout win was the team’s 10th of the season. It was also the team’s second in less than a week. Frederick’s 10 shutouts are second-most in the league behind only Lynchburg (11-1), while the Keys have the third-best shutout record. This year the orange and black have shutout Wilmington three times and have blanked five different CL teams. Six of those shutouts have also come against division rivals (Wilmington and Potomac both three times).

THE WHIFF: In game two, the orange and black tied their season-high with 15 strikeouts. Just the second time it had happened this year, Keys hitters also struck out 15 times on April 23 at Lynchburg. With the exception of Cam Kneeland, every other starter struck out at least once and five struck out three times or more, with Steve Wilkerson and Josh Hart going a combined 0-for-7 with six strikeouts. Frederick also struck out nine times in the first game of the series and eight times in the series finale at Winston-Salem. Despite the higher strikeout totals of late, the Keys have the second-fewest punchouts in the CL  (732).   

RODRIGUEZ KEEPS ROLLING: Aderlin Rodriguez leads the Carolina League in RBIs this month (28) while he is tied for first with eight home runs (Lynchburg’s Anthony Santander also has seven) and a .380 batting average (with Winston-Salem’s Mason Robbins). All of his damage came in game two on Friday, when he added his 19th home run to move into a tie for first in the league in longballs. A triple crown candidate, Rodriguez is fourth in RBIs (seven behind Bobby Bradley) and third in batting average (trailing only Winston-Salem’s Nick Basto and Mason Robbins). In Carolina League history only Ray Jablonski of the Winston-Salem Cardinals (1951) and Leo Daigle (2005) of the Winston-Salem Warthogs have hit for the Triple Crown. The last minor league baseball Triple Crown (affiliated) came by Clint Robinson of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in 2010. Robinson played for the Blue Rocks in 2009 (he now plays for the Washington Nationals).

A TRIP TO ENJOY:  Aderlin Rodriguez was probably very happy when he saw the upcoming roadtrip to Winston-Salem and Wilmington. This year he is batting a collective .354 (40-113) against the two teams with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs. Against the Blue Rocks, he is hitting .333 (team-high) with four home runs and 17 RBIs in 14 games and has a .601 slugging percentage against Wilmington pitching. A hitter who is not afraid of Frawley Stadium’s spacious dimensions, all four of Rodriguez’s home runs against the Blue Crew have come at their stadium.

SALCEDO EXTENDS STREAK: Erick Salcedo drove home both runs in game one, before singling in his last at-bat in game two to extend his hitting streak to seven games. During that time, he is batting .259 (7-for-27) with two RBIs, two doubles and five runs scored. His batting average has not gone up since he has only one hit in six of seven, while even though he has hit safely in 13 of 15, his mark his gone up only two points. This year Salcedo has three different streaks of seven or more games (his longest was a 14-gamer from May 15-29).

ODDS AND ENDS: Jon Keller struck out seven in his first start since 2013. He seven punch outs were a career-high while he threw a first pitch strike to all 10 batters he faced. Cam Kneeland scored a season-high four runs on Saturday while he turned in his second 10-pitch plate appearance in his last four games. Kneeland also hit his 10th home run, giving him a new career-high as a professional (he hit nine with Trois-Rivieres in the Can-Am League in 2013). Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 13 innings and given up just five hits in his last seven games. After four straight one-run wins, the Keys have endured three straight one-run losses.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Righty Zach Lovvorn makes his 21st appearance and his 19th start on Wednesday. His most recent outing came on Monday at Lynchburg. Picking up just his second win of the year, Lovvorn tossed five innings of one-run, four-hit baseball. He struck out eight and walked two. Despite leading the league in losses (12) he is fifth in ERA (3.55). Saturday will be the fourth time he has faced the Keys. In three games (two starts) he is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Keys hitters are batting .250 against hin. Lovvorn was selected by Kansas City in the sixth round of the 2012 draft out of Oxford (AL) High School. The third pitcher in his high school rotation (the first two signed with Florida and Alabama) the righty rose up draft boards thanks to a good showing in the National High School Invitational. He received a $275,000 bonus, $80,000 over the recommended slot value. Before signing with the Royals, Lovvorn was committed to Stamford.

It’s (Almost) Doubleheader Baseball in Wilmington

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, July 29, 2016 · Game #103/#104 · Road Game #53/#54

Frederick Keys (52-50/16-16) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (37-65/10-23)

G2: RHP Lucas Long (6-5, 4.34) vs. LHP Foster Griffin (2-7, 7.08)

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS AND BLUE ROCKS SUSPENDED: After one pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning on Thursday, the Frederick Keys and the Blue Rocks were suspended, as persistent rain prevented the game from being completed. Ahead 2-0 at the time of the stoppage, the Keys will complete Thursday’s game as part of a quasi-doubleheader on Friday beginning at 5:05 p.m. A nine-inning game will follow afterwards. Both Keys runs scored in the seventh inning, courtesy of a double by Erick Salcedo down the leftfield line with the bases loaded. On the mound, Jon Keller and Ivan Hernandez collaborated on six shutout innings of three-hit relief.

SORT OF A DOUBLEHEADER: Friday marks the second time the Keys have played a quasi-doubleheader this year. Both have come in the second half, with the Keys splitting their lone one with Salem (Frederick’s first game of the second-half took three days to complete). No stranger to these games last year, the Keys went 3-5 in these type of set-ups (one loss, three splits). The Blue Rocks swept the Keys in one pseudo twinbill at Nymeo Field to end the first half, while the two sides last one resulted in a split (last July 15) at Frawley Stadium. In game one, the Blue Rocks scored 10 times in the seventh, before the Keys rallied to win game two 5-2 thanks to a Tad Gold go-ahead, two-run double in the 11th and seven scoreless innings from Jimmy Yacabonis, Donnie Hart and Cody Wheeler.

KEYS RALLY COMES UP JUST SHORT: The Frederick Keys launched a valiant comeback after trailing by six runs after four innings, but the Winston-Salem Dash held on for a 7-6 triumph on Wednesday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. The loss gave the Dash a three-game sweep. Five of the Dash’s runs came in the first inning as Franderlin Romero was chased after 0.2 of an inning. The low point was three consecutive homers by Nick Basto, Marcus Davis and Telvin Nash. After the home team added a run in the second, the Keys got a solo homer by Aderlin Rodriguez in the fourth, before Winston got one more run in the bottom half of the inning. From there, the Keys scored five unanswered runs. A Rodriguez fielder’s choice scored one and consecutive doubles by Ademar Rifaela and Jonah Heim brought in two more. In the eighth, the Keys utilized an error and a wild pitch to make it a one-run game, but stranded the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

QUITE THE COMEBACK EFFORT: After a challenging five-game stretch offensively where the Keys hit just .213 and averaged 2.2 runs, the bats nearly lifted the Keys to their largest comeback win of the season. Finishing with six runs and 10 hits, it was the team’s best showing since Sunday, when they scored seven runs and 10 hits en route to a shutout win of the Salem Red Sox. A strong effort all around, eight of Frederick’s nine starters recorded at least one hit. Half of the Keys hits went for extra-bases (two short of a season-high), with Jonah Heim collecting two doubles and Aderlin Rodriguez adding a two-bagger and a homer. It was a much-needed lift for Heim who was hitless in his previous 16 at-bats before his fifth inning double. Before that, his last hit was a two-run, walk-off homer last Thursday against Salem.

ON A SLIDE: Wednesday marked the first time the Keys had been swept since April 14-17, when the team was broomed by Lynchburg in a four-game series (it was Frederick’s first home series of the year). The sweep also extended the Keys current losing streak to three games (the team has dropped five of six and seven of 10). It is Frederick’s longest slide since June 15-17 (season-high is five games). Meanwhile, the team has dropped four straight road games, the club’s longest road slide of 2016.  

 BULLPEN PROVIDING MAJOR BOOST: After Franderlin Romero lasted only 0.2 of an inning on Wednesday, the Keys bullpen answered in a big way, firing off 7.1 innings of two-run baseball. Highly effective over the last six games,  Frederick relievers have surrendered only four runs in their last 23 stanzas (1.57 ERA). That has moved the Keys July bullpen ERA down to 4.31. Ryan Meisinger was particularly impressive, delivering 3.1 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball to go with five strikeouts. It was the longest appearance of his pro career.

LOOKING FOR LENGTH: Keys starting pitching has struggled in July, posting a 5.89 ERA (114.2 IP/75ER). In 25 games, a Frederick starter has completed six innings only twice, while the team has just two quality starts. During the Winston-Salem series, Frederick starters posted a 10.80 ERA (12 ER/10IP) with Mitch Horacek the only pitcher who completed five innings. In three of the last eight games, a starter has made it through four innings or less three times. As a result the bullpen has been put to work, logging 100.1 innings this month. With four July games still left, this already ranks as the most innings Keys bullpen hands have worked in a month this year.

SON OF TOM, NAMED AFTER CHURCHILL: Wynston Sawyer has put together a very strong month of July. In 23 games, is batting .306 with four home runs, 15 RBIs to go with a .417 on-base percentage and a .553 slugging percentage. Last Thursday, he posted a career-high four hits. Of his 26 knocks this month, 13 have gone for extra-bases. He has already set a new career-high with 10 homers and at 45 RBIs Sawyer is just four away from tying his career-best (he had 49 in 2012 with Delmarva).

RODRIGUEZ KEEPS ROLLING: Aderlin Rodriguez leads the Carolina League in batting average this month (.394). while he is tied for first with seven home runs (Lynchburg’s Anthony Santander also has seven). Additionally, the Dominican is tied for third with 24 RBIs (with teammate Cam Kneeland). Rodriguez has hit safely in 20 of his last 23, and is hitting .407 during that time with seven homers, 24 RBIs, 19 runs scored, a .758 slugging percentage and a 1.219 OPS. Very happy to being seeing both the Blue Rocks and Dash on this roadtrip, Rodriguez is batting a collective .365 (38-104) against the two teams with nine home runs and 26 RBIs.

SCOUTING THE BLUE ROCKS: The Keys have fared better against the Blue Rocks than any team in the Carolina League (9-3). That includes a 5-1 record at Frawley Stadium. Frederick has taken three straight sets against Wilmington with two of the last three coming via sweep. A big reason for the success is the success of Keys pitching, with Frederick arms registering a 2.84 ERA (Blue Rocks bats are hitting .221 against Frederick arms). Aderlin Rodriguez leads the way with a .356 average with three homers and 13 RBIs.

ODDS AND ENDS: Erick Salcedo has hit safely in his last five games (6-for-20) and 11 of his last 13. Ademar Rifaela is 2-for-7 with the Keys since joining the team on Tuesday from Delmarva. He has an RBI double and a homer. Steve Wilkerson leads all CL second baseman with a .975 fielding percentage (nine errors) Jeff Beliveau has allowed one unearned run in his last 13 innings and given up just five hits in his last seven games.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Foster Griffin makes his 21st overall start on Friday and his 14th with the Blue Rocks. Between Low-A Lexington and Wilmington he is 3-11 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 games. Griffin enters the year as the No. 13 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America. Griffin’s most recent outing came last Sunday at Myrtle Beach. Suffering the loss, he gave up six runs on five hits in three innings. He walked five and struck out three. A loser in three of his last four, the southpaw has surrendered five or more runs in each of those losses. The Floridian’s ERA has been over eight in the last two months after registering a 3.86 mark in three May games. He joined the Blue Rocks on May 17, after beginning the year with Low-A Lexington. Overall with the Legends, Griffin went 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA. He faced the Keys in his CL debut and took the loss, despite throwing 6.1 innings of three-run baseball. Griffin spent all of last year at Low-A and went 4-6 with a 5.44 ERA in 22 starts. He struggled mightily in the first half (7.64 ERA) before producing a better in the second-half (4.39 ERA). Drafted by the Royals in the first round of the 2014 draft, Griffin was selected out of First Academy High School in Orlando, FL (their nickname is Royals). His dad Fred Griffin, is director of the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf (Foster played in High School).

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: