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.

Chris Cooley Is in the House for Halfway to Kickoff Night!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Of course, we’re all about baseball here at the Frederick Keys, but who could forget about football? We’ll be celebrating the gridiron tonight as we host Halfway to Kickoff Night. Former Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley will be in attendance, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans from 5-7.

The Keys will try to get back on track tonight after falling to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans yesterday, 8-3. David Richardson will take the bump for Frederick tonight as he’ll make his first start of the season. He’ll be opposed by Pelicans starter Jeremy Null who is also making his first start of the year.

For those that missed it, Keys Corner episode 6 is here! Earlier this week we spoke to Lucas Long about his great start, while we recap the week and look at Chris Cooley’s appearance and have additional information about tomorrow’s Candy Drop! To watch Keys Corner, click

Join us on the airwaves tonight at 5:45 on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug will keep you company throughout the evening.

 

Tonight’s notes are below.

 

Shake Your Keys!

 

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, May 14, 2016 · Game #35 · Home Game #18

Frederick Keys (15-19) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (18-15)

RHP David Richardson (1-0, 6.75) vs. RHP Jeremy Null (0-0, 0.00)

                                                                                                                                                              

PELICANS PLAY LONGBALL TO GRAB SERIES OPENER: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans hit a season-high three home runs and scored a season-high eight runs to defeat the Frederick Keys 8-3 on Friday night on Nymeo Field. The loss ended the Keys three-game winning streak. Myrtle Beach jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. All four runs came via homers as Yasiel Balaguert and Charcer Burks hit two-run shots off Mitch Horacek. In the fifth, the Keys trimmed the lead in half. Three straight singles and an error opened the inning, while a base knock by Jomar Reyes got the Keys on the board. Erick Salcedo added an RBI bounce out later in the inning, to make it a two-run contest, but the Birds made it a five-run game via a three-run longball by Gleyber Torres. Aderlin Rodriguez hit a home run a half-inning later, but the Keys mustered just three runs off Erick Leal in 7.2 innings.  

HOME RUNS BLUES: Entering Friday, Keys pitching had allowed just two home runs in its first 10 May games. However in the series opener, the Pelicans equaled that total in the first two innings and eclipsed that mark by the seventh stanza. The three home runs by the Pelicans were the second-most Frederick arms had allowed in a game this year (on April 16, Lynchburg hit four longballs). As a pitching staff, the Keys have surrendered 20 homers this year, the third-most in the league. 

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.

ON A ROLL: Over the last 10 games, the Keys have been one of the hottest teams in the league, winning seven of those contests. Only Salem has fared better, with the Red Sox having taken eight of their last 10. A big reason for the success is the pitching staff posting a 2.78 ERA (2.98 for starters and 2.41 for relievers). During the last seven games, Keys starters have delivered a quality start four times.

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.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Over the current homestand, three of four 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)  20.2 innings without allowing a run. In the last 13 games, a Frederick starter has posted a quality start seven times,  For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.81 ERA (160.2 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.  

BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: On Wednesday, the Keys bullpen saw their scoreless inning streak end at 18 innings, as Wilmington scored twice in the seventh. Nonetheless since allowing seven runs in an inning against Winston-Salem on April 30, Keys relief has been outstanding. Dating back to the ninth inning of the April 30 game against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 2.34 ERA, giving up just nine runs in 34.2 innings on 16 hits.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have gotten used to close games, with 10 of the club’s last 14 contests coming down to three runs or less.  In games decided by three or fewer runs the team is 10-11. In two-run games, the Keys are 4-2 (second-best mark in the league) but in one-run affairs Frederick 1-4, the worst mark in the CL.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in seven of his last 10 games to move his season-total up to 20. He has 10 steals in 10 games and is tied for second in the Carolina League with Greg Allen. That duo trails Salem’s Yoan Moncada (21). 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: Jeremy Null makes his first start of the season and his second appearance with the Pelicans this season, after he began the year at Extended Spring Training. In his only game on Tuesday night against Winston-Salem, he pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and allowed two hits while striking out three. Null split last year between Low-A South Bend and Myrtle Beach going a combined 8-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 117.1 innings pitched. A Midwest League all-star last year, Null was called up to the Pelicans last June 28, after going 6-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 12 starts. With the Pelicans he went 2-3 4.70 ERA. Known for great command, Null has a career 0.9 BB/9IP ratio. Last season with South Bend, he did not issue a walk until the sixth inning of his fourth start (28.1 IP). He is from Conover, NC the same hometown as NASCAR driver Dale Jarrett.

The Keys Try and Make it Five Straight at Home!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Can you believe it? It finally looks like summer! And there’s no more perfect way to spend a summer evening than at the ballpark. The Keys start a four-game set against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans tonight as they’re fresh off a three-game sweep of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. It was a tight game yesterday afternoon as Frederick led just 1-0 for the majority of the game, but a crucial solo shot from Jonah Heim broke the stalemate and led the way to a 4-0 victory.

Need more reasons to visit Nymeo Field at Harry Grove Stadium tonight? How about FIREWORKS! It’s also ‘Girls Night Out’ presented by Gold Thumb Jewelry and TLC Bridal Boutique  as there will be bridal-themed vendors set up around the stadium and a Diamond Dig after the game.

Can’t make it?  Join us on the airwaves at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug be your eyes and ears for tonight.

Tonight’s notes are below.

Shake Your Keys!

 

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Friday, May 13, 2016 · Game #34 · Home Game #17

Frederick Keys (15-18) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (17-15)

LHP Mitch Horacek (1-3, 6.00) vs. RHP Erick Leal (3-2, 4.50)

BREAK OUT THE BROOMS!: The Frederick Keys completed their second sweep of the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Thursday afternoon, posting a 4-0 shutout at Nymeo Field. It marked the second straight series where Frederick had broomed its CL North rival, while it gave the Keys their first home sweep since last April 13-15. Matthew Grimes was outstanding, tossing 6.2 shutout innings of three-hit baseball. Luis Gonzalez earned the save, while the Keys bats scored sporadically. The first marker came home in the first, as Jay Gonzalez walked, stole second and third (as part of a double steal) before coming in on a wild pitch. Jonah Heim added a solo homer in the seventh, while Wynston Sawyer completed the scoring in the eighth with a two-run single.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!:  After opening the season with a 2-10 record in home games, the Keys have won four straight at Nymeo Field. It is the club’s longest home win streak since last August 12-15 when the team took four straight against Lynchburg and Carolina. As part of Frederick’s current streak, the team snapped a string of seven home sets without a win (the Keys lost all seven) and earned their first home sweep in more than a year. Overall, Frederick is 6-10 in home games as opposed to 9-8 in road tilts.

ON A ROLL: Over the last 10 games, the Keys have been one of the hottest teams in the league, winning eight of those contests. Only Salem has fared better, with the Red Sox having taken nine of their last 10 (including five in-a-row). A big reason for the success is the pitching staff posting a 2.25 ERA (2.62 for starters and 1.52 for relievers). During the last six games, Keys starters have delivered a quality start six times.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Over the current homestand, all three starters have delivered quality starts, while Keys starters have worked 20.2 innings without allowing a run. Meanwhile, a Keys starting pitcher has not allowed a run since the second inning of Sunday’s game against Potomac, a streak of 23.2 frames without allowing a run. Matthew Grimes kept the streak alive on Thursday, pitching 6.2 scoreless innings. It was the seventh time in the last 12 games where a Frederick starter had posted a quality outing. In their last 15 games, Keys arms have tallied a 2.58 ERA (90.2 IP/26ER) and allowed two runs or less 12 times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.48 ERA (165.2 IP/64ER). Additionally, Grimes (1.67), Lucas Long (1.76) and John Means (1.95) rank first, second and third in ERA among O’s farmhands.  

BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: On Wednesday, the Keys bullpen saw their scoreless inning streak end at 18 innings, as Wilmington scored twice in the seventh. Nonetheless since allowing seven runs in an inning against Winston-Salem on April 30, Keys relief has been outstanding. Dating back to the ninth inning of the April 30 game against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.47 ERA, giving up just five runs in 30.2 innings on 13 hits.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have gotten used to close games, with 10 of the club’s last 13 contests coming down to three runs or less.  In games decided by three or fewer runs the team is 10-11. In two-run games, the Keys are 4-2 (second-best mark in the league) but in one-run affairs Frederick 1-4, the worst mark in the CL.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in seven of his last nine games to move his season-total up to 20. He has 10 steals in nine games and is second in the Carolina League. He trails only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (21). Among minor leaguers, Gonzalez and Moncada are third and second respectively, with only Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez (24) tallying more. After Perez, the next three best-basestealers come from the CL (Moncada, Gonzalez, Greg Allen). This season, Gonzalez is 20-for-22 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time on Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: Over the last three 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: Erick Leal makes his sixth start of the season on Friday and his second against the Keys. His most recent outing came last Saturday at Wilmington. Tossing 5.1 shutout innings, the righty earned the win, scattering four hits and striking out four. When he has pitched at home Leal has struggled, posting a 8.49 ERA, while he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two road games (10.1 IP/0R). Leal spent all of last season at Low-A South Bend, going 10-8 with a 3.85 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) with the Cubs. Over 128.2 innings, he gave up 138 hits, walked 32 and struck out 86, while opponents batted .273 against him. Perhaps the highlight of his season came on August 4 when he threw nine hitless innings against Kane County. He was denied the seventh no-hitter in team history though, as the Cubs lost in 12 innings 1-0. At his best after the All-Star break, Leal went 4-4 with a .282 ERA and held opponents to a .234 average (in the first half his ERA was almost five, and opponents batted .312). Originally signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent in 2011, Leal was traded to Cubs from the Diamondbacks along with right-hander Jesus Castillo for outfielder Tony Campana in February 2013. He is originally from Valencia, Venezuela, the same hometown as Keys shortstop Erick Salcedo.

Good Morning Keys Fans!

 

How does a lunch break with the Frederick Keys sound? The Keys will take on the Wilmington Blue Rocks at 11 am today as they look to finish off the sweep. Frederick won last night as their offense exploded in the 7th inning for five runs. Wynston Sawyer shined at the plate as he tallied two hits for two RBIs. Starting pitcher John Means also struck out six batters over six innings.

Today’s starter is Matthew Grimes, who is making his seventh start of the year. He is in search of his fourth win, which would lead the team. He’ll be opposed by Kyle Zimmer, who is making his second start of the year.

Can’t make it? We’ll be on the airwaves at 10:45 am on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug will help you get through the work day.

 

Today’s notes are below.

 

Shake Your Keys!

 

Ethan

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Thursday, May 12, 2016 · Game #33 · Home Game #16

Frederick Keys (14-18) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (9-22)

RHP Matthew Grimes (3-2, 2.03) vs. RHP Kyle Zimmer (0-0, 0.00)

                                                                                                                                                              

FIVE-RUN SEVENTH LIFTS KEYS TO SERIES WIN: The Frederick Keys scored five times in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Wilmington Blue Rocks 7-2 on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. With the victory, the Keys clinched their first home series win of 2016. Wilmington utilized four walks by Tanner Scott to tie the game at two in the seventh, before the Keys answered in the home-half of the inning. After singles by Jonah Heim and Cam Kneeland started the inning, Erick Salcedo laid a bunt down the third baseline and Wander Franco airmailed the throw to first. Heim scored on the play, while one batter later, Jay Gonzalez drove in Kneeland and Salcedo with a double. Later in the inning, Steve Wilkerson and Aderlin Rodriguez added a sac-fly and sac-fly to complete the scoring as 10 men came to bat. John Means received a no-decision despite throwing six shutout innings.

BIG INNING: After recording only three hits and scoring just two runs in their first six innings, the Keys broke out in the seventh. The five-run seventh equaled the club’s largest inning of the year, while the five hits equaled the most by the Keys in a frame in 2016. Last Monday, the Keys recorded five runs and five hits against the Blue Rocks in the sixth inning at Frawley Stadium. The five hits in the one inning last night tied or eclipsed the Keys total game output in each of the previous three contests, as the Keys have not posted double-digit hits in their last seven contests. For the season, the Keys are hitting .230 as a club, placing them last in the eight-team loop.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE!: Thanks to a win on Wednesday, Frederick claimed its first home set since last August 15, when the Keys took two of three against Carolina. It also ends a string of seven straight home sets without a win (the Keys lost all seven). On the year, the Keys are 5-10 in home games, while a victory on Thursday would give the orange and black their first home sweep since last April 13-15 when they took three straight from Lynchburg.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: After Lucas Long’s gem on Tuesday, John Means turned in six shutout innings on Wednesday night. It was the sixth time in the last 11 games where a Frederick starter had posted a quality outing. Meanwhile in their last 14 games, Keys arms have tallied a 2.79 ERA (84 IP/26ER) and allowed two runs or less 11 times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.62 ERA (159 IP/64ER). Additionally, Long (1.76), Means (1.95) and Matthew Grimes (2.03) rank first, second and third in ERA among O’s farmhands.  

BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: On Wednesday, the Keys bullpen saw their scoreless inning streak end at 18 innings, as Wilmington scored twice in the seventh. Nonetheless since allowing seven runs in an inning against Winston-Salem on April 30, Keys relief has been outstanding. Dating back to the ninth inning of the April 30 game against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.59 ERA, giving up just five runs in 28.1 innings on 13 hits.

 CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have gotten used to close games, with 10 of the club’s last 12 contests coming down to three runs or less.  In games decided by three or fewer runs the team is 10-11. In two-run games, the Keys are 4-2 (second-best mark in the league) but in one-run affairs Frederick 1-4, the worst mark in the CL.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in six of his last eight games to move his season-total up to 18. He has eight steals in eight games and is tied for second in the CL with Greg Allen of Lynchburg. Only Salem’s Yoan Moncada (19) has more. Among minor leaguers, Gonzalez and Allen are tied for third while Moncada ranks second (Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez paces the minors with 23)This season, Gonzalez is 18-for-20 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time on Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: Over the last two 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) were reinstated from the seven-day DL, while David Richardson was transferred to Aberdeen. Before Wednesday’s game, Jimmy Bosco was received from Aberdeen while T.J. Olesczuk was transferred to the IronBirds.  

WALK THIS WAY: The Keys received a good chunk of walks over their six-game roadtrip, receiving 42 total free rides. A bulk of those came last Tuesday, when the Keys drew 16 free passes (one shy of a franchise record) against Wilmington. Currently, the Keys rank second in the circuit 142 walks, while only Lynchburg (149) has picked up more. The Keys and Hillcats also rank first and second in the Advanced-A Classification in free rides. Individually, the Keys have three players (Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland and Wynston Sawyer) who either have as many walks as strikeouts or more walks than strikeouts, while Steve Wilkerson is tied for the CL lead in free passes (21).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Kyle Zimmer makes his second start with the Blue Rocks on Thursday and is the No. 2 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America. Pitching last Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader against Myrtle Beach, the right-hander worked 1.2 innings, allowed two hits, walked two and struck out five. He exited in the second due to pitch count (it was the first regular season game he had pitched in all year). Although highly touted, Zimmer has been plagued by injuries throughout his pro career. During spring training he suffered from arm fatigue and was forced to open the year at extended spring training. He underwent a procedure to clean out his elbow after the 2012 season, while he strained his latissimus dorsi muscle in May 2014 and was held to only 4.2 innings. After that season he went back under the knife to remove damaged tissue from his rotator cuff. Zimmer split last season between Low-A Lexington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas. After posting a 1.13 ERA in nine games with the Legends, he joined the Naturals in July where he went 2-5 with three saves and a 2.81 ERA in 15 games (seven starts). He held opponents to a .235 average. Zimmer pitched for the Blue Rocks in 2013 and went 4-8 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 starts. He struck out 113 in 89.2 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .237 average. The 24-year-old was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft out of the University of San Francisco.

Keys Try for a Series Win at Home

Good Evening Keys Fans!

The orange and black try for their first home series win of the year tonight and to tell you a little more about it, I give you Ethan Felderstein! Ethan will be working in our media department this summer. He goes to Ohio University where he attends the prestigious Scripps School of Journalism.

Not his first go-round with an Orioles farmclub, Ethan has also worked for the Short-Season Aberdeen IronBirds. Ethan take it away!

There was rain in the forecast, but there will be baseball in Frederick tonight! The Keys will look to clinch the series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks after an outstanding performance by starting pitcher Lucas Long last night. Long tossed a career-high eight strikeouts, allowed just four hits, and no runs. Also, tonight’s we’ll be joined by the Maryland School for the Deaf as we host Deaf & Hard of Hearing Night where we’ll hope to learn some sign language during the game!

Tonight, John Means will take the bump for Frederick as he looks to remain undefeated. In his last outing, he struck out ten batters over five innings. He’ll be opposed by Blue Rocks southpaw Colin Rodgers.

We’ll hit the airwaves at 6:50 on 1450 AM The Source, FrederickKeys.com, and the TuneIn Radio App as Geoff and Doug will keep you company all evening long.

 

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Ethan

 

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 · Game #32 · Home Game #15

Frederick Keys (13-18) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (9-21)

LHP John Means (3-0, 2.32) vs. LHP Colin Rodgers (1-3, 3.51)

 LONG BLANKS BLUE ROCKS: Lucas Long delivered eight shutout innings on Tuesday night as the Frederick Keys earned a 3-0 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. It was the Keys second shutout win of the season and the club’s fourth straight victory over their First State rival. Mike Zouzalik wrapped up the shutout in the ninth, working a perfect inning. Offensively, the Keys plated all three of their markers in the first four innings. Jay Gonzalez opened the home-first with a double, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch. Jonah Heim made it a 2-0 game with a solo homer in the second, before driving in Cam Kneeland via an RBI single in the fourth.

MOVING RIGHT A’LONG’: Lucas Long turned in one of his best performances as a professional on Tuesday. Firing off eight inning of four-hit baseball, the Minnesota native walked one and struck out eight. A sinkerball pitcher, the righty recorded 13 outs on the ground and faced only three over the minimum. The eight frames were a career-best for Long, who also came up one strikeout short of a personal-high. Additionally, the eight innings was the deepest a Keys starter had gone this year, while it was the first eight inning start by a Frederick pitcher since Mitch Horacek worked eight stanzas against Salem last July 10.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Thanks to Lucas Long’s effort on Tuesday, Keys starters have delivered five quality outings in their last 10 games. Meanwhile in their last 13 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.00 ERA (78 IP/26ER) and allowed two runs or less 10 times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.76 ERA (153 IP/64ER). Additionally, Lucas Long (1.76) and Matthew Grimes (2.03) rank first and second among O’s minor leaguers in ERA.

BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since an eighth inning blow up on April 30, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has lights out. Dating back to the ninth inning of the April 30 game against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.07 ERA, giving up just three runs in 25.1 innings on 13 hits. That includes an active stretch of 17.2 innings without allowing a run.

OFFENSE TRIES TO PICK IT UP: In spite of going 2-2 in their last four games, the Keys have been held to six hits or less in each contest.  During the six-game roadtrip, the Keys batted only .208 (40-for-192) (in spite of going 4-2) while the orange and black has not registered double-digit hits in their last six contests. For the season, the Keys are hitting .229 as a club, placing them last in the eight-team loop.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have gotten used to close games, with 10 of the club’s last 11 contests coming down to three runs or less.  In games decided by three or fewer runs the team is 10-11. In two-run games, the Keys are 4-2 (second-best mark in the league) but in one-run affairs Frederick 1-4, the worst mark in the CL.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in five of his last seven games to move his season-total up to 17. He has seven steals in seven games and ranks third in the league, trailing only Yoan Moncada (19) and Greg Allen (18). Among minor leaguers, Gonzalez is tied for fourth, while Moncada and Allen are second and third respectively (Jacksonville’s Yefri Perez paces the minors with 23).  This season, Gonzalez is 17-for-19 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time on Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: Right before first pitch on Tuesday, the Baltimore Orioles made a host of roster moves affecting the Frederick Keys. 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) were reinstated from the seven-day DL, while David Richardson was transferred to Aberdeen. Before Wednesday’s game, Jimmy Bosco was received from Aberdeen while T.J. Olesczuk was transferred to the IronBirds.  

TIME FOR HOME COOKIN?: With a win on Wednesday, the Keys would claim their first home series of 2016 and first since last August 15, when the Keys took two of three against Carolina. Since that time, the Keys have lost seven straight road series. In home series this year, Frederick is 0-4, while the club’s home record is 4-10. Only Winston-Salem has recorded fewer home wins.

WALK THIS WAY: The Keys received a good chunk of walks over their six-game roadtrip, receiving 42 total free rides. A bulk of those came last Tuesday, when the Keys drew 16 free passes (one shy of a franchise record) against Wilmington. Currently, the Keys rank second in the circuit 142 walks, while only Lynchburg (149) has picked up more. The Keys and Hillcats also rank first and second in the Advanced-A Classification in free rides. Individually, the Keys have three players (Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland and Wynston Sawyer) who either have as many walks as strikeouts or more walks than strikeouts, while Steve Wilkerson is tied for the CL lead in free passes (21).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Colin Rodgers makes his sixth appearance and his fifth start on Wednesday night. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against the Keys at Frawley Stadium. Pitching out of the bullpen for the first time this year, Rodgers took the loss allowing two runs on five hits in 5.1 innings. He walked one and struck out four. The lefty has lost his last three games, though has given up two runs or less in four of his five games. In his first Advanced-A season, Rodgers spent all of 2015 at Low-A Lexington. In 24 games (eight starts) he went 3-11 with a 5.02 ERA. He walked 43 and struck out 57 while opponents batted .312 against him. The 11 losses were fourth-most in the league. Rodgers posted similar ERAs as a starter (5.12 ERA) and as a reliever (4.97), though went 0-6 out of the starting rotation. A third round pick by the Royals in the 2012 draft, Rodgers received a reported $700,000 signing bonus. The 22-year-old suffered a serious elbow injury in 2013 that resulted in Tommy John surgery. He returned to the mound in 2014. Rodgers hails from Bossier City, Louisiana and throws a fastball, a curveball and a changeup.

The Keys Are Back in Town

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The team is back home for seven games! The fun gets started tonight when the Blue Rocks come to town for three, while the Myrtle Beach Pelicans invade Nymeo Field on Friday night. For those who have not gotten a chance to look at all the fun promotional offerings take a minute and click here.

Among the highlightsPromo Preview May 10-16 (640) are former Redskins Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley, who will be signing autographs from 5-7 on Saturday as well as the Candy Drop on Sunday afternoon. We’ll be dumping over 200 lbs of candy onto the field after the game, while all youngsters are invited to stay for the “sugar rush.” I’ll be here all week.

The fun gets started tonight with Derby Day! Tonight Flying Dog Brewery will be hosting a special party from 6-8 which includes a release of their Mint Julep Ale. Fans who want to take part can visit the box office before the game and can upgrade their ticket for only 10 bucks!

On the field, the Keys will be trying for their fourth straight win over the Blue Rocks. after Frederick swept their CL North rivals last week in the First State.

Lucas Long gets the ball for the Keys and will be opposed by Blue Rocks righty Josh Staumont.

First pitch is slated for 7pm and gates open at 6. Doug and I will have the broadcast for you on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. You can also search for us on the TuneIn Radio App by typing in WTHU.

Today’s notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 · Game #31 · Home Game #14

Frederick Keys (12-18) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (9-20)

RHP Lucas Long (0-1, 4.20) vs. RHP Josh Staumont (0-2, 3.66)

VALDEZ SHUTS DOWN KEYS: Phillips Valdez carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, while the Frederick Keys were limited to only one hit in a 2-1 P-Nats victory on Sunday afternoon at Pfitzner Stadium. The loss gave the Nationals the three-game series. No-hit through the first 6.2 frames, Aderlin Rodriguez gave Frederick its lone hit with a bloop single to center with two outs in the seventh. Despite recording just one hit, the orange and black put the tying run at third in the ninth. On to pinch hit, Wynston Sawyer walked to lead off the ninth against R.C. Orlan. Tad Gold came on to pinch run and moved to second on a sac-bunt by Jay Gonzalez, before a Steve Wilkerson flyout advanced the tying run to third. However Orlan struck out Cam Kneeland to end the game. Both of Potomac’s runs came on a two-run homer by David Masters.

LOOKING FOR THE LUMBER: The Frederick Keys were one-hit for the first time in 2016 on Sunday. It was the first time the team had been one-hit since last July 1 against Potomac, when the Nationals trio of Aaron Barrett, Lucas Giolito and Manny Rodriguez accomplished the feat. Prior to Sunday, the club’s previous season-low for hits was two when the orange and black were shutout 5-0 at Lynchburg on April 21. Over the last three games, the Keys have been held to six hits or less, while the team hit only .208 (40-for-192) over the six-game roadtrip.

HARD AND FAST RULES: This year there have been several ironclad or near-ironclad indicators of Keys success. In each of the Keys 12 wins, the club has eclipsed the four-run barrier, while the club has gone 0-9 when tallying three or less. Additionally, Frederick has recorded only one victory when being outhit (1-14). When the Keys equal their opponents hit total though, the Keys are 3-2.

CLOSE CALLS: The Keys have played consecutive one-run games, while nine of Frederick’s last 10 contests have come down to three runs or less. With losses in their last two one-run affairs, the Keys are a CL-worst 1-4 in games hinging on a single marker.  Meanwhile, the Keys are 9-11 in games hinging on three or less runs.

NEED FOR SPEED: Jay Gonzalez has a stolen base in five of his last six games to move his season-total up to 17. Over the six games he has seven swipes and is now tied for second in the CL along with Lynchburg’s Greg Allen. Yoan Moncada leads the way with 19 steals. Additionally that trio is second and tied for third respectively in the minors in stolen bases. Only Yefri Perez (23) has more steals. This season, Gonzalez is 17-for-19 in steal attempts. He was finally caught for the first time on Saturday after stealing his first 14 successfully. Last year Gonzalez had 34 steals between Frederick and Delmarva to top all O’s minor leaguers.

TIME FOR HOME COOKIN?: On Tuesday, the Keys begin their fifth home series, when the Wilmington Blue Rocks come to town. In home series this year, Frederick is 0-4, while the club’s home record is 3-10, tying the club with Winston-Salem (3-14) for the fewest wins in the league. The Keys have not taken a series at Nymeo Field since last August 14-16, when the club took two of three against Carolina. Since that time, the Keys have lost seven straight home series.

 BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since last Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of last Saturday against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.11 ERA, giving up just three runs in 24.1 innings on 13 hits. That includes an active stretch of 16.2 innings without allowing a run.

 A-ROD: Aderlin Rodriguez has been one of the Keys most consistent hitters this season, while he has been one of the top run producers in the Carolina League. On Thursday he wrapped up a team-high 10-game hit streak, while he recorded eight RBIs in six games last week. Currently, Rodriguez is fourth in home runs (six) and tied for fourth in RBIs (22). He is batting .345 (10-for-29) with two longballs and eight RBIs in seven games this month.  

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength all season. Keys starters have delivered four quality outings in their last nine games, with the most recent coming from John Means on Thursday. Pitching six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10. Over the last 12 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.34 ERA (70 IP/26ER) and allowed two runs or less nine times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.97 ERA (145 IP/64ER). Additionally, Matthew Grimes (2.03 ERA) and Lucas Long (2.18) rank first and second among O’s minor leaguers in ERA.

WALK THIS WAY: The Keys received a good chunk of walks over their six-game roadtrip, receiving 42 total free rides. A bulk of those came one week ago, when the Keys drew 16 free passes (one shy of a franchise record). Currently, the Keys rank second in the circuit 138 walks, while only Lynchburg (143) has picked up more. The Keys and Hillcats also rank first and second in the Advanced-A Classification in free rides. Individually, the Keys have three players (Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland and Wynston Sawyer) who either have as many walks as strikeouts or more walks than strikeouts, while Steve Wilkerson ranks third in the league in free passes (21).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Josh Staumont starts for Wilmington on Wednesday and is the No. 15 prospect in the Royals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Wednesday against the Keys. Lasting only 1.2 innings, he allowed four runs on four hits to go with five walks. Of his 65 pitches, 33 were balls. The five walks tied a career-high. Staumont is third in the league in strikeouts (35). Armed with a fastball that reaches triple digits, the right-hander’s heater is ranked as the best in the KC system. Last season, Staumont went a combined 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 18 games (four starts) between the AZL Royals and the Idaho Falls Chukars, two rookie league stops. In 40 innings he struck out 58 but walked 32. He was selected by the Royals in the second round of the 2015 Draft out of Azusa Pacific University.

 

The Keys Try For a Series Win at Potomac!

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Sunday, May 8, 2016 · Game #30 · Road Game #17

Frederick Keys (12-17) vs. Potomac Nationals (15-11)

RHP Cory Jones (1-1, 3.94) vs. RHP Phillips Valdez (3-1, 4.40)

KEYS BATS GO QUIET, NATS FORCE RUBBER GAME: The Potomac Nationals scored the final three runs of the game, while the Keys bats were held quiet in 3-2 P-Nats win on Saturday night at Pfitzner Stadium. With the loss, the Keys five-game winning streak also came to a close. Frederick grabbed the initial lead in the fourth, thanks to an RBI double by Jomar Reyes and a run-scoring groundout by T.J. Olesczuk. Matthew Grimes hit a road bump in the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out. Alex Keller made it a one-run affair with an RBI fielder’s choice, before an error helped Potomac tie the game one frame later. With two outs, Erick Salcedo misfired a throw to first which got out of play, before Dale Carey singled home Jose Marmolejos to even the contest at two. In the sixth, the Nats took the lead for good on a triple by Keller and an RBI double by Matt Reistetter. Mario Sanchez and Ryan Brinley worked four shutout innings of relief to wrap up the P-Nats win.

STREAK HALTED: Frederick’s season-high five-game win streak concluded on Saturday. It was the team’s best stretch since last April 10-15 when the team won six straight, while it was the Keys first loss since a 9-8 loss to Winston-Salem last Saturday. Prior to the streak, the Keys had not won more than two in-a-row (and had lost four consecutive games). Despite the outcome on Saturday, the Keys are still tied with Salem for the best May start (5-1) and are two wins short of their April win total (7-16).

BATS GO QUIET: Although the Keys scored at least five runs in all five games during the streak, the offense was hardly robust, tallying just six hits in three of the five contests. In five of Frederick’s last eight games, the team has mustered six hits or less (including a three-hit effort and a five-hit effort on Saturday). Meanwhile, in the last four games, the Keys are batting only .135 (7-for-52) with runners on scoring position (includes a 1-for-13 showing on Saturday). For the season, the orange and black are hitting only .211 with runners in scoring position, the second-worst mark in the league (only Carolina is worse at .202).

RUBBER GAMES: On Mother’s Day the Keys will play their fourth rubber game of the year. In rubber games this season, Frederick is 1-2, with losses in their last two deciding contests. The last came on April 28 against Salem, when the Keys fell 7-4. Frederick’s lone win in a rubber game has come on the road, when the orange and black topped the Red Sox 5-2 on April 13 at LewisGale Field.

FINALLY CAUGHT: After stealing 14 times successfully, Jay Gonzalez was finally caught for the first time on Saturday, when he was gunned down in the fourth inning. Nonetheless, Gonzalez still stole two bases after reaching in the seventh and eighth innings. The speedster paces all minor league farmhands in steals (no one else has more than seven) while he ranks third at the Advanced-A classification (trailing Yoan Moncada who has 19 and Greg Allen who has 17) and is tied for fourth-most in the minors. Last year Gonzalez had 34 steals between Frederick and Delmarva.

 BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since last Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of last Saturday against Winston-Salem, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.27 ERA, giving up just three runs in 21.1 innings on 10 hits. That includes an active stretch of 13.2 innings without allowing a run.

 RODRIGUEZ THE RBI MAN: In spite of losing a 10-game hitting streak on Thursday, Aderlin Rodriguez has still been one of the most productive hitters at the Advanced-A level this week. Over five games, he has driven in eight, giving him the fourth-most RBIs at the classification (while trailing only Salem’s Yoan Moncada who has nine RBIs in six games). Over five games, this week, Rodriguez is batting .348 (8-for-23) with two homers, eight RBIs and three runs scored.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength all season. Keys starters have delivered four quality outings in their last eight games, with the most recent coming from John Means on Thursday. Pitching six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10. Over the last 12 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.32 ERA (65 IP/24ER) and allowed two runs or less eight times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 3.99 ERA (140 IP/62ER). Additionally, Matthew Grimes (2.03 ERA) and Lucas Long (2.18) rank first and second among O’s minor leaguers in ERA.

WALK THIS WAY: After walking only twice on Thursday, the Keys received seven free rides on Saturday. That gives them 38 walks over five games on the roadtrip. A bulk of those came on Tuesday when the Keys received 16 free passes (one shy of a franchise record). Currently, the Keys pace the Carolina League as well as all of Advanced-A in walks with 134. Individually, the Keys have three players (Jonah Heim, Cam Kneeland and Wynston Sawyer) who either have as many walks as strikeouts or more walks than strikeouts, while Steve Wilkerson ranks third in the league in free passes (21).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Phillips Valdez makes his sixth start of the year on Sunday and is the No. 26 prospect in the Nationals system according to Baseball America. His most recent outing came last Saturday against Wilmington. Equaling his season-high of seven innings, Valdez allowed one run on five hits to go with four strikeouts in a no-decision. He has worked seven innings in back-to-back starts for the first time in his pro career (giving up just two runs in 14 innings in both games vs. Wilmington). Currently, Valdez is tied for third in the league in strikeouts (33) and has the lowest BB/9IP ratio for a CL starter (1.26). The later category is a major point of improvement for Valdez, who tallied a 3.8 BB/9IP ratio with the P-Nats last year (and has a 4.1 BB/9IP mark in his career). Promoted to the P-Nats from Low-A Hagerstown last May 28, Valdez went a combined 8-4 with a 2.81 ERA. With the Nationals the 24-year-old was 3-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 22 games (10 starts). He fared much better as a reliever (2.25 ERA) than as a starter (4.15 ERA). Currently with his third organization, Valdez opened his career with the Cleveland Indians, who signed him as an international free agent in 2009. From there, Valdez would be signed by Tampa Bay, but would not pitch in 2011, before the Nationals signed him in May 2012.

The Keys Gear Up for Game Two After Friday’s Rainout

Good Morning Keys Fans!

After an unscheduled off-day on Friday due to rain, the Keys and Nationals will be back at it on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. Rather than play a doubleheader on Saturday, Friday’s game has been moved to Thursday, June 9 when the Keys return to Woodbridge. That night the two sides will play a pair of seven-inning games.

Matthew Grimes takes the mound for the Keys tonight after an extra day of rest and is the reigning Carolina League Pitcher of the Week after wins in his last two starts. He will be opposed by P-Nats righty Luis Reyes.

As always you can catch the broadcast on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. You can also find us on the TuneIn Radio App by searching for WTHU.

Some notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

NYMEO Field · 21 Stadium Drive · Frederick, MD 21703

Saturday, May 7, 2016 · Game #29 · Road Game #16

Frederick Keys (12-16) vs. Potomac Nationals (14-11)

RHP Matthew Grimes (3-0, 2.16) vs. RHP Luis Reyes (2-2, 4.22)

KEYS AND NATIONALS POSTPONED FRIDAY: Friday’s game between the Keys and Nationals was postponed on account of rain. Rather than make up the contest on Saturday, the game will be rescheduled for Thursday, June 9 when the Keys return to Pftizner Stadium for their second series. First pitch will be slated for 5:05 that night as the two sides will play a pair of seven-inning games. Friday marked the Keys first postponement of the season and provided the team with an unscheduled off-day after playing 28 games in 29 days.

P-NATS ERRORS HELP KEYS TAKE FIFTH STRAIGHT: The Frederick Keys capitalized off two ninth inning errors by the Potomac Nationals to earn a 5-2 victory on Thursday night at Pfitzner Stadium. It was the Keys season-high fifth win in a row. With the game tied at two, the Keys scored three times in their final at-bats against Greg Ross. Aderlin Rodriguez struck out to open the inning but reached first on a passed ball. One batter later, Rodriguez advanced to third as a sac-bunt by Cam Kneeland was thrown away by Ross. Jonah Heim walked to load the bases to bring up Tad Gold. The Keys eight-hole batter bounced a ball to first which appeared to be a double play ball, but the throw home was off target allowing two to score. Erick Salcedo then added an RBI single to make it a three-run affair. Out of the bullpen, Tanner Scott and Jimmy Yacabonis worked three scoreless innings to wrap things up.

DON’T STOP NOW BOYS!: Thursday’s win extended the Keys winning streak to a season-high five games. It is the club’s longest winning streak since last April 10-15 when the team won a season-best six in-a-row. A streak dating back to Sunday’s 5-2 triumph over Winston-Salem, the Keys posted three of their five wins at Wilmington from Monday-Wednesday when the team posted its first sweep of the year. The only CL team hotter than the Keys right now is Salem. The top team in the Southern Division, the Red Sox have won eight straight (a mark dating back to their 14-7 win over the Keys on April 27).

ANALYZING THE STREAK: During the current winning streak, the Keys have scored five runs or more in each game, a near ironclad barometer of the team’s success this year. All but one of the Keys wins have come when the team posts five runs or more, while Frederick has yet to win a game when scoring fewer than four runs (0-8). In spite of scoring five runs in each game during the streak, the Keys are only batting .242 and have tallied just six hits in three of the five contests. With runners in scoring position the Keys are hitting at an improved .262 clip, while the team has been helped by 36 walks. On the mound, pitching has delivered with Keys arms registering a 3.20 ERA in the last five (includes three quality starts).

 BULLPEN PICKS IT UP: Since Saturday’s eighth inning blow up, where Keys relief allowed seven runs, the bullpen has picked it up. Dating back to the ninth inning of Saturday’s contest, Frederick bullpen hands have posted a 1.45 ERA, giving up just three runs in 18.2 innings on nine hits. That includes an active stretch of 11 innings without allowing a run.

 A-ROD’S STREAK COMES TO A CLOSE: Aderlin Rodriguez saw his 10-game hitting streak conclude on Thursday, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Over the 10-game run (which started on April 24), the 24-year-old hit .378 (17-for-45) with four home runs, 15 RBIs and eight runs scored. In the process, Rodriguez raised his batting average an eye-popping 70 points (.210-.270). It was his longest streak since 2014,when he hit in a career-best 16 straight from June 3-23 with the St. Lucie Mets.

RODRIGUEZ THE RBI MAN: In spite of losing the 10-game streak on Thursday, Rodriguez has still been one of the most productive hitters in Minor League Baseball this week. Dating back to Monday, Rodriguez has driven in eight, putting him in a tie for the third-most RBIs by a minor leaguer this week. Jarrett Parker of Sacramento (nine) and Chris Shaw of San Jose (11) are the only players who have recorded more.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Keys starting pitching has also been a point of strength all season. Keys starters have delivered four quality outings in their last seven games, with the most recent coming from John Means on Thursday. Pitching six innings, he allowed two runs and struck out a career-high 10. Over the last 11 games, Keys arms have tallied a 3.32 ERA (59.2 IP/22ER) and allowed two runs or less eight times. For the year, Keys starters have a collective 4.01 ERA (134.2 IP/60ER). Additionally, the trio of Matthew Grimes (1.75 ERA), Lucas Long (2.18) and John Means (2.32) have the three lowest ERAs among O’s minor leaguers.

WALK THIS WAY: After walking 29 times over three games at Wilmington, the Keys received just two free passes on Thursday night. Still, with Lynchburg’s last two games getting postponed, the Keys moved into the team-lead for walks in the CL with 127 (Keys lead the Hillcats by one). A bulk of the Keys walks came on Tuesday night, as Wilmington pitchers walked a franchise worse 16 batters. Individually, a number of Keys players had “walk streaks” snapped on Thursday. Prior to Thursday, Jay Gonzalez had walked in eight straight contests, Steve Wilkerson had walked in six straight and Wynston Sawyer had walked in three straight. After going up against the two worst pitching staff in regards to walks (Winston-Salem and Wilmington) the Keys face a P-Nats stuff which has handed out the third-fewest (90) in the eight-team loop.

HOMER STREAK ENDS: Over the last two games the Keys have not hit a homer after going the previous five games with a longball. Nonetheless, Keys bats have hit 10 in their last 11 games. That has built the team’s season figure to 18 home runs, a mark that trails only Lynchburg’s 24. Aderlin Rodriguez is tied for third in the CL with six, while Austin Wynns and Jomar Reyes have three apiece.    

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Luis Reyes makes his fifth start on Friday. Winner of his last two outings, his most recent victory came last Friday against Wilmington. Working 5.2 innings, he allowed one run on five hits. He walked three and struck out a season-high eight. Opponents have hit just .225 (and righties are batting .190) off Reyes this year, but walks have been an occasional issue, as the 21-year-old has a 5.1 BB/9IP ratio (he has three or more walks in four of five games). That mark is 3.6 for his career. Reyes spent all of 2015 at Low-A Hagerstown, going 6-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 24 games (his first year of full-season ball). Pitching 117.2 innings he allowed 117 hits, walked 50 and struck out 72 while opponents hit .267 off him. Although Reyes’ first half (4.91 ERA) and second-half (4.72 ERA) numbers were comparable, opponents hit only .243 against him the second half as opposed to .288 in the first-half. Signed by the Nationals as an 18-year-old out of Sabana Grande de Palenque, DR, which is located near the coast of the Caribbean Sea.

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