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Visiting Winston-Salem for the First Time

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The orange and black begin a seven-game roadtrip tonight when they take on the Winston-Salem Dash at BB&T Ballpark. Afterwards the team will trek on to Zebulon, NC to get their first look at the Carolina Mudcats.

On Monday the Keys and Nationals traded shutouts in a doubleheader. Earning a 1-0 victory in game one, the team posted its first walk-off win and got it’s first complete game shutout. Jonah Heim delivered the walk-off hit, while John Means was brilliant on the mound. After the doubleheader, Means was interviewed by MiLB.com about the start and you can read the article here.

Johjn Means delivered the first complete game shutout by a Keys pitcher on Monday.

Johjn Means delivered the first complete game shutout by a Keys pitcher on Monday.

It was the second complete game shutout of his career (the first was a no-hitter while he was pitching for the Delmarva Shorebirds last year).

Additionally, it marked the NINTH STRAIGHT START THIS YEAR where Means had allowed two earned runs or less. The amazing part, is that Matthew Grimes will try and equal his teammate tonight in the Triad.

In other news, HUGE congratulations to former Keys Ty Kelly and Ashur Tolliver. Kelly was promoted to the New York Mets on Monday, while Tolliver is expected to be added to the O’s roster after Brian Matusz was traded to the Atlanta Braves last night.

Although I didn’t work with Ty, Ashur is easily one of the best guys I’ve gotten to know in my three seasons with the Keys. Just a fantastic guy, who has worked incredibly hard to get this chance. Hope he stays up with the big league club for awhile.

We’ll have a piece about Tolliver and Kelly later today on frederickkeys.com, so be sure to check it out.

One final note (and I’ll keep the self promotion short) but on Sunday, June 5, Doug Raftery and I will be broadcasting the Keys and Mudcats game FROM EXERCISE BIKES on the first base concourse. It ought to be a blast and we are biking for a great cause. All the money Doug and I raise will go towards the Boys and Girls Club of Frederick County. So if you’ve got a couple of bucks lying around, consider helping us out as we try and reach our combined goal of $1,000. You can visit our pages here and here. Every little bit helps!

Tonight, Matthew Grimes takes the mound for the Keys and will be opposed by Dash righty Jordan Stephens. The broadcast starts at 6:45 on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com! Doug will keep you company.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 · Game #44 · Road Game #21

Frederick Keys (20-23) vs. Winston-Salem Dash (17-28)

RHP Matthew Grimes (5-2, 1.61) vs. RHP Jordan Stephens (0-5, 5.35)

KEYS AND NATIONALS TRADE SHUTOUTS IN TWINBILL: The Frederick Keys and Potomac Nationals split a Monday night twinbill at Nymeo Field. In game one, the orange and black recorded a 1-0 walk-off win, while Boone Whiting led a strong effort by Nationals pitching in game two to force a stalemate. Game one was a pitcher’s duel, with both sides firing blanks through the first sixth inning. In the seventh though, the Keys got to Greg Ross. Aderlin Rodriguez opened the inning with a single and moved up to second after a walk to Wynston Sawyer. Jomar Reyes then slapped a single through the righty side to load the bases for Jonah Heim, who blooped a single down the leftfield line to scoring the winning run. On the mound, John Means went the distance, firing off a complete game shutout. In the second, the P-Nats scored the only two runs of the game thanks to a wild pitch and a Grant DeBruin double, while the trio of Whiting, R.C Orlan and Ryan Brinley held the Keys to just five hits.

 WALK IT OFF, WALK IT OFF: Jonah Heim’s single gave the Keys their first walk-off win of the 2016 season and the club’s first since last September 2 against Carolina. Led to just four hits through their first six trips to bat, the Keys added three hits off Ross in the seventh. In 2015, the Keys won via walk-off eight times, including on five occasions in the first-half. Additionally, the win was the Keys fourth shutout of the year. The four shutouts are tied for second-most in the CL (the team’s overall shutout record is 4-4).

MEANS MAGICAL IN GAME ONE SHUTOUT: John Means turned in his finest performance of the year in game one on Monday. Going the distance in game one, the lefty allowed only three hits across seven brilliant innings. He struck out eight and walked one. It was the first complete game shutout by a Frederick pitcher since last August 25, when David Hess threw a seven-inning one-hitter in the front end of a doubleheader at Potomac. The seven stanzas also tied a career-high for Means, who had not worked seven innings, since he threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Charleston last July 31.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Means continued the string of great work by Keys starting pitchers this month. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.68 ERA (110.2 IP/33ER). In 10 of Frederick’s 13 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until a loss last Wednesday, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance this month. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in five of the last seven contests.

SALCEDO KEEPS HIT STREAK ALIVE:  In spite of the doubleheader on Monday, Erick Salcedo was able to keep his hitting streak alive. Going 1-for-2 in both contests, Salcedo has now hit safely in eight straight. Over the streak he is batting .500 (12-for-24) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. The highlight of the streak came on Friday, when Salcedo hit his first professional homer (he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one prior to Friday).

CLOSE CALLS: The orange and black have gotten very accustomed to playing close games of late. Each of the Keys last eight games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last six contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won four of those). This season, 29 of the Keys 43 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 15-14.

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken three of their last five when tallying three or less markers. Besides winning 1-0 in game one on Monday, the orange and black scored 3-1 victories last Tuesday and Thursday at Wilmington.  In 2016, the orange and black are 4-13 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier.

 NEED FOR SPEED: After a week-long draught (in part due to rain) Jay Gonzalez picked up his 24th steal on Monday. At the moment, he is third in the minors with 24.  Only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (31) and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (30) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 24-for-27 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: Frederick’s doubleheader on Monday was the team’s first twinbill of the season. The club will play at least two more before the first-half concludes and both will come against Potomac (on June 2 and June 11). Matthew Grimes will try and become the second Keys starter on Tuesday to make nine starts while allowing two earned runs or less (John Means did it first last night). The Keys have gone 13-7 in May despite batting only .239 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .333 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jordan Stephens makes his eighth start of the season and is the No. 15 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came at Myrtle Beach last Thursday. Tagged with the loss, he allowed four runs on nine hits in five stanzas. He walked one and struck out three. Against the Keys on May 1, he lasted just three innings, surrendering three runs (two earned) while walking four and striking out three. Stephens 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. Stephens throws a fastball, curve, cutter and changeup.

Let’s Try 2 Again

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The third time is a charm! We’ll try for the third time this afternoon to get game two in against the Potomac Nationals. Keys and Nationals will play a doubleheader today, with game one starting at 5 pm and game two starting 30 minutes following the conclusion of game one.

John Means will be making his ninth start of the year and is looking to keep his perfect 4-0 record intact. The WVU product holds a 2.09 ERA, allowing just 10 earned runs over 43 innings pitched. He’ll be opposed by Potomac starter Erick Fedde, a 1st-round pick by the Nationals organization in 2014.

At the ballpark, kids will eat free! All kids 12 and under will be given a voucher for a free hot dog, chips and soda.

Geoff and Doug will have 14 innings of baseball on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as they’ll join you 1:45 pm.

 

Today’s notes are below.

 

Shake Your Keys!

 

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, May 23, 2016 · Game #42/#43 · Home Game #22/#23

Frederick Keys (19-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-18)

G1: LHP John Means (4-0, 2.09) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 6.62)

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The Frederick Keys and Potomac Nationals were washed away for the second straight day on Sunday. With rainouts the last two days, the two teams will play a doubleheader on Monday starting at 5 p.m. Additionally, Frederick and Potomac will play a twinbill on Thursday, June 2. The Keys are now scheduled to play three different doubleheaders before the first-half concludes and all three will come against Potomac. On Friday, May 6 the Keys were rained out at Pftizner Stadium prompting a pair of games to be played on Saturday, June 11, when the orange and black return to Woodbridge, VA. In 2015, the Keys finished with the top doubleheader record in the CL (6-2) (two sweeps and two splits).  

KNEELAND’S CLUTCH PLAY HELPS KEYS HOLD ON: A clutch play in rightfield in the top of the eighth inning by Cam Kneeland and a big day at the plate by Erick Salcedo helped the Keys hang on for a 4-3 win on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was the Keys fourth win in their last five games. In the eighth inning, the P-Nats threatened to tie the game. Jose Marmolejos opened the inning with a walk before advancing to third on a double by Raudy Read. A bounce out by Alec Keller then made it a one-run game to send up Bryan Mejia. First pitch swinging, he hit a flyball to right which Kneeland caught, and then threw a strike home to gun down Read. The Keys scored single markers in four of the game’s first five innings, while Lucas Long threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) to pick up the win. Jimmy Yacabonis earned the save.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Erick Salcedo turned in his best offensive game of the year on Friday. Going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Salcedo also hit the first home run of his professional career. Before Saturday, he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one. Thanks to the homer, the Venezuelan has a season-high six-game hitting streak going. During that time, he is batting .500 (10-for-20) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. Additionally, he has hits in nine of his last 10 contests. During that stretch he is batting .406 (13-for-32). In the process, his average has jumped almost 60 points (from .193 to .252) the highest it is has been this season.

CLOSE CALLS: On Friday, the Keys played another close game. Each of the Keys last six games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last four contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won three of those). Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 27 of the Keys 41 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 14-13. Meanwhile, Friday was just the Keys second win all year in a one-run game (2-5).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Lucas Long continued the trend of strong starting pitching this month on Friday. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.77 ERA (100.2 IP/31ER). In nine of Frederick’s 12 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in seven of the last 10 contests.

SCOUTING POTOMAC: So far the Keys and P-Nats have split the first four games of the season series, while Potomac took the first set between the two clubs at Pfitzner Stadium from May 5-8. Offensively, Frederick is batting just .178 (21-118) against Nationals arms, but Keys pitching has registered a 2.12 ERA (34IP/8ER). It has been the same story for the Nats, as Tripp Keister’s team has hit just .222 off Keys pitching, but has pitched to a 2.06 ERA (35IP/8ER). In the early going, Erick Salcedo (.385/5-for-13) has fared best at the plate for the Keys, while Dale Carey (.636/7-11) and Bryan Mejia (.364/4-11) have led the Nationals. In 2015, Frederick won the season-set, taking 13 of the 22 meetings, ending a string of three straight seasons where Potomac held the upper hand.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez does not have a steal since last Monday (spanning four games) but is still among the leaders in Minor League Baseball. At the moment, he is tied for third in the minors with 23 along with Lynchburg’s Greg Allen and Hickory’s Eric Jenkins.  Only Salem’s Yoan Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (30) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A pair of wins on Monday would move the Keys within one game of .500 for the first time since April 15. The Keys have gone 12-6 in May despite batting only .238 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .321 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Rodriguez has started the last three games at third base and made two errors on Friday, after making only two his first 31 contests in the field. Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in seven of his last 11 games and at least one walk in nine of 12 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Erick Fedde makes his eighth start of the season on Monday and is the No. 4 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Winston-Salem. Pitching five innings, Fedde earned the win, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one struck out two and hit a batter. In each of his seven starts this year the 23-year-old has allowed three runs or more. Fedde is fifth among starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.26). The righty split the 2015 season between Short-Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown, his first as a professional. In 14 combined starts between the two levels he went 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings. He walked 16 and struck out 59. He was promoted to Low-A on August 4 and pitched in six games in the South Atlantic League to close out the year. The 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year at UNLV, Fedde went 6-1 with a 1.60 ERA as a junior. However after the season, he underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3, 2014 and underwent a 10-month recovery process. He slipped to the No. 18 overall pick and signed for just over $2.5 million. Fedde got on the Nationals radar after assistant general manager and vice president of scouting, Kris Kline, saw Fedde throw 7.1 scoreless innings against Central Michigan to go with 11 strikeouts. From Las Vegas, Fedde was a high school teammate of 2015 NL MVP and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

The Keys and Nationals Set to Play 2!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

As the saying goes: Let’s Play Two!

After a rainout yesterday, the Keys and the Nationals will play a doubleheader this afternoon. The first game will be played at 2 pm and tickets can be purchased at the box office or through FrederickKeys.com

A slight change in plans from yesterday, as Matthew Grimes will get the start in game one for Frederick. Grimes is currently tied for second in the Carolina League with five wins and is also second in the league with a 1.61 ERA. He got a shout-out in today’s Baltimore Sun for his stellar performance so far this season.

Also, be sure to arrive at the ballpark early for Touch A Truck and Sunday Funday. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with all sorts of trucks and will be also  be able to play catch for 30 minutes after the game opens.

Geoff and Doug will have 14 innings of baseball on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as they’ll join you 1:45 pm.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

Sunday, May 22, 2016 · Game #42/#43 · Home Game #22/#23

Frederick Keys (19-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-18)

G1: RHP Matthew Grimes (5-2, 1.61) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 6.62)

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: The Frederick Keys and Potomac Nationals were postponed on account of rain on Saturday night. Both sides will make up the postponed game as part of a Sunday doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. In spite of frequent rain over the first two months of the season in Frederick, Saturday marked the first time the Keys had been postponed at home this year. Meanwhile, it marked just the second time all year the Keys had been postponed. The other occurrence came on Friday, May 6 at Potomac.  

KNEELAND’S CLUTCH PLAY HELPS KEYS HOLD ON: A clutch play in rightfield in the top of the eighth inning by Cam Kneeland and a big day at the plate by Erick Salcedo helped the Keys hang on for a 4-3 win on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was the Keys fourth win in their last five games. In the eighth inning, the P-Nats threatened to tie the game. Jose Marmolejos opened the inning with a walk before advancing to third on a double by Raudy Read. A bounce out by Alec Keller then made it a one-run game to send up Bryan Mejia. First pitch swinging, he hit a flyball to right which Kneeland caught, and then threw a strike home to gun down Read. The Keys scored single markers in four of the game’s first five innings, while Lucas Long threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) to pick up the win. Jimmy Yacabonis earned the save.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Erick Salcedo turned in his best offensive game of the year on Friday. Going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Salcedo also hit the first home run of his professional career. Before Saturday, he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one. Thanks to the homer, the Venezuelan has a season-high six-game hitting streak going. During that time, he is batting .500 (10-for-20) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. Additionally, he has hits in nine of his last 10 contests. During that stretch he is batting .406 (13-for-32). In the process, his average has jumped almost 60 points (from .193 to .252) the highest it is has been this season.

CLOSE CALLS: On Friday, the Keys played another close game. Each of the Keys last six games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last four contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won three of those). Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 27 of the Keys 41 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 14-13. Meanwhile, Friday was just the Keys second win all year in a one-run game (2-5).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Lucas Long continued the trend of strong starting pitching this month on Friday. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.77 ERA (100.2 IP/31ER). In nine of Frederick’s 12 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in seven of the last 10 contests.

 SCOUTING POTOMAC: So far the Keys and P-Nats have split the first four games of the season series, while Potomac took the first set between the two clubs at Pfitzner Stadium from May 5-8. Offensively, Frederick is batting just .178 (21-118) against Nationals arms, but Keys pitching has registered a 2.12 ERA (34IP/8ER). It has been the same story for the Nats, as Tripp Keister’s team has hit just .222 off Keys pitching, but has pitched to a 2.06 ERA (35IP/8ER). In the early going, Erick Salcedo (.385/5-for-13) has fared best at the plate for the Keys, while Dale Carey (.636/7-11) and Bryan Mejia (.364/4-11) have led the Nationals. In 2015, Frederick won the season-set, taking 13 of the 22 meetings, ending a string of three straight seasons where Potomac held the upper hand.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez does not have a steal since Monday (spanning four games) but is still among the leaders in Minor League Baseball. At the moment, he is tied for third in the minors with Lynchburg’s Greg Allen and Hickory’s Eric Jenkins.  Only Salem’s Yoan Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (30) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A pair of wins on Sunday would move the Keys within one game of .500 for the first time since April 15. The Keys have gone 12-6 in May despite batting only .238 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .321 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Rodriguez has started the last three games at third base and made two errors on Friday, after making only two his first 31 contests in the field. Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in seven of his last 11 games and at least one walk in nine of 12 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Erick Fedde makes his eighth start of the season on Sunday and is the No. 4 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Sunday at Winston-Salem. Pitching five innings, Fedde earned the win, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one struck out two and hit a batter. In each of his seven starts this year the 23-year-old has allowed three runs or more. Fedde is fifth among starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.26). The righty split the 2015 season between Short-Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown, his first as a professional. In 14 combined starts between the two levels he went 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings. He walked 16 and struck out 59. He was promoted to Low-A on August 4 and pitched in six games in the South Atlantic League to close out the year. The 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year at UNLV, Fedde went 6-1 with a 1.60 ERA as a junior. However after the season, he underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3, 2014 and underwent a 10-month recovery process. He slipped to the No. 18 overall pick and signed for just over $2.5 million. Fedde got on the Nationals radar after assistant general manager and vice president of scouting, Kris Kline, saw Fedde throw 7.1 scoreless innings against Central Michigan to go with 11 strikeouts. From Las Vegas, Fedde was a high school teammate of 2015 NL MVP and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

 

It’s Superhero Night and WE’VE GOT BOBBLEHEADS!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys were victorious last night after a 4-3 thriller against the Potomac Nationals. Erick Salcedo was locked in at the plate, going 3-for-3, including his first professional home run. The highlight of the night came from Cam Kneeland, who threw out Raudy Read at home to deny the Nationals the tying run in the eighth inning.

The Nationals and the Keys are back at it again for game two at 6 pm. After a season-high in attendance last night, we’re expecting an even larger crowd tonight! Why? Two words: IronManny bobblehead. This exclusive bobblehead of the Orioles third baseman, presented by Flying Dog, will be given to the first 1,000 fans when the gates open at 5 pm.

In honor of tonight’s Superhero Night, I tried to match your favorite Frederick Keys and Baltimore Orioles to their appropriate superhero. How did I do? Let me know in the comments!

Frederick Keys OF Jay Gonzalez: Flash

 Baltimore Orioles 1B Chris Davis: Hulk

 Frederick Keys 3B Jomar Reyes: Thor

 Baltimore Orioles OF Adam Jones: Captain America

 Frederick Keys RHP Tanner Scott: Human Torch

 Baltimore Orioles 3B Manny Machado: Iron Man

Can’t make it tonight? Geoff and Doug will be on the airwaves on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App at 5:45 pm.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

 

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, May 21, 2016 · Game #42 · Home Game #22

Frederick Keys (19-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-18)

LHP John Means (4-0, 2.09) vs. RHP Erick Fedde (2-3, 6.62)

                                                                                                                                                               KNEELAND’S CLUTCH PLAY HELPS KEYS HOLD ON: A clutch play in rightfield in the top of the eighth inning by Cam Kneeland and a big day at the plate by Erick Salcedo helped the Keys hang on for a 4-3 win on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was the Keys fourth win in their last five games. In the eighth inning, the P-Nats threatened to tie the game. Jose Marmolejos opened the inning with a walk before advancing to third on a double by Raudy Read. A bounce out by Alec Keller then made it a one-run game to send up Bryan Mejia. First pitch swinging, he hit a flyball to right which Kneeland caught, and then threw a strike home to gun down Read. The Keys scored single markers in four of the game’s first five innings, while Lucas Long threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) to pick up the win. Jimmy Yacabonis earned the save.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Erick Salcedo turned in his best offensive game of the year on Friday. Going 3-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored, Salcedo also hit the first home run of his professional career. Before Saturday, he had played 428 games and gone 1,348 at-bats without one. Thanks to the homer, the Venezuelan has a season-high six-game hitting streak going. During that time, he is batting .500 (10-for-20) with a homer, two RBIs and four runs scored. Additionally, he has hits in nine of his last 10 contests. During that stretch he is batting .406 (13-for-32). In the process, his average has jumped almost 60 points (from .193 to .252) the highest it is has been this season.

CLOSE CALLS: On Friday, the Keys played another close game. Each of the Keys last six games have been decided by three runs or less, while each of the last four contests have been decided by two runs or less (the Keys have won three of those). Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 27 of the Keys 41 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 14-13. Meanwhile, Friday was just the Keys second win all year in a one-run game (2-5).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 16-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Lucas Long continued the trend of strong starting pitching this month on Friday. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.77 ERA (100.2 IP/31ER). In nine of Frederick’s 12 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in seven of the last 10 contests.

 SCOUTING POTOMAC: So far the Keys and P-Nats have split the first four games of the season series, while Potomac took the first set between the two clubs at Pfitzner Stadium from May 5-8. Offensively, Frederick is batting just .178 (21-118) against Nationals arms, but Keys pitching has registered a 2.12 ERA (34IP/8ER). It has been the same story for the Nats, as Tripp Keister’s team has hit just .222 off Keys pitching, but has pitched to a 2.06 ERA (35IP/8ER). In the early going, Erick Salcedo (.385/5-for-13) has fared best at the plate for the Keys, while Dale Carey (.636/7-11) and Bryan Mejia (.364/4-11) have led the Nationals. In 2015, Frederick won the season-set, taking 13 of the 22 meetings, ending a string of three straight seasons where Potomac held the upper hand.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez does not have a steal since Monday (spanning four games) but is still among the leaders in Minor League Baseball. At the moment, he is tied for third in the minors with Hickory’s Eric Jenkins.  Only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (30) and Salem’s Yoan Moncada (28) have stolen more. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: A win on Saturday would move the Keys within two games of .500 for the first time since April 18 (a game that tonight’s starter John Means pitched in and won). He Keys have gone 12-6 in May despite batting only .238 as a team. Erick Salcedo leads the Keys offensively this month with a .321 average. Aderlin Rodriguez leads all run producers with four homers and 14 RBIs this month (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Rodriguez has started the last three games at third base and made two errors on Friday, after making only two his first 31 contests in the field. Wynston Sawyer has a .493 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in seven of his last 11 games and at least one walk in nine of 12 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Erick Fedde makes his eighth start of the season on Saturday and is the No. 4 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came on Sunday at Winston-Salem. Pitching five innings, Fedde earned the win, allowing five runs on seven hits. He walked one struck out two and hit a batter. In each of his seven starts this year the 23-year-old has allowed three runs or more. Fedde is fifth among starters in SO/9IP ratio (9.26). The righty split the 2015 season between Short-Season Auburn and Low-A Hagerstown, his first as a professional. In 14 combined starts between the two levels he went 5-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 64 innings. He walked 16 and struck out 59. He was promoted to Low-A on August 4 and pitched in six games in the South Atlantic League to close out the year. The 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year at UNLV, Fedde went 6-1 with a 1.60 ERA as a junior. However after the season, he underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3, 2014 and underwent a 10-month recovery process. He slipped to the No. 18 overall pick and signed for just over $2.5 million. Fedde got on the Nationals radar after assistant general manager and vice president of scouting, Kris Kline, saw Fedde throw 7.1 scoreless innings against Central Michigan to go with 11 strikeouts. From Las Vegas, Fedde was a high school teammate of 2015 NL MVP and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

 

The Boys Are Back in Town to Face the P-Nats!

Good Evening Keys fans!

The boys are back in Frederick! The Keys have returned home to Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium for a four-game series against the local rival Potomac Nationals. Not only are we ready for some great baseball this weekend, but some of the best promotions are in store as well!

Tonight, we have Maryland State Pride Night at the ballpark! Every self-respecting Marylander has more than a few pieces of gear that represents the best state (and flag) in the country, so show us yours! The first 1,000 fans will also receive a pizza cutter courtesy of Pretzel & Pizza Creations.

Tomorrow night, we reveal one of the most anticipated bobbleheads in all of minor league baseball. It’s IronManny! The first 1,000 fans will get the exclusive bobblehead of the Baltimore Orioles third baseman presented by Flying Dog. Also as part of Superhero Night, all of your favorite superheroes will be at the ballpark.

Did you forget to give your mom a Mother’s Day gift two weeks ago? No worries! Sunday is Mother/Son day at the ballpark. Grab your mom and enjoy an afternoon with the Frederick Keys. You’ll also be able to play catch in the outfield for a half-hour after the gates open.

For the finale on Monday, all kids under 12 will eat free! All eligible participants will receive a free voucher for a hot dog, soda and chips upon entering the gates.

Family fun, bobbleheads, superheroes and the best state flag in the country… What more could you ask for?

Not able to make it to all four games?  We’ll be on the airwaves at on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug will keep you up to date.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, May 20, 2016 · Game #41 · Home Game #21

Frederick Keys (18-22) vs. Potomac Nationals (21-17)

RHP Lucas Long (1-2, 3.95) vs. RHP Wirkin Estevez (0-2, 3.94)

                                                                                                                                                              

BLUE ROCKS RALLY IN NINTH TO TOP KEYS: The Frederick Keys trio of David Richardson, Tanner Scott and Tanner Chleborad allowed only two hits over nine innings as the Frederick Keys defeated the Wilmington Blue Rocks 3-1 on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium. Thanks to the victory, the Keys claimed the rubber game and finished their first-half slate against Wilmington with a 9-3 record. All three Keys runs came in the first inning against Blue Rocks lefty Matt Tenuta on one swing. With two aboard, Aderlin Rodriguez hit a three-run homer over the leftfield wall give his team the lead for good. Wilmington’s marker came in the fourth after a leadoff double to Alfredo Escalera and an RBI single by Humberto Arteaga. After that single though, only one Blue Rocks hitter would reach the rest of the game.

BULLPEN BULLIES: The two hits allowed by David Richardson, Tanner Scott and Tanner Chleborad on Thursday marked the fewest Keys pitching had surrendered in a game this year. Richardson started the contest, working a season-high four innings and allowing the only run of the game. After allowing an RBI single to Humberto Arteaga though, Richardson, Scott and Chleborad combined to set down 17 of the final 18 batters. The group struck out 12, while Scott earned the win pitching a season-best three frames. The two-hitter marked the fewest hits allowed by Keys pitching since last August 25 against Potomac, when David Hess pitched a seven-inning one-hit complete game. Prior to Thursday, the Keys had gone 0-3 in bullpen games with a collective 8.65 ERA (26IP/25ER).

BREAKING THE MOLD: After winning just one of their first 37 games when scoring less than four runs, the Keys have taken two of their last three when tallying three or less markers. In addition to winning 3-1 on Thursday, the Keys topped the Blue Rocks by the same score on Tuesday night.  In 2016, the orange and black are 3-12 when scoring three or less runs and 15-10 when hitting the four-run barrier. All three of Frederick’s wins when scoring fewer than four runs have come against Wilmington.

CLOSE CALLS: Each of the Keys last five games have been decided by three runs or less, while three of those have hinged on either one or two runs. Prior to this stretch, the orange and black had played four straight contests which were decided by four or more runs. This season, 26 of the Keys 40 games have come down to three runs or less. In those contests, the Keys are 13-13, but the team has taken four out of the last five decided by three or less.   

SAD TO SEE THEM GO: Frederick earned its third straight series win over the Blue Rocks on Thursday. During that time, the Keys won eight of nine games. This season exactly half (9-3) of the Keys wins have come against Wilmington, while the club is 9-19 against the rest of the Carolina League. Aside from the Blue Rocks, the Keys have a record of either .500 or below against every other CL team.

STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: A major part of this month’s success has been the starting pitching. In May, Keys starters have posted a 2.88 ERA (93.2 IP/30ER). In eight of Frederick’s 11 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until Wednesday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last 10 contests.

SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Following a rough April at the plate where he hit .194 in 19 games, Erick Salcedo has begun to have more success at the plate in May. Going 2-for-4 with on Thursday, the switch-hitter has a season-high five-game hitting streak going and has hits in eight of his last nine contests. During that stretch he is batting .345 (10-for-29). In the process, his average has jumped from .193 to .232, the highest it is has been this season.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez collected another steal on Monday to run his season-total up to 23. He has 13 steals in his last 16 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (28). Among minor leaguers, Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez are tied for the lead, while Gonzalez is tied for third overall (with Hickory’s Eric Jenkins). This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-26 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: In addition to sitting second in the CL in stolen bases, Jay Gonzalez has more walks (12) and stolen bases (13) this month than strikeouts (10). Aderlin Rodriguez leads all Keys with a .333 average this month (17-for-56) in 15 games to go with four homers and 14 RBIs (13 of which have come against Wilmington). Wynston Sawyer has a .492 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in six of his last 10 games and at least one walk in nine of 11 (21 walks this season as opposed to 13 strikeouts). Matthew Grimes (1.61), John Means (2.09) and Lucas Long (2.58) rank first, third and sixth among O’s minor leaguers in ERA this year. Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Wirkin Estevez makes his eighth start of the season on Friday and his first against the Keys. The right-hander’s most recent outing came at Winston-Salem last Saturday. Receiving a no-decision, he worked five scoreless innings of four-hit baseball to go with one walk and two strikeouts. This season Estevez has not worked more than five innings and thrown no more than 79 pitches. The right-hander did not pitch for a regular season team in 2015 due to Tommy John surgery but made four appearances for Salt River in the Arizona Fall League. There he allowed six runs on five hits in four innings (13.50 ERA). It marked the second time that the righty had undergone Tommy John surgery, as he also missed the 2013 season for the same reason. Prior to this year, Estevez’s previous full season came in 2014 with Low-A Hagerstown when he was 0-2 with a 9.37 ERA in just five games. Estevez was signed by the Nationals as an international free agent in 2010.

 

Keys Gear Up For Last First-Half Meeting with Blue Rocks

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Frederick Keys gear up for their final first-half meeting with the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday night at Frawley Stadium. Following a three-run Rocks rally in the ninth inning on Wednesday, the Keys will be looking for a win in the rubber game and their third overall series win against their First State nemesis.

Right-hander David Richardson makes the start for the Keys and will be opposed by Wilmington lefty Matt Tenuta. Home run prone, Tenuta leads the CL in home runs allowed despite pitching in the most pitcher-friendly park in the league (three of the homers have come at Frawley Stadium).

Two final notes, one baseball related, one not. On the field, Keys starting pitching has been a big key to Frederick’s success this month (check the note below) and MASN’s Steve Melewski took a closer look at the great starts of John Means and Matthew Grimes in an article here.

Additionally check out more info on the Keys 90s Nickelodeon night here! Both the Keys and the Hillcats will be wearing special Hey Arnold! themed jerseys while here is a picture of both designs:

Jersey Release (640)

It’s gonna be a fun night so may sure to call 301-815-9939 to get your tickets!

Tonight’s broadcast will get underway at 6:20 on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App (visit WTHU) so make sure to tune in! First pitch will be at 6:35.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, May 19, 2016 · Game #40 · Road Game #20

Frederick Keys (17-22) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (11-27)

RHP David Richardson (1-1, 4.91) vs. LHP Matt Tenuta (2-1, 5.66)

BLUE ROCKS RALLY IN NINTH TO TOP KEYS: An RBI single by Alfredo Escalera capped off a three-run Wilmington bottom of the ninth as the Blue Rocks defeated the Frederick Keys 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon at Frawley Stadium. Trailing 2-0, the Blue Rocks recorded three consecutive one-out hits against Mike Zouzalik to tie the game. Elier Hernandez got things started with a single and then scored on a double to left-center by Robert Pehl. The next batter Luis Villegas followed with a triple to even things up. Jimmy Yacabonis was called in from the bullpen and struck out Josh Banuelos, but Escalera brought home the game-winning run one batter later with a base hit through the right side. For the game, the Keys went 0-for-6 with runners and scoring position and left eight on base.

A TOUGH PILL TO SWALLOW: Entering the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead on Wednesday, the Keys lost for the first time all season when leading after eight innings (15-0 prior). Making matters worse, the Blue Rocks had scored just four runs in their previous 44 innings against the Keys before scoring three times in the ninth. Additionally the middle game marked the club’s fifth one-run loss of the season. Currently the Keys have the worst overall record and fewest wins in the CL in one-run contests (1-5).

RUBBER GAMES: Thursday marks the fifth rubber game the Keys will play this season. In deciding contests, the Keys are 1-3. The team’s most recent rubber game came on May 8 against Potomac, a game the P-Nats won 2-1 and the Keys were one-hit. Frederick and Wilmington have squared off in one rubber game this year, a game the Blue Rocks took 13-4 back on April 20 (following that game the Blue Rocks went on a season-worst 12-game losing streak). Frederick’s only win in a rubber match came on April 13 against Salem (5-3 win).

STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: Mitch Horacek kept the trend of good starts by Keys starters alive on Wednesday, firing off six shutout innings of three-hit baseball. A major part of this month’s success, Frederick starters have posted a 2.91 ERA (89.2 IP/29ER). In eight of Frederick’s 10 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start (six innings or more and three earned runs or less) while until yesterday’s defeat, the team had won every game where a starter had turned in a quality appearance in May. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in six of the last nine contests.

 SALCEDO GETTING LOCKED IN:  Following a rough April at the plate where he hit .194 in 19 games, Erick Salcedo has begun to have more success at the plate in May. The switch-hitter has hits in seven of his last eight games and is batting .320 during that time (8-for-25). During that time he has jumped his average from .193 to .222, the highest it is has been this season.

BIERFELDT JOINS KEYS: Right before the game on Tuesday, Conor Bierfeldt was activated from the seven-day DL (right hand injury) while Tad Gold was transferred to Aberdeen. Promoted to the Keys at the All-Star Break last year, he hit .202 with five home runs and 29 RBIs in 56 games. Between Low-A and Advanced-A he batted .227 with 12 home runs and 85 RBIs, placing fifth among O’s minor leaguers in homers and second in RBIs (only Trey Mancini-89-had more).

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez collected another steal on Monday to run his season-total up to 23. He has 13 steals in his last 15 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (26). Among minor leaguers, Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez leads everyone with 28, while Gonzalez is third overall. Lynchburg’s Greg Allen is fifth with 21. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-25 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: In addition to sitting second in the CL in stolen bases, Jay Gonzalez has more walks (12) and stolen bases (13) this month than strikeouts (10). Aderlin Rodriguez leads all Keys with a .304 average this month (17-for-56) in 15 games to go with three homers and 11 RBIs (10 of which have come against Wilmington). Wynston Sawyer has a .508 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in six of his last nine games and at least one walk in eight of 10 (20 walks this season as opposed to 12 strikeouts). Jonah Heim has 13 hits this month (he is hitting .283 overall) and has three home runs and six extra-base hits. Like Sawyer, he also has walked more (18) than he has struck out (17). Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings in May, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Matt Tenuta makes his eighth start of the year on Thursday. His most recent outing last Saturday at Salem. Lasting only four innings, Tenuta allowed six runs on nine hits in a no-decision. He walked two and struck out five. In two starts against Frederick this year he is 1-0 with a 6.52 ERA (9.2 IP/7ER/7BB/4 SO). Home runs have been a problem for Tenuta, as the lefty leads the CL with seven allowed (he has given up two homers in a game three times). Last season, Tenuta spent time with Low-A Lexington, Rookie-Burlington and the AZL Royals. Between the three stops he went 3-7 with a 3.93 ERA, with 13 of his 21 appearances coming at Low-A (2-6, 4.25). Opening the season there, the 10th pitch of his fifth start cost him more than two months, as he took a line drive off his left leg which broke his fibula. Selected by the Royals out of high school in the 25th round of the 2012 draft, Tenuta received a reported $100,000 bonus. As a kid, Tenuta moved all around, living in locales such as Columbus, OH, South Bend IN, Atlanta, GA and Raleigh, NC. The reason is that his dad Jon is a highly decorated defensive coordinator with stops at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and most recently at Virginia.

 

Morning Baseball From the First State!

Good Morning Keys Fans!

The Keys and Blue Rocks square off in a morning game from the First State as the Keys try for their third straight series win over Wilmington.

Mitch Horacek gets the ball for the Keys and the lefty will be counter by right-hander Zach Lovvorn. First pitch is at 10:35 am and we’ll have a pregame chat with Erick Salcedo beginning just after 10:20. The game can be heard on 1450 AM The Source, frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn Radio App.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 · Game #39 · Road Game #19

Frederick Keys (17-21) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (10-27)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-4, 6.19) vs. RHP Zach Lovvorn (0-5, 4.24)

                                                                                                                                                               GRIMES HURLS GEM, KEYS TAKE ANOTHER FROM ROCKS: Matthew Grimes tossed seven outstanding innings while the Frederick Keys recorded three two-out RBIs in a 3-1 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Tuesday night at Frawley Stadium. Starting 45 minutes late due to rain, Grimes was not affected by the wait, giving up just one run while scattering seven hits. The lone run he gave up came in the first on a sac-fly by Austin Bailey with the bases loaded. That run matched the Keys first inning marker, thanks to an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI double. In the sixth the Keys took control for good. Facing Foster Griffin, Jonah Heim doubled home Jomar Reyes with two outs and scored himself on a base knock by Conor Bierfeldt. In his Advanced-A debut Griffin took the loss, allowing three runs in 6.1 innings. Jeff Beliveau earned the save for the Keys, working two scoreless innings to close out the game.

KEYS PITCHING REGAINS ITS FORM: After giving up 27 runs from Friday-Sunday (the most allowed by Frederick arms in a three-day stretch this year) the pitching staff has bounced back the last two nights. After allowing two runs and striking out 14 total on Monday, Matthew Grimes and Jeff Beliveau combined on nine innings of seven-hit, one-run baseball. They gave up only two hits in their last six innings. Grimes tied his career-high with seven innings pitched (third time) and delivered his fourth quality start of the year. Grimes and John Means have also allowed two earned runs or less in all eight of their starts. With that trend, it is no surprise that Grimes (1.61) and Means (2.09) rank second and fourth respectively in the CL in ERA.

 STARTING PITCHERS SET TONE: So far the Keys are 10-5 in May and starting pitching has played a big role in the team’s success. Starters have posted a 3.12 ERA (83.2 IP/29ER) In eight of Frederick’s 10 wins, the starting pitcher has delivered a quality start, delivering six innings or more and allowing three earned runs or less. Moreover, in each game this month where a Keys starter has turned in a quality start FREDERICK HAS NOT LOST. Keys starters have turned in quality outings in five of the last eight contests.

 IT’S CALLED OWNAGE: The Frederick Keys are excited to be seeing the Blue Rocks again. Entering Wednesday the orange and black have won seven straight games against their First State rival and have earned back-to-back three-game sweeps. In the most recent three-gamer at Nymeo Field from last Tuesday-Thursday, Frederick outscored the Blue Crew 14-2 and got quality starts from Lucas Long, John Means and Matthew Grimes. In three days, Wilmington mustered only 13 hits and went a combined 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

MORE KEYS V BLUE ROCKS NOTES: Overall, Frederick is 8-2 against the Blue Rocks this season and is the only team the Keys have a winning record against in the Carolina League. Keys pitching has turned in a 3.00 ERA, while the Keys are hitting .233 off Blue Rocks arms. Although the second figure is hardly impressive, Frederick is batting .286 (28-for-98) with runners in scoring position against Wilmington and has benefited from 59 walks in 86 innings.

BIERFELDT JOINS KEYS: Right before the game on Tuesday, Conor Bierfeldt was activated from the seven-day DL (right hand injury) while Tad Gold was transferred to Aberdeen. In his season debut, Bierfeldt went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. Promoted to the Keys at the All-Star Break last year, he hit .202 with five home runs and 29 RBIs in 56 games. Between Low-A and Advanced-A he batted .227 with 12 home runs and 85 RBIs, placing fifth among O’s minor leaguers in homers and second in RBIs (only Trey Mancini-89-had more).

THE BIG INNING PROBLEM: Although Keys pitching has performed well of late, the big inning has proven to be a major problem at times. The eight-run fifth inning for Myrtle Beach on Saturday marked the seventh time this year that Keys arms had given up five runs or more in an inning. That includes three five-run frames, two seven-run frames, an eight-run frame and a 10-run inning. Of those seven innings, six have occurred at Nymeo Field, giving the Keys a much higher home ERA (4.87) than road ERA (3.27).

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez collected another steal on Monday to run his season-total up to 23. He has 13 steals in 14 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (25). Among minor leaguers, Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez leads everyone with 28, while Gonzalez is third overall. Lynchburg’s Greg Allen is tied for fifth with 20. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-25 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: On Tuesday, the Keys won just their second game all year when scoring less than four runs (both have come against Wilmington) In addition to sitting second in the CL in stolen bases, Jay Gonzalez is fourth in on-base percentage and has more walks (12) and stolen bases (13) this month than strikeouts. Wynston Sawyer has a .508 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in six of his last nine games and at least one walk in eight of 10 (20 walks this season as opposed to 12 strikeouts). Jonah Heim has 12 hits this month including three home runs and six extra-base hits. Like Sawyer, he also has walked more (18) than he has struck out (15) and has as many RBIs as strikeouts. Luis Gonzalez has fired off 11 shutout innings this month, while he has given up three hits and struck out 15. Opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Righty Zach Lovvorn makes his eighth appearance and sixth start on Wednesday. His last outing came at Frederick last Thursday. In relief, he allowed three runs on four hits in 4.1 innings. Last year with Wilmington Lovvorn went 4-5 with a 3.93 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) and registered quality outings in seven of his 11 contests. 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.

Back to Wilmington!

Good afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys look to continue their winning ways against the Blue Rocks on Tuesday night, when the club begins a three-game series with its First State rival. Frederick has won six straight against Wilmington and has earned sweeps in each of the last two series. As comfortable as the team has gotten with the Blue Rocks though, this marks the final team the Keys will see them in the first-half, as the two sides do not meet again until late-July.

Right-hander Matthew Grimes gets the ball for the Keys tonight and tries to become the second Keys starter to allow two earned runs or less in his first eight starts. Lefty John Means became the first to accomplish that feat on Monday night.

Lefty Foster Griffin makes his Carolina League debut for the Blue Rocks and was a first round pick in 2014.

First pitch comes your way at 6:35 p.m from Frawley Stadium and as always you can catch the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com or the TuneIn Radio App (just search for WTHU 1450 AM). I’ll do my best to keep you company.

Today’s notes are below. Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 · Game #38 · Road Game #18

Frederick Keys (16-21) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (10-26)

RHP Matthew Grimes (4-2, 1.67) vs. LHP Foster Griffin (0-0, –)

KEYS SALVAGE FINAL GAME: Frederick Keys pitching utilized the strikeout and two multi-run innings defeat the Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5-2 on Monday night at Nymeo Field. The win ensured a winning homestand for the orange and black and also ended Frederick’s three-game losing streak. Myrtle Beach scored in the first inning against John Means on a Yasiel Balaguert double to right, but the Keys answered with five of the next six runs. Three of those came in the third off Jonathan Martinez. With one out Cam Kneeland homered, while Jay Gonzalez added an RBI double and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Myrtle Beach moved within a run in the fourth, before the Keys answered with two more in the home-half of the inning. Jonah Heim and Cam Kneeland doubled to drive in runs. On the mound, Means tossed six innings of two-run baseball, while Luis Gonzalez and Jimmy Yacabonis tossed three scoreless innings to wrap things up. Yacabonis earned his third save, by picking up the last two outs.

KEYS PITCHING REGAINS ITS FORM: After giving up 27 runs in the previous three games (the most allowed by Frederick arms in a three-day stretch this year) the pitching staff bounced back on Monday night. The trio of John Means, Luis Gonzalez and Jimmy Yacabonis allowed only seven hits, while the trio struck out 14 batters, one short of the team’s season-high. Individually, Means turned in his fourth quality start of the season, and the fourth by Keys pitching over the homestand (Means had two, Matthew Grimes and Lucas Long each had one). In all of Means’ eight starts in 2016 he has allowed two runs or less. Additionally, Luis Gonzalez continued his outstanding May. In four games (all outings of two or more innings) the southpaw has fired off 11 shutout innings, given up three hits and struck out 15, while opponents are batting .088 against him this month. 

 IT’S CALLED OWNAGE: The Frederick Keys are excited to be seeing the Blue Rocks again. Entering Tuesday the orange and black have won six straight games against their First State rival and have earned back-to-back three-game sweeps. In the most recent three-gamer at Nymeo Field from last Tuesday-Thursday, Frederick outscored the Blue Crew 14-2 and got quality starts from Lucas Long, John Means and Matthew Grimes. In three days, Wilmington mustered only 13 hits and went a combined 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

MORE KEYS V BLUE ROCKS NOTES: Overall, Frederick is 7-2 against the Blue Rocks this season and is the only team the Keys have a winning record against in the Carolina League. Keys pitching has turned in a 3.22 ERA, while the Keys are hitting .232 off Blue Rocks arms. Although the second figure is hardly impressive, Frederick is batting .297 with runners in scoring position against Wilmington and has benefited from 56 walks in 77 innings.

THE BIG INNING PROBLEM: Although Keys pitching has performed well of late, the big inning has proven to be a major problem at times. The eight-run fifth inning for Myrtle Beach on Saturday marked the seventh time this year that Keys arms had given up five runs or more in an inning. That includes three five-run frames, two seven-run frames, an eight-run frame and a 10-run inning. Of those seven innings, six have occurred at Nymeo Field, giving the Keys a much higher home ERA (4.87) than road ERA (3.41).

 CLOSE CALLS: After 20 of the first 31 games were decided by three runs or less, four of the Keys last six games have hinged on four runs or more. Prior to this stretch, 10 of the Keys previous 11 games had been decided by three or fewer runs. In games decided by three or fewer runs in 2016, the team is 11-12.

KNEELAND BUSTS OUTS: Cam Kneeland got a lift on Monday night after a rough start to the month of May. Entering the series finale against Myrtle Beach, the Massachusetts native was just 5-for-34 (.147) in his first 11 contests this month. However, Kneeland went 2-for-2 with a home run, a double and two RBIs. The longball was his first in the CL and first since September 7 of last year with Delmarva. A gap-to-gap hitter, Kneeland leads the team with 11 doubles and is just outside the top five in the league. A player who provides Keith Bodie with plenty of flexibility, Kneeland has played six different positions this year (with 20 of his 32 games coming in RF). On Saturday, he played his first game of the year at shortstop.

 NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez collected another steal on Monday to run his season-total up to 23. He has 13 steals in 13 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (25). Among minor leaguers, Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez leads everyone with 28, while Gonzalez is third overall. Lynchburg’s Greg Allen is tied for fifth with 20. This season, Gonzalez is 23-for-25 in steal attempts. He was not caught until his 15th steal attempt.

ODDS AND ENDS: In addition to sitting second in the CL in stolen bases, Jay Gonzalez also ranks third in on-base percentage (.415). He is batting .308 in 14 May games and has more stolen bases (13) and walks (12) than strikeouts this month (nine). Wynston Sawyer is batting .324 with a .527 on-base percentage in May. He has an RBI in six of his last eight games and at least one walk in seven of nine (19 walks this season as opposed to 10 strikeouts). Jonah Heim has 11 hits this month including three home runs and six extra-base hits. Like Sawyer, he also has walked more (17) than he has struck out (14) and has as many RBIs as strikeouts.

 TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Foster Griffin makes his Carolina League debut on Tuesday and is the No. 13 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America. Joining the Blue Rocks from Low-A Lexington, the southpaw last pitched one week ago at Greensboro. Pitching 4.2 innings, he allowed a season-high seven runs (one earned) on eight hits and struck out six. Overall with the Legends, Griffin went 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA. A groundball pitcher, he had a 2.28 groundout/airout ratio and held opponents to a .243 average. He 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 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.

The Homestand Wraps Up, Keys Try and Avoid Sweep

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

It’s a proven fact that baseball makes Mondays more tolerable. Seriously, it’s just science. Join us this evening at 7 pm for the last game of the homestand as we take on as we host the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for the last game of a four-game series. The Keys have gone 3-3 so far so help us cheer them on to a winning record!

If you’re search of a new job or career, Frederick-area businesses will be here for Business and Baseball Night as they’ll be looking for qualified candidates. Also, all kids 12 and under will receive a voucher for a free hot dog, soda, and chips upon entering the gate.

We could be in for a pitcher’s duel tonight as Keys starter John Means (3-0, 1.95 ERA) takes on Pelicans starter Jonathan Martinez (3-1, 3.00 ERA). Means leads the team in strikeouts (38) and WHIP (1.14).

We’ll be on the airwaves tonight at 6:45 pm on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug will keep you company throughout the evening.

Shake Your Keys!

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Monday, May 16, 2016 · Game #37 · Home Game #20

Frederick Keys (15-21) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (20-15)

LHP John Means (3-0, 1.95) vs. RHP Jonathan Martinez (3-1, 3.00)

PELICANS SCORE IN FIVE INNINGS, TAKE SERIES: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans scored in five different innings to defeat the Frederick Keys 8-5 on Sunday afternoon at Nymeo Field. It marked third straight game where the visitors had scored eight or more runs. Myrtle Beach got on the board in the first on a throwing error by Erick Salcedo, but the Keys responded with a pair off Jake Stinnett in the home first. Jay Gonzalez and Josh Hart rolled up a successful double steal, while a Jomar Reyes fielder’s choice plated the second run. Frederick’s one-run lead did not last long, as the Pelicans scored three times in the next inning, two coming off a Torres double. That lead ballooned to five runs after the fifth, as Lucas Long lasted only 4.1 innings, giving up seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits in a losing effort.

PELICANS BATS PACK A PUNCH: Over the last three games Keys pitching has allowed eight runs or more, resulting in 27 Myrtle Beach tallies over three days (two games of eight runs and 11 runs Saturday). The 27 runs allowed are the most by Keys pitching in a three-day span this year (the previous high was 26 from April 20-22). In the process, Frederick’s staff ERA has gone up from 4.03 to 4.29. These struggles come on the heels of a 24.1 scoreless streak for Keys starters (which was snapped Friday) and a 18 inning scoreless streak for Frederick relievers which ended on Wednesday.

THE BIG INNING PROBLEM: Although Keys pitching has performed well of late, the big inning has proven to be a major problem at times. The eight-run fifth inning for Myrtle Beach on Saturday marked the seventh time this year that Keys arms had given up five runs or more in an inning. That includes three five-run frames, two seven-run frames, an eight-run frame and a 10-run inning. Of those seven innings, six have occurred at Nymeo Field, giving the Keys a much higher home ERA (5.02) than road ERA (3.41).

 CLOSE CALLS: After 20 of the first 31 games were decided by three runs or less, four of the Keys last five games have been decided by four runs or more. Prior to this stretch, 10 of the Keys previous 11 games had been decided by three or fewer runs. In games decided by three or fewer runs in 2016, the team is 10-12.

 GUARDING AGAINST THE SWEEP: The Keys are trying to avoid being swept for the second time this season on Monday. Previously, the Keys were broomed in four games by Lynchburg from April 14-17 (the first series at home this year). In their last series, the Keys earned their second sweep of the season by taking three straight from the Blue Rocks. In 2015, the Keys were swept twice in a four-game series (once at Wilmington and once at Carolina) and were broomed a total of four times last year. Prior to this season, the Keys had not been swept in a four-game series at home since June 2014 (Winston-Salem).  

A-ROD’S STREAK CONCLUDES: Aderlin Rodriguez saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close on Saturday, as the Keys first baseman went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Over the six-gamer, Rodriguez hit .350 with a homer, a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. The streak comes on the heels of a 10-game hitting streak that Rodriguez concluded last Thursday. If you take the 10 game streak and Rodriguez’s six-gamer, the Dominican has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. During that time he has raised his average from .210 to .274.

 NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in eight of his last 12 games to move his season-total up to 22. He has 12 steals in 12 games and ranks second in the Carolina League. Gonzalez trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (25). Among minor leaguers, Moncada and Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez lead everyone with 25, while Gonzalez is third overall. Lynchburg’s Greg Allen is tied for fourth with 20. This season, Gonzalez is 22-for-24 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time last Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: Last week the Baltimore Orioles made a host of roster moves affecting the Frederick Keys. On Tuesday, infielder Anthony Caronia was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, becoming the second Keys player to receive a call-up this year (Garrett Cortright was the other). Josh Hart (left groin) and Tanner Chleborad (right shoulder). Before Wednesday’s game, Jimmy Bosco was received from Aberdeen while T.J. Olesczuk was transferred to the IronBirds, while on Thursday David Richardson (who was sent to Aberdeen Tuesday) was received back from the IronBirds and Cory Jones was placed on the disabled list.  

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Jonathan Martinez makes his seventh start on Monday and his second against the Keys. He is ninth in ERA (3.00). In his most recent outing against Winston-Salem last Tuesday, he picked up the win, giving up only one run on seven hits in six innings. He has worked six innings or more in five of his six starts this year and four have been quality outings. The only exception came on opening day against the Keys, where he went five innings and allowed one run. In his career against Frederick, Martinez is 3-0 with a 2.81 ERA (16IP/5ER) in three games. A Carolina League all-star last year, the right-hander went 9-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 23 games (21 starts) during the regular season. Logging a career-high 116 innings, he allowed only 82 hits and walked only 27. His first year at Advanced-A, the right-hander led the loop in ERA, WHIP (0.94), opponents’ batting average (.199) and baserunners per nine innings among starting pitchers (8.92). He pitched particularly well to close out the year, recording 19 consecutive scoreless innings to end the regular season, and giving up just one run in his final 31 frames. Acquired by the Cubs on July 28, 2014, Martinez was acquired from the Dodgers as a player to be named later in the Darwin Barney trade. He advanced as high as Low-A with Los Angeles. Signed by the Dodgers in May 2011, Martinez debuted with the DSL Dodgers as a 17-year-old. He hails from Maracay, Venezuela, the same hometown of Jose Altuve and Miguel Cabrera.

The Candy Drop Returns!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

It was a rough night against the Pelicans last night, but I have a feeling that they’ll be in for a sweet time this afternoon. Why? It’s Candy Land Day! Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium has been transformed into your favorite childhood board game.

After the game, we’ll be dropping 200 pounds of candy from a helicopter. Yes, you read that correctly.

Lucas Long will try to right the ship for the Keys today as he’ll be taking the mound. In his last appearance, he struck out a career-high eight batters in eight innings. He’s in search of his second win on the season. He’ll by facing Jake Stinnett, a University of Maryland product.

Can’t join us today? Geoff and Doug will be on the airwaves tonight at 1:45 on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App.

Shake your Keys!

Ethan

 

Sunday, May 15, 2016 · Game #36 · Home Game #19

Frederick Keys (15-20) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (19-15)

RHP Lucas Long (1-1, 2.74) vs. RHP Jake Stinnett (2-0, 2.93)

                                                                                                                                                              

EIGHT-RUN PELICANS FIFTH LEADS TO LOPSIDED WIN: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans scored eight times and sent 14 men to bat in the top of the fifth to earn an 11-3 win on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. In the game, the visitors set new season-highs for hits and runs while five different players recorded multi-hit games. Ahead 1-0, the Pelicans loaded the bases to start the inning against Max Schuh, while singles by Ian Happ and Yasiel Balaguert made it 4-0. Daniel Lockhart then added a double which brought in two more. Schuh would be replaced by Ivan Hernandez, who allowed a two-run double to complete the scoring. Frederick added one run in the seventh on a solo homer by Austin Wynns while Wynston Sawyer drove in two in the ninth.

THE BIG INNING PROBLEM: Although Keys pitching has performed well of late, the big inning has proven to be a major problem at times. The eight-run fifth inning for Myrtle Beach on Saturday marked the seventh time this year that Keys arms had given up five runs or more in an inning. That includes three five-run frames, two seven-run frames, an eight-run frame and a 10-run inning. Of those seven innings, six have occurred at Nymeo Field, giving the Keys a much higher home ERA (4.97) than road ERA (3.41).

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: In spite of allowing 11 runs on Saturday, David Richardson did a solid job in his first Advanced-A start, delivering three innings and allowing one unearned run. In this homestand, three of five starters have delivered quality starts, while on Friday Keys starters wrapped up a stretch of 24.1 innings without giving up a run (including 21.1 innings this homestand). In the last 14 games, a Frederick starter has posted a quality start seven times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.74 ERA (163.2 IP/68ER). Additionally, Matthew Grimes (1.67), Lucas Long (1.76) and John Means (1.95) rank first, second and third in ERA among O’s farmhands.

CLOSE CALLS: After 20 of the first 31 games were decided by three runs or less, the Keys have played four consecutive games decided by four runs or more. It is the second time that has occurred this year, with games from April 18-21 all hinging on four or more runs. Prior to this stretch, 10 of the Keys previous 11 games had been decided by three or fewer runs. In games decided by three or fewer runs in 2016, the team is 10-11.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!:  After opening the season with a 2-10 record in home games, the Keys have won four of five at Nymeo Field (Friday ended a season-best four game run at home). This recent stretch of success is home in encouraging, considering Frederick had lost seven straight home sets before earning a series win over Wilmington on Wednesday. Overall, Frederick is 6-11 in home games as opposed to 9-8 in road tilts.

A-ROD’S STREAK CONCLUDES: Aderlin Rodriguez saw his six-game hitting streak come to a close on Saturday, as the Keys first baseman went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Over the six-gamer, Rodriguez hit .350 with a homer, a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. The streak comes on the heels of a 10-game hitting streak that Rodriguez concluded last Thursday. If you take the 10 game streak and Rodriguez’s six-gamer, the Dominican has hit safely in 16 of his last 18 games. During that time he has raised his average from .210 to .274.

AGAINST THE GRAIN: In the last 11 games, the Keys are 8-3, but the near-ironclad “four-run rule” has mostly held true. For the Keys to win, the team needs to hit the four-run barrier. In the team’s eight wins this has been the case seven times, with the lone exception (and the only deviation from the rule this year) taking place on Tuesday when the team beat Wilmington 3-0. Despite averaging five runs in the last 11 games, Keys hitters have batted just .214 as a club. With runners in scoring position Frederick is hitting an improved .255.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in seven of his last 11 games to move his season-total up to 20. He has 10 steals in 11 games and is tied for second in the Carolina League with Greg Allen. That duo trails Salem’s Yoan Moncada (24). Among minor leaguers, Moncada ranks second while Gonzalez and Allen are tied for third. Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez leads everyone with 25. This season, Gonzalez is 20-for-22 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time last Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: Over the last four days the Baltimore Orioles made a host of roster moves affecting the Frederick Keys. On Tuesday, infielder Anthony Caronia was promoted to the Double-A Bowie Baysox, becoming the second Keys player to receive a call-up this year (Garrett Cortright was the other). Josh Hart (left groin) and Tanner Chleborad (right shoulder). Before Wednesday’s game, Jimmy Bosco was received from Aberdeen while T.J. Olesczuk was transferred to the IronBirds, while on Thursday David Richardson (who was sent to Aberdeen Tuesday) was received back from the IronBirds and Cory Jones was placed on the disabled list.  

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Jake Stinnett makes his sixth start of the season on Sunday and is the No. 21 prospect in the Cubs system according to Baseball America. Currently, he ranks first in the CL in WHIP (0.90) and batting average against (.179) and eighth in ERA (2.93). His most recent outing came last Sunday at Wilmington. Pitching five innings, Stinnett received a no-decision allowing a season-high four runs on five hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out four. In his first Advanced-A season, 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. A good deal of his struggles came on the road, as he posted a 6.75 ERA in nine road games as opposed to a 3.15 mark in 13 starts at home. 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.

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