The O’s Playoff Hopes End, But the The Top 10 Countdown Begins!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Hope all of you are enjoying your Tuesday so far. And if you’re not? Well we’re about to make it better. Today we kickoff our 2015 Top 10 moments of the season countdown! Over the next few weeks we’ll rundown our favorite moments of the year.

While you follow along, we invite YOU to share your favorite moment/s from the Keys 2015 season! It could be something you saw in a game, promotion at the park, theme night or anything else you enjoyed. Let us know, we’d love to hear about it!

Before we get the countdown rolling, a couple of items:

  • Have you heard about the team’s new online store? Well if you haven’t check it out by visiting here. From polos to pullovers to coozies and bottle openers we’ve got you covered! Plus the ordering is nice and easy.

Store

  • Had a chance to check out the Keys 2016 schedule? Click on this link to print off a copy (there is a schedule link) and to get an in-depth look at next season. The home opener is on Friday April 14 at 7:00 p.m against Lynchburg while the home-slate concludes on Labor Day (September 5 against Wilmington)

2016 Schedule

  • We are asking fans for ideas on promotions, giveaways and other fun things to do in 2016. To leave a suggestion visit our Facebook and Twitter pages to leave a note!

On the baseball front, the inevitable came to pass for the Orioles last night, who were eliminated from playoff contention. Entering Monday with an elimination number of two, Baltimore lost to Toronto before Houston edged Seattle 3-2 to seal the O’s fate.

While some might say the wheels started coming off in late-July when the Yankees pulled a three-game sweep, MASN’s Steve Melewski does make a good point that on August 19, the Orioles were still only five games out of first. The real slide started the next day, with a 15-2 loss to the Twins. That began a stretch of 15 losses in 18 games. Regardless of when the end started, the O’s will try and run the table to finish the year over .500.

A more pressing matter is trying to lock up members of the O’s coaching staff for next season. Most are without contracts for next season, including pitching coach Dave Wallace, bench coach John Russell (dad of Keys backstop Steel Russell) and hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh among others. MASN’s Roch Kubatko noted in the article above that Wallace could be a highly targeted free agent if Baltimore does not sign him to a new deal.

One final note, don’t forget to vote to vote for Manny Machado in the Esurance MLB Awards! The former Key has been nominated for Best Everyday Player, Best Defensive Player and best Breakout Player. To cast your ballot visit here.

Alright everybody, it’s time for the countdown to start! We’ll kick things off at Pfitzner Stadium on May 8 against Potomac. It was a packed night at the Pfitz, as Lucas Giolito prepared to make his Advanced-A debut.

Typically, minor league pitchers debuts at a new level are met with little to no fanfare, but Giolito was a bit of an exception. The starting pitcher for Team USA in the Futures Game this year, the right-hander was ranked as Minor League Baseball’s No. 1 pitching prospect according to Baseball America’s midseason rankings and the top overall prospect according to MLB.com.

Regardless of rankings, Keys players knew about Giolito’s ability and his reputation. And while the Californian showed glimpses of those skills in his CL debut, the orange and black made sure it would not go according to plan.

Potomac grabbed a 2-0 lead in the 2nd, thanks to a Drew Ward home run and a Stephen Perez RBI single. However the Keys answered in the third, batting around while scoring four times.

Tucker Nathans came up with the first big blow:

Following a third straight single, Drew Dosch tied the game with an RBI groundout before Trey Mancini put Frederick on top:

Two batters later, Adrian Marin completed the scoring to put the Keys up 4-2. The Nationals responded with the next two runs to even the game going into the fifth. Entering the game, Giolito was on a soft-pitch count of 75, a mark which he hit after four innings. Still, P-Nats manager, Tripp Keister, elected to keep Giolito in, hoping the prized young arm could get a quick fifth inning.

A one-out double by Brenden Webb ruined that thought and Justin Thomas was brought in. Once again Marin came through, driving in Giolito’s inherited property:

Over 4.1 innings, Giolito gave up five runs on eight hits to go with two walks and five strikeouts. He ended up as the losing pitcher, as Anthony Caronia added an RBI double to put the Keys on top for good. At the time it was only Giolito’s fourth loss in 33 professional starts.

Austin Wynns and Jeff Kemp added RBIs to give the Keys important insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings to wrap up the team’s 8-7 victory.

Later in the year, Giolito would get a modicum of revenge against Frederick, firing off seven hitless innings on July 1 in a near-no hitter by the P-Nats. Still, May 8 belonged to the Keys, who put up 15 hits and turned in one of their best showings of the season with runners in scoring position (6-for-15).

Stay tuned for more of our countdown in the coming days and don’t forget to share your favorite moments of the 2015 season!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

Keys Top 10 Countdown Begins! (Sort of)

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

Well it’s offseason time in Keys Land, but it’s hardly time where staff members are putting their feet up. Next week, members of the club will be heading to Minor League Baseball’s annual Promotional Seminar in Columbus, OH. Among other things, it serves as a forum for teams to gather ideas for possible promotions and events for the next season.

Still, it is just one avenue the Keys use to make calls on theme nights, giveaways, promotions and appearances for the next year. We also like to enlist the support of YOU the fans to tell us what you want to see at the ballpark! To participate, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and leave a suggestion!

Suggestion Box

Plus, don’t forget to fill out the team’s annual end of the season survey! It takes only minutes and by participating you’ll be entered to win a great Keys prize pack!

We are also happy to report that the Keys NEW ONLINE STORE is now open!  So if you’re looking for a birthday present, a Christmas gift (yes it’s okay to begin thinking about it) or just realize that you’re running low on Keys swag, click here and you’ll be taken care of.

On the baseball front, HUGE congratulations to former Keys manager Pete Mackanin on being named the Phillies permanent manager for 2016. Named the interim skipper of the team on June 26, Mackanin has done a tremendous job under very challenging circumstances.

Former Keys manager Pete Mackanin has earned his first full-time big league managing job with the Philadelphia Phillies. He'll lead the club in 2016.

Former Keys manager Pete Mackanin has earned his first full-time big league managing job with the Philadelphia Phillies. He’ll lead the club in 2016.

Although he was in Frederick for only one season, Mackanin’s 1993 club was a good one, posting a 78-62 record. That year the orange and black advanced to postseason play for the second time in club history. Since then, he has been named the Sporting News’ Minor League Manager of the Year, served as an interim manager for three MLB teams (including the Phillies) and has worked on a handful of big league coaching staffs.

However, until Tuesday, Mackanin had never been a full-time big league skipper. In the history of Keys baseball, only one other Frederick skipper has gone on to be a full-time MLB manager. Can you name him? The answer is in the attached article above, and no, 2014 Keys boss Luis Pujols is not the correct answer.

Some other baseball news and notes:

-After a short rest, many former and future Keys are participating in the fall Instructional League. A chance for players to hone their skills, one of those participating is former Frederick pitcher Dylan Bundy, who is rehabbing from a shoulder injury

-In total nine different ex-Keys made their Major League debuts in 2015. It is the third-most in franchise history.

-One of those to make a debut, Zach Davies, earned his second MLB win on Wednesday thanks to six shutout innings against the Cubs

-Former Key Matt Wieters hit a go-ahead homer to lift the Orioles past the Nationals on Thursday and keep Baltimore’s playoff hopes alive. The win also wrapped up a three-game sweep

-Finally, it is Major League tradition, that all rookies must be dressed up and paraded around in some ridiculous costumes before year’s end. Well on Thursday, the O’s had some fun with their rookies (and a couple were former Keys…)

You can also read more about it here.

Now without further or do, it is that time of year again! Top 10 Keys moments! Sort of. Let me explain.

Next week, we’ll kick off the official top 10 countdown of the season’s top moments, but today we’ll throw in one of those memorable ones that didn’t quite make the cut.

Even though it was a mid-week game in May, in Lynchburg, the May 12 ballgame was one that I will never forget. Stranger than strange. Quackier than Daffy Duck. If there wasn’t a full moon that night, there should have been.

The end result was a 6-5 Keys win, but after the 1st inning it sure didn’t seem that way.

Even though the orange and black possessed a 2-0 lead after half an inning, the Hillcats came storming back for five runs. All came on home run balls off David Hess. Clint Frazier tied the game with a two-run shot, Paul Hendrix then followed suit three batters later, before Joe Sever capped off Lynchburg’s electric first inning.

Not even close. But as the Keys learned all year, make mistakes with elevated fastballs to Lynchburg? Liftoff.

Although City Stadium seemed like a miniature airport for 20 minutes, the game was far from decided. Held off the board in the second, Tucker Nathans triggered a three-run third inning to move the contest back to even terms:

Tucker Nathans finished the night 3-for-4  with a home run, an RBI and three runs scored.

Tucker Nathans finished the night 3-for-4 with a home run, an RBI and three runs scored.

One frame later, the visitors regained the lead on a Jeff Kemp RBI double.

On most nights, this comeback would have been the big story. Not this time. Following five runs on five Hillcats hits in the first. The Lynchburg bats went…DEAD. Hess bounced back, retiring the final 13 batters he faced, while the duo of Austin Urban and Cody Wheeler combined on SEVEN HITLESS INNINGS. Yes you read that correctly. After a nightmarish start, Keys pitching DOMINATED the rest of the way.

In the ninth, Mike Papi would finally get a bloop single, but Cody Wheeler wrapped things up from there:

When I asked Hess about the start afterwards he said it was the strangest one he’d ever been apart of. Just before his promotion to Bowie, I asked him the same question, and the answer remained the same.

It just goes to show that you never know what you’ll see when you walk into the ballpark on a given night. The game is a living mystery novel. From Chapter 1 to 140 you never know what twists you’ll get.

More of our countdown next week! Until that time, pass along your suggestions for 2016 and shake your keys!

Geoff

 

 

 

Good Luck to the Baysox!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Keys season might be over, but the Double-A Bowie Baysox are still going strong! On Saturday night, the club wrapped up the Eastern League’s Western Division to head to the championship series for the first time in the club’s 23-year history. In the clinching game, former Key David Hess was masterful, giving up only one hit over seven innings in a 3-0 shutout win over the Altoona Curve.

For those of you who were not able to attend, here is the call of the final out from Baysox broadcaster (and former voice of the Keys) Adam Pohl:

Tonight, the Baysox begin play for an Eastern League title against the Reading Fightin Phils. The best-of-five series kicks off tonight in Reading at 7:05 p.m. For those who aren’t traveling, you can listen to the broadcast on Wnav.com or Baysox.com. The dulcet tones of Adam Pohl will bring you the play-by-play.

Over the division series, Quincy Latimore was outstanding for Bowie, batting .471 (8-for-17) with three home runs, eight RBIs and two doubles across four games.

Mike Yastrzemski also enjoyed a strong series, hitting .500 (7-for-14) in his four games, with two home runs, five RBIs, a triple, two doubles and four runs scored. Earlier today, MASN’s Steve Melewski spoke with Yastrzemski about his season, the Baysox pursuit of a title and playing in the Arizona Fall League in October.

Only a member of the Keys for 23 games in 2014, Mike Yastrzemski left his mark batting .312 and hitting for the cycle.

Only a member of the Keys for 23 games in 2014, Mike Yastrzemski left his mark batting .312 and hitting for the cycle.

 

 

On the mound, Hess may have stolen the show in the clinching game, but Chris Lee delivered a quality outing in game three to earn a victory. Tossing six innings, he allowed two runs on six hits.

What a season it has been for Lee. Start with the Astros Low-A team in Quad Cities, post a mediocre 4.11 ERA, get sent to the Orioles for two international bonus slots in May, start off slow in the Carolina League, make several mechanical changes, utterly dominate the league in July, get promoted to Double-A, post an ERA of 3.00 to finish the year and now have a chance to pitch for a Double-A title.

Lee registered a 1.75 ERA over 6 games in July

Lee registered a 1.75 ERA over 6 games in July with the Keys.

It may not be a Hallmark movie, but it’s still impressive. Lee will pitch game three of the Eastern League Championship Series when things shift to Bowie, while Hess will get the ball in game four in the series goes that long. Here are two interviews I did with Hess and Lee before each received a call-up to Double-A.

Bowie takes on a Reading team which bested Binghamton 3-0. The Double-A affiliate of the Phillies (Fightin Phils is a pretty big giveaway, but just so nobody gets confused) Reading posted the best record in the Eastern League during the regular season (80-61) and is helped by a potent offense. The second-best hitting team in the league, the Fightin Phils led the EL in home runs (101), RBIs (616) and runs scored (665).

Triple-A Norfolk put up a good fight in the Governor’s Cup semifinals, but fell to Columbus last night 3-2. Former Keys Tyler Wilson and Pedro Beato each earned wins for the Tides.

Now that the Tides season is over, some members of the team could be recalled to the Orioles writes MASN’s Roch Kubatko. Possible candidates include past Keys Christian Walker, Oliver Drake and Tyler Wilson.

On the Keys front, keep an eye on social media tomorrow! The team will be releasing its 2016 regular season schedule. We will also have more information available on frederickkeys.com. Just so everyone is aware, this schedule does not include promotions or ticket information yet. All of that will be available at a later date.

Right now, we are asking fans to participate in a year-end survey. It doesn’t take long and fans who fill out the quick questionnaire will be entered to win a great Keys prize pack! To participate, click here.

In other news, congrats to Keys groundskeeper Mike Soper who was named the Carolina League’s Sports Turf Manager of the Year! Mike does a phenomenal job and it’s great to see him get recognized for the tireless amount of work he puts in.

Soper 640

Lastly, the 2016 season was one to remember, as the team posted its fourth-highest attendance figure in club history. It was the club’s best mark since 1994, as 328,789 fans attended a game this year. That was also the top attendance across Advanced-A baseball, which spans 30 teams across the Carolina, California and Florida State Leagues.

Obviously, none of that would be possible without outstanding support from you the fans. None are better in minor league baseball.

The season may be over, but we’ll be talking each week here on the Unlocking the Keys Blog. We’ll have a season in review, top 10 moments of the season, interviews and much more as we move into the winter time. And if there is anything you really want to hear about? Don’t hesitate to send us a message on social media.

Talk soon and shake your keys!

Geoff

 

One Last Game..

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

The Frederick Keys wrap up their regular season this afternoon at 2:00 p.m from Nymeo Field. It has been a ton of fun and when hope you all have enjoyed the season as much as we have.

Today, Left-hander Mitch Horacek starts for the Keys against Dash righty Spencer Adams. You can catch all the action on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com, while if you are at the game you’ll have a chance to win some great prizes, including a Matt Wieters autographed bat and a Manny Machado signed jersey.

Today’s lineup and notes are below.

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

  1. CF Jay Gonzalez
  2. 2B Tanner Witt
  3. DH Dariel Alvarez
  4. 1B Yaisel Mederos
  5. LF Tad Gold
  6. RF Conor Bierfeldt
  7. 3B Anthony Caronia
  8. C Stuart Levy
  9. SS Ramon Ramirez

LHP Mitch Horacek

Monday, September 7, 2015 · Game #140 · Home Game #70

Frederick Keys (64-75/32-37) vs Winston-Salem Dash (74-63/44-23)

LHP Mitch Horacek (7-16, 4.64) vs. RHP Spencer Adams (2-0, 2.70)

NINTH INNING RALLY FALLS SHORT: The Frederick Keys loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, but failed to score as the Winston-Salem Dash snuck away with a 1-0 win on Sunday night at Nymeo Field. A pitcher’s duel the entire way, the two sides combined on just seven hits while going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. In the ninth, Josh Hart opened the inning with a single off James Dykstra, but was thrown out trying to steal second. Jay Gonzalez then walked after an eight-pitch plate appearance, before moving to second on a groundout by Dariel Alvarez. Needing one more out, Dykstra barely missed on a 3-2 pitch to Wynston Sawyer to keep the game alive for Yaisel Mederos. He reached on an error by shortstop Cleuluis Rondon to pack the bags, but Adrian Marin grounded out to end the game. Keys starter, John Means took the hard-luck loss, giving up just one run on two hits in six innings. The Dash’s lone run came on a wild pitch that scored Omar Narvaez from third.

CLOSE CALLS: Sunday marked the Keys 43rd one-run game of the year, the second-most in the Carolina League behind Myrtle Beach (21-25). In those games, the orange and black are 24-19, giving them the third-best winning percentage in the circuit. However, Winston-Salem holds the top mark in the CL at 24-14. The Dash also held the top shutout record in the eight-team loop (15-7) while the Keys 8-12 figure is second-worst. In spite of the team’s shutout winning percentage, Wilmington (20) and Carolina (13) have each been blanked more while Myrtle also has 12 shutout losses.   

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS: Frederick concludes its regular season on Monday, with the team looking to equal its win total from the 2014 season (65). The orange and black will also try to avoid falling more than 11 games below .500 for the first time since September 2, 2013, when the Keys concluded their regular season 17 games below sea-level (61-78). A victory would also give Frederick a winning home record for the first time since 2011, when the team went 45-28.

TIME TO LET THE HORSES OUT OF THE BARN: This homestand, the Keys have been aggressive on the basepaths, registering 14 steals in their last five games. On Saturday, Frederick stole four bases, while on Wednesday the team came up with a season-high five. Most of those steals have been concentrated in a few hands, with Josh Hart and Adrian Marin each swiping four bases and Jay Gonzalez pocketing three. Frederick leads the Carolina League with 161 stolen bases this year, nine more than the next two closest team (Salem). Meanwhile, Gonzalez (34-counting his time at Low-A Delmarva) Hart (30) and Marin (25) ranked 1-3 among Orioles farmhands in steals.

ALVAREZ OPTIONED TO KEYS: On Wednesday night, Dariel Alvarez was optioned to the Frederick Keys from the Baltimore Orioles. A member of the Keys in 2013, Alvarez went 2-for-4 on Sunday and is 5-for-15 with a triple and a double in his four games with the Keys this year. He becomes the fourth player with Orioles to suit up for Frederick in 2015, joining Wei-Yin Chen (optioned) as well as Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman and David Lough (rehab assignments). Making his Orioles debut last Friday, Alvarez was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with a double. Prior to his call-up to Baltimore, he was hitting .275 with 16 homers and 72 RBIs in 130 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He was an International League all-star and won the Triple-A Home Run Derby.

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND: On Friday, Cody Wheeler became the 17th Keys player to receive a promotion when he was moved up to Triple-A Norfolk. He becomes the second Frederick player to bypass Double-A this season and the third to receive a call-up this week. Donnie Hart (Thursday) and David Hess (Tuesday) were both promoted to Double-A Bowie. The Keys lone postseason all-star, Wheeler went 5-1 with 17 saves and a 2.79 ERA in 42 games. At the time he was called up, the lefty was tops in the CL in saves and games finished (35) while he was tied for the league lead in appearances.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS: The Keys were eliminated from playoff contention last Tuesday following a loss to Carolina. It marked the fourth straight season the Keys had been knocked out of contention. Entering Tuesday night with an elimination number of one, Frederick would have needed seven straight wins and seven straight Lynchburg losses to force a one-game playoff. In spite of a loss to the Salem, the Hillcats clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year. They will meet Wilmington in the North Division Championship Series. .

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: The season-series is even at 10-10 following the Dash’s win on Sunday. On Thursday, Winston-Salem clinched the second-half CL South Division title (the team’s first since 2012). Frederick holds a .250 team batting average against the Dash, while the pitching staff owns a 3.91 ERA. Winston-Salem is batting .234 against the Keys but boast a 3.11 ERA as a staff. Individually, Tad Gold (.333/7-for-21) leads the way at the plate, while the Dash are paced by Eddy Alvarez (.455/5-for-11) and Keon Barnum (.306/22-for-72).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Spencer Adams makes his 24th overall start this season and his fifth with the Dash. Combined between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis he is 11-5 with a 3.14 ERA. With the Dash he is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA over four starts. Adams’ most recent outing came last Wednesday at Wilmington. Receiving a no-decision, he allowed one run on five hits in seven innings. He walked three and struck out five. This will be his second time facing the Keys. In his first go-round, he tossed six innings of two-run baseball on August 27 to earn the win. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Promoted to Winston-Salem on July 19, Adams went 9-5 with a 3.24 ERA at Kannapolis and was 12th in the SAL in ERA at the time he was moved up. Entering the year ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America, Adams was selected by Chicago in the second round of the 2014 draft out of White County High School. Just 19 years old, the right-hander went 3-3 with a 3.67 ERA with the AZL White Sox after signing. He posted a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 14.8 and struck out nearly 13 batters per nine innings. Adams was committed to the University of Georgia out of White County (GA) High School but elected to go pro. He throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Only Two Games Left!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

There are just two games remaining in the regular season, as the Keys and the Dash square off tonight at 6:00 p.m from Nymeo Field. Neither team will be hitting batting practice, as the fourth annual Guns and Hoses Softball game is taking place on the field. This event has always been a ton of fun, as the Frederick Fire Department squares off against the Frederick Police Department. The Police won last year’s game, and are trying to even up the overall score after the Fire Department won the game each of the first two seasons.

It is always a great event, and a great way to honor members of the community who protect our safety on an everyday basis. Following this game, John Means will search for his first Advanced-A win as the Keys try and end the season on a high note. Means’ counterpart will be Jordan Guerrero who was recently activated from the disabled list. Guerrero has thrown well both times he has faced the Keys, posting a 1.29 ERA over 2 starts.

After the game, there will be postgame fireworks presented by Precision Heating and Cooling, our final fireworks extravaganza of the 2015 season.

For those looking for something to do on Labor Day, the Keys final game of the year is scheduled for 2:00 p.m and it is Fan Appreciation Day. We have plenty of great prizes which fans can win, and a list of some of the feature items can be found here.

Fan Appreciation

For those not around tonight (or those with the TuneIn radio App on their phone) the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com. Doug Raftery and I will be happy to keep you all company.

Tonight’s lineup and notes are below!

Shake your Keys!

Geoff

LINEUP

  1. CF Josh Hart
  2. LF Jay Gonzalez
  3. DH Dariel Alvarez
  4. C Wynston Sawyer
  5. 1B Yaisel Mederos
  6. SS Adrian Marin
  7. 3B Derek Peterson
  8. RF Conor Bierfeldt
  9. 2B Tanner Witt

LHP John Means

Sunday, September 6, 2015 · Game #139 · Home Game #69

Frederick Keys (64-74/32-36) vs Winston-Salem Dash (73-63/43-23)

LHP John Means (0-2, 8.56) vs. LHP Jordan Guerrero (6-3, 3.78)

DASH STUN KEYS: The Frederick Keys scored three times in the bottom of the second and got four shutout innings from their bullpen in a 4-1 win over the Winston-Salem Dash on Saturday night at Nymeo Field. Frederick’s big inning came in the second, as the club batted around against Yency Almonte. Wynston Sawyer opened the innings with a double, moved to third on a single by Adrian Marin and scored on a base knock by Derek Peterson. Anthony Caronia followed with an RBI double, while Josh Hart completed the scoring with a fielder’s choice. Luis Gonzalez needed 96 pitches to get through five innings, but allowed only one run. Jimmy Yacabonis and Stefan Crichton gave up only two hits in four innings of relief, while Yacabonis tied his season-high of three innings pitched.

TURNING THINGS ON: Adrian Marin tied his season-high with three hits on Saturday, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. It was his first three-hit effort since June 28, while it moved his batting average up to .240, the highest it has been since June 29. Owner of a six-game hitting streak, Marin is batting .429 (9-for-21) during that time with four doubles and two RBIs. He has scored a run in five straight games and has stolen a base in four straight games.

GONZALEZ WRAPS UP STREAK: Jay Gonzalez concluded his eight-game hitting streak on Saturday going 0-for-1 with three walks. The eight-gamer was a career-high for the Floridian whose previous high-water mark was seven games (twice). Over the hitting streak, Gonzalez hit .322 (10-for-31) with two RBIs and three runs scored.

TIME TO LET THE HORSES OUT OF THE BARN: This homestand, the Keys have been aggressive on the basepaths, registering 14 steals in their last four games. On Saturday, Frederick stole four bases, while on Wednesday the team came up with a season-high five. Most of those steals have been concentrated in a few hands, with Josh Hart and Adrian Marin each swiping four bases and Jay Gonzalez pocketing three. Frederick leads the Carolina League with 161 stolen bases this year, 14 more than the next two closest teams (Salem and Winston-Salem both have 147). Meanwhile, Gonzalez (34-counting his time at Low-A Delmarva) Hart (30) and Marin (25) ranked 1-3 among Orioles farmhands in steals.

ALVAREZ OPTIONED TO KEYS: On Wednesday night, Dariel Alvarez was optioned to the Frederick Keys from the Baltimore Orioles. A member of the Keys in 2013, Alvarez went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on Saturday and is 3-for-11 with a triple and a double in his three games with the Keys this year. He becomes the fourth player with Orioles to suit up for Frederick in 2015, joining Wei-Yin Chen (optioned) as well as Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman and David Lough (rehab assignments). Making his Orioles debut last Friday, Alvarez was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with a double. Prior to his call-up to Baltimore, he was hitting .275 with 16 homers and 72 RBIs in 130 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He was an International League all-star and won the Triple-A Home Run Derby.

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND: On Friday, Cody Wheeler become the 17th Keys player to receive a promotion when he was moved up to Triple-A Norfolk. He becomes the second Frederick player to bypass Double-A this season and the third to receive a call-up this week. Donnie Hart (Thursday) and David Hess (Tuesday) were both promoted to Double-A Bowie. The Keys lone postseason all-star, Wheeler went 5-1 with 17 saves and a 2.79 ERA in 42 games. At the time he was called up, the lefty was tops in the CL in saves and games finished (35) while he was tied for the league lead in appearances.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS: The Keys were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday following a loss to Carolina. It marked the fourth straight season the Keys had been knocked out of contention. Entering Tuesday night with an elimination number of one, Frederick would have needed seven straight wins and seven straight Lynchburg losses to force a one-game playoff. In spite of a loss to the Salem, the Hillcats clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year. They will meet Wilmington in the North Division Championship Series. .

KEYS ABOUND IN ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE: On Tuesday afternoon, Adrian Marin and Donnie Hart were selected to play in the Arizona Fall League, while Jon Keller, Chance Sisco and Mike Yastrzemski were also tabbed to play for the Peoria Javelinas. Considered a “finishing school” for top minor league prospects, the AFL runs from mid-October to late-November.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: The Keys lead the season-series with the Dash 10-9 following Saturday’s win. On Thursday, Winston-Salem clinched the second-half CL South Division title (the team’s first since 2012). Frederick holds a .255 team batting average against the Dash, while the pitching staff owns a 4.07 ERA. Winston-Salem is batting .239 against the Keys but boast a 3.27 ERA as a staff. Individually, Tad Gold (.333/7-for-21) leads the way at the plate, while the Dash are paced by Eddy Alvarez (.455/5-for-11) and Keon Barnum (.319/22-for-69).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Left-hander Jordan Guerrero makes his 25th overall start on Sunday. Activated from the disabled list on Tuesday, Guerrero is 6-3 with a 3.78 ERA for the Dash. Picking up a no-decision on Tuesday at Wilmington, he went three innings and allowed three runs in a no-decision. He is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA (14 IP/2ER) against the Keys. Promoted to Winston-Salem on June 3 from Low-A Kannapolis (first to Advanced-A), the southpaw went 6-1 with a 2.28 ERA in nine starts. Twice he was named the South Atlantic League “Pitcher of the Week” Guerrero tossed 12 scoreless innings over his first two starts, before turning in 13 more scoreless innings a few weeks later. In nine starts with Kannapolis he gave up more than one earned run just twice, while his 1.27 ERA through May 7 was the seventh-lowest among MiLB qualifiers. Pitching for Low-A Kannapolis exclusively in 2014, he went 6-2 with a 3.46 ERA in 27 games (nine starts). He never worked more than five innings in a game, piggybacking with Andre Wheeler in the Kannapolis rotation. The White Sox exercised caution with Guerrero last season after he made just five starts before being shut down due to shoulder fatigue. Selected by Chicago in the 15th round of the 2012 draft out of Moorpark (CA) High School, Guerrero received a reported $100,000 signing bonus. He throws a fastball, curveball and changeup.

It’s Art in the Park Night!

Good Afternoon Keys Fans!

There are just three games remaining in the regular season, and tonight it is Art in the Park Night at the ballpark! Players and coaches will be wearing special Maryland-themed jerseys that fans can bid in during the game. For those of you who haven’t seen them yet, here are a few pictures!

Art 1Art 2Art 3

Pretty cool right? Earlier this week the Washington Post talked a little bit more about them.

Proceeds from the jerseys will benefit the Frederick Arts Council. And if you’re wondering yes, there will be fireworks after the game, presented by Plamondon.

For those that missed the Keys game last night, the Dash rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth inning with two outs to hand the orange and black a 7-4 setback. It was the club’s first loss all season when leading after eight innings.

Tonight Luis Gonzalez starts for the Keys and will be opposed by Dash righty Yency Almonte. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m and the broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

Today’s lineup and notes are below!

Shake your Keys,

Geoff

LINEUP

  1. DH Josh Hart
  2. CF Jay Gonzalez
  3. RF Dariel Alvarez
  4. C Wynston Sawyer
  5. LF Tad Gold
  6. SS Adrian Marin
  7. 1B Derek Peterson
  8. 3B Anthony Caronia
  9. 2B Tanner Witt

LHP Luis Gonzalez

Saturday, September 5, 2015 · Game #138 · Home Game #68

Frederick Keys (63-74/31-36) vs Winston-Salem Dash (73-62/43-22)

LHP Luis Gonzalez (5-11, 7.11) vs. RHP Yency Almonte (3-2, 2.01)

DASH STUN KEYS: The Winston-Salem Dash scored four times with two outs in the top of the ninth to stun the Frederick Keys 7-4 on Friday night at Nymeo Field. It was the team’s third loss in its last four games and denied the Keys the opportunity to finish the second-half with a .500 record. On to protect a 5-4 lead, Garrett Cortright stranded the bases loaded in the eighth, while T.J Williams and Adam Engel were quickly retired to start the ninth. From there, Jake Peter reached on an infield single, Trey Michalczewski coaxed a nine-pitch walk and Keon Barnum added a base hit to load the bases. The next batter, Nick Basto, then jumped on Cortright’s first pitch, doubling off the leftfield wall to give his team the lead. One batter later, Omar Narvaez added a two-run single to complete the scoring. Brad Goldberg gave up a triple to Dariel Alvarez in the ninth, but would not allow any runs to wrap things up. Frederick scored all four of its runs in the sixth, sending 10 to bat.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Friday’s loss sent the Keys to 11 games below .500 for the first time in 2015. It marks the farthest the club has been below sea-level for a season since last August 13. More notably, it marked the first time all season where the Keys had lost when leading after eight innings. Coming into last night, the orange and black were 43-0 when entering the ninth with a lead. It was also Winston-Salem’s first win all year when trailing after eight (0-51 prior).

GONZO IN A GROOVE: Jay Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to eight games on Friday with a single in the first inning. That marks a new career-high for the Floridian, whose previous high-water mark was seven games (twice). Over this current stretch, Gonzalez is batting .322 (10-for-31) with two RBIs and three runs scored. In the process, he has raised his batting average from .224 to .240.

TROUBLE WITH THE LEATHER: On Friday, the Keys committed four errors, resulting in three unearned runs. The four defensive miscues were two short of a season high, while it marked the 11th time this year that Frederick had committed three or more errors in a contest (4-7 during that time). This year, the orange and black are tied for sixth in the CL in fielding percentage (.972) but have committed the second-most errors (141). A problem during the club’s recent roadtrip, the Keys made 11 errors in seven games resulting in 11 unearned runs.   

ALVAREZ OPTIONED TO KEYS: On Wednesday night, Dariel Alvarez was optioned to the Frederick Keys from the Baltimore Orioles. A member of the Keys in 2013, Alvarez went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run on Friday and is 3-for-7 with a triple and a double in his first two Keys games this year. He becomes the fourth player with Orioles to suit up for Frederick this year, joining Wei-Yin Chen (optioned) as well as Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman and David Lough (rehab assignments). Making his Orioles debut last Friday, Alvarez was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with a double. Prior to his call-up to Baltimore, he was hitting .275 with 16 homers and 72 RBIs in 130 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He was an International League all-star and won the Triple-A Home Run Derby.

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND: On Friday, Cody Wheeler become the 17th Keys player to receive a promotion when he was moved up to Triple-A Norfolk. He becomes the second Frederick player to bypass Double-A this season and the third to receive a call-up this week. Donnie Hart (Thursday) and David Hess (Tuesday) were both promoted to Double-A Bowie. The Keys lone postseason all-star, Wheeler went 5-1 with 17 saves and a 2.79 ERA in 42 games. At the time he was called up, the lefty was tops in the CL in saves and games finished (35) while he was tied for the league lead in appearances.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS: The Keys were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday following a loss to Carolina. It marked the fourth straight season the Keys had been knocked out of contention. Entering Tuesday night with an elimination number of one, Frederick would have needed seven straight wins and seven straight Lynchburg losses to force a one-game playoff. In spite of a loss to the Salem, the Hillcats clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year. They will meet Wilmington in the North Division Championship Series. .

KEYS ABOUND IN ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE: On Tuesday afternoon, Adrian Marin and Donnie Hart were selected to play in the Arizona Fall League, while Jon Keller, Chance Sisco and Mike Yastrzemski were also tabbed to play for the Peoria Javelinas. Considered a “finishing school” for top minor league prospects, the AFL runs from mid-October to late-November.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: The Keys suffered their fourth loss in five games to the Dash on Friday. That evened the season-series at 9-9. On Thursday, Winston-Salem clinched the second-half CL South Division title (the team’s first since 2012). Frederick holds a .255 team batting average against the Dash, while the pitching staff owns a 4.23 ERA. Winston-Salem is batting .241 against the Keys but boast a 3.21 ERA as a staff. Individually, Tad Gold (.353/6-for-17) leads the way at the plate, while the Dash are paced by Eddy Alvarez (.455/5-for-11) and Keon Barnum (.323/21-for-65).

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Yency Almonte makes his 24th overall appearance and his 22nd start. Combined between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis, the right-hander is 11-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 133 innings. With the Dash, Almonte is 3-2 with a 2.01 ERA in six games (five starts). His most recent outing came last Sunday against the Keys. Working six shutout innings, the right-hander walked two and struck out a career-high 12 in a no-decision. Since coming to the Carolina League, he has held opponents to a .167 average.  Almonte was acquired as the player to be named later when the Chicago White Sox traded Gordon Beckham to the Los Angeles Angels last August. Almonte did not officially head to the White Sox organization until February 2015. He was the Angels 17th round pick in 2012 out of Christopher Columbus High School in Miami. Almonte signed for a reported $250,000 bonus, but, with questions about his health, he only pitched three innings in rookie ball. In 2013, he threw to a 6.92 ERA in 53 innings with Short-Season Orem, and in 2014, he started on the DL. He made two starts in May, went back on the DL after just a pair of starts June, and ended his season in early August, recording only 45.2 innings all year. Almonte throws a fastball in the low to mid-90s, a slider, and a changeup.

 

Keys Game Notes 9-4-15

Good Evening Keys Fans!

It is Medieval Times Night at the ballpark while the Keys begin their final series of the year with the Winston-Salem Dash! Tonight’s broadcast can be heard on 1450 AM The Source and frederickkeys.com.

First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m and today’s  notes are below!

Geoff

LINEUP

  1. CF Hart
  2. LF Gonzalez
  3. RF Alvarez
  4. 1B Mederos
  5. C Sawyer
  6. SS Marin
  7. DH Bierfeldt
  8. 2B Caronia
  9. 3B Peterson

LHP Taylor

Friday, September 4, 2015 · Game #137 · Home Game #67

Frederick Keys (63-73/31-35) vs Winston-Salem Dash (72-62/42-22)

LHP Matt Taylor (2-2, 3.59) vs. RHP Brandon Brennan (3-4, 3.88)

MUDCATS USE BIG FIRST INNING TO TAKE SERIES: The Carolina Mudcats scored four times in the first inning and finished with seven extra-base hits to top the Frederick Keys 7-4 on Thursday night at Nymeo Field. Carolina did a bulk of its damage in the first inning, scoring four times off Josh Walker. Needing 27 pitches to get out of the inning, the right-hander walked leadoff batter Connor Lien, while a stolen base and an RBI double by Keith Curcio made it 1-0. Two batters later, Carlos Franco and Joey Meneses followed with back-to-back doubles, before Jose Briceno brought in Meneses with a base knock. Frederick’s deficit stretched to five in the third, but the orange and black used two Carolina errors to make it a 5-3 contest. After Josh Hart stole second and moved to third on an error, Anthony Caronia walked to send up Dariel Alvarez. He doubled home Hart, while Yaisel Mederos followed with a two-run double. From there, the Keys managed only one more run, as Richie Tate and Bradley Roney combined on three innings of shutout relief to wrap things up.

THE RACE TO .500: With a loss on Thursday, the Keys will need to win their remaining four games against Winston-Salem to finish the second-half with a .500 record. Additionally, the team is trying to avoid falling 11 games below sea-level for the season on Friday. This year, Frederick has been 10 games below .500 on five occasions (all since the all-star break) but the team has not dipped any farther south. In 2014, Frederick’s low-water mark was 11 games, something which has not happened since last August 13.

ALVAREZ OPTIONED TO KEYS: On Wednesday night, Dariel Alvarez was optioned to the Frederick Keys from the Baltimore Orioles. A member of the Keys in 2013, Alvarez went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his first game back on Thursday. He becomes the fourth player with Orioles to suit up for Frederick this year, joining Wei-Yin Chen (optioned) as well as Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman and David Lough (rehab assignments). Making his Orioles debut last Friday, Alvarez was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with a double. Prior to his call-up to Baltimore, he was hitting .275 with 16 homers and 72 RBIs in 130 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He was an International League all-star and won the Triple-A Home Run Derby.

MORE PROMOTIONS: Cody Wheeler became the 17th Keys player to receive a promotion this year, and was the third to be moved up this week (in 2014 the Keys had 11 call-ups). Donnie Hart earned his first promotion to Double-A Bowie on Thursday, while David Hess was called up to the Baysox on Tuesday. The second time he has been promoted this year, Hart went 5-1 with a 1.03 ERA and three saves in 27 games since being sent up from Low-A Delmarva. Combined between Low-A and Advanced-A this year, the Texan is 5-2 with 13 saves and a 1.41 ERA in 45 games. Hess went 9-4 with a 3.58 ERA in 26 games (25 starts) over 133.1 innings. He struck out 110 and walked 53.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS: The Keys were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday following a loss to Carolina. It marked the fourth straight season the Keys had been knocked out of contention. Entering Tuesday night with an elimination number of one, Frederick would have needed seven straight wins and seven straight Lynchburg losses to force a one-game playoff. In spite of a loss to the Salem, the Hillcats clinched a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year. They will meet Wilmington in the North Division Championship Series. .

KEYS ABOUND IN ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE: On Tuesday afternoon, Adrian Marin and Donnie Hart were selected to play in the Arizona Fall League, while Jon Keller, Chance Sisco and Mike Yastrzemski were also tabbed to play for the Peoria Javelinas. Considered a “finishing school” for top minor league prospects, the AFL runs from mid-October to late-November.

AGAINST WINSTON-SALEM: The Keys wrap up their season with a four-game series against the Dash. On Thursday, Winston-Salem clinched the second-half CL South Division title (the team’s first since 2012). Head-to-head, the Keys hold a 9-8 lead in the season series, after the Dash won three of four games last weekend at BB&T Ballpark. Frederick holds a .257 team batting average against the Dash, while the pitching staff owns a 4.25 ERA. Winston-Salem is batting .240 against the Keys but boast a 3.16 ERA as a staff.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Right-hander Brandon Brennan makes his 12th start of the season and his second straight against the Keys. Facing the orange and black last Saturday, he received a no-decision, tossing four shutout innings of hitless baseball. He walked three and struck out one. He missed two and a half weeks in August due to a finger blister, which caused him to exit his August 5 start after just 3.1 innings. Additionally, Brennan missed the first two and a half months of the year due to a pectoral injury he suffered late in spring training. In 2014, he spent time with Great Falls, Kannapolis, and Winston-Salem while working his way back from Tommy John surgery, which he had on his 22nd birthday (July 26, 2013). A fourth round selection in 2012 by the Chicago White Sox, Brennan was taken out of Orange Coast College in California, the same school where San Francisco Giants pitcher Sergio Romo and Baltimore Orioles Minor League Outfield and Baserunning Coordinator Scott Beerer spent part of their collegiate careers. Out of high school, Brennan had a scholarship offer to play for the University of Oregon. There he redshirted, before transferring to Orange Coast. He was also selected in the 40th round in 2010 by the Colorado Rockies out of Capistrano Valley HS, but elected not to sign. Brennan throws a fastball, a slider and a changeup.

Keys look to clinch series finale with Carolina tonight

Hello Keys fans!

James here for my final preview as tonight will be my last game working for the Frederick Keys. It felt like a quick season, but regardless, it was a lot of fun. Despite it ending in disappointing fashion, it was an absolute honor to be an employee for such a classy organization. Huge thanks to Geoff Arnold for having me come aboard and also lots of gratitude to the rest of the people I worked with here at Nymeo Field. But most importantly, thank you Keys fans! Hopefully my experience here will have me go on to a successful career within the sport of baseball. Crossing my fingers that my last night here will end in a thriller like last night’s dramatic win.

Frederick managed to rally in the ninth inning by plating two runs, including the walk off RBI single by Tad Gold, to come out victorious 7-6 and evening the series at one game apiece. Despite not being in contention for the playoffs, the orange and black look to end on a high note as they can win the three game set with a victory tonight. The Keys will trot out Josh Walker (0-1, 1.50) as he will be making his second start this season in a Frederick uniform. He will be countered by Carolina Mudcats’ hurler Andrew Waszak (6-6, 3.43) who his making his third appearance against the orange and black this year as he is 1-0. Tonight’s contest will begin at 7:00 PM.

For the final time, thank you fans and go Keys!

Tonight’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Anthony Caronia 2B

Dariel Alvarez RF

Yaisel Mederos 1B

Tad Gold LF

Adrian Marin SS

Conor Bierfeldt DH

Derek Peterson 3B

Steel Russell C

9/3 Game Notes

GOLD LEADS KEYS TO WALK-OFF WIN: A Tad Gold RBI single gave the Frederick Keys a 7-6 walk-off win over the Carolina Mudcats on Wednesday night at Nymeo Field. The victory forces a Thursday rubber game and preserves the Keys chances of finishing the second-half with a winning record. Down 6-5, the orange and black loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth for the second straight day. Josh Hart singled to open the inning, while consecutive sacrifice bunts by Anthony Caronia and Wynston Sawyer were mishandled by the Mudcats defense to pack the bags. Richie Tate was brought in from the Carolina bullpen to replace Andy Otero, but the right-hander never recorded an out. Derek Peterson singled through the right side to tie the game, before Gold followed suit with a bouncing ball past the dive of first baseman Tanner Krietemeier to give Frederick the win.

WALK IT OFF, WALK IT OFF: The Keys posted their eighth walk-off win of the year on Wednesday night, and first since July 25, when a Chance Sisco double lifted the team past Winston-Salem. Perhaps the most impressive aspect, is that all eight walk-offs have come from a different Keys player each time.  Last season, Frederick came up with only three walk-off wins. The ninth inning single also capped off a nice night for Tad Gold, who went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a walk. His three hits tied a career-high, while it raised his batting average from .229 to .246, the highest it has been since August 19.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS: For the fourth straight season, the Keys have been eliminated from playoff contention. Entering Tuesday night with an elimination number of one, Frederick would have needed seven straight wins and seven straight Lynchburg losses to force a one-game playoff. In spite of a loss to the Salem, the Hillcats clinch a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year. They will meet Wilmington in the North Division Championship Series.

ALVAREZ OPTIONED TO KEYS: On Wednesday night, Dariel Alvarez was optioned to the Frederick Keys from the Baltimore Orioles. He is expected to be in uniform for the orange and black on Thursday and is scheduled to play through this weekend. He becomes the fourth player with Orioles to suit up for Frederick this year, joining Wei-Yin Chen (optioned) as well as Jonathan Schoop, Kevin Gausman and David Lough (rehab assignments). Making his Orioles debut last Friday, Alvarez was hitting .250 (3-for-12) with a double. Prior to his call-up to Baltimore, he was hitting .275 with 16 homers and 72 RBIs in 130 games for Triple-A Norfolk. He was an International League all-star and won the Triple-A Home Run Derby.

MORE PROMOTIONS: Donnie Hart earned his first promotion to Double-A Bowie on Thursday, while he becomes the second Keys player to move up to the Eastern League this week after David Hess was called up on Tuesday. The second time he has been promoted this year, Hart went 5-1 with a 1.03 ERA and three saves in 27 games since being sent up from Low-A Delmarva. Combined between Low-A and Advanced-A this year, the Texan is 5-2 with 13 saves and a 1.41 ERA in 45 games.

WRAPPING UP AUGUST: A win Sunday helped the Keys conclude August on an encouraging note. Despite hitting only .231 as a club (the team’s worst showing in any month) the orange and black finished with a 13-14 August record. The 13 wins are tied for the second-most the Keys have posted in a month. In July, the team went 15-15, while the orange and black went 13-8 in April (the team’s only winning month of the year). On the mound, the Keys registered a 4.19 staff ERA, while David Hess (0.99 ERA) and Mikey O’Brien (1.57) put together outstanding months. Among active players, Conor Bierfeldt led the Keys with a .286 average.

KEYS ABOUND IN ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE: On Tuesday afternoon Adrian Marin and Donnie Hart were selected to play in the Arizona Fall League, while Jon Keller, Chance Sisco and Mike Yastrzemski were also tabbed to play for the Peoria Javelinas. Considered a “finishing school” for top minor league prospects, the AFL runs from mid-October to late-November.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: Last Saturday afternoon, Cody Wheeler was named a Carolina League postseason all-star. He was Frederick’s lone selection. In 42 games this year, the Virginian is 5-1 with 17 saves and a 2.79 ERA. Over 51.2 innings, he has walked 28, struck out 56 and is holding opponents to a .194 average. Entering Wednesday’s action, Wheeler is tops in the CL in saves, appearances and games finished (35).

AGAINST CAROLINA: Frederick plays its final game of the year against the Mudcats on Thursday. Carolina has already taken the season-series, winning 12 of the 15 matchups, while the Muddies won the first 10 meetings. Against Carolina pitching, Frederick is batting just .239 while the pitching staff has a 4.64 ERA. In contrast, the Mudcats are batting .291 off Keys arms and boast a 2.66 ERA. Individually, Josh Hart leads the way with a .349 average.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Andrew Waszak makes 30th overall appearance this season and his 12th start. Between Carolina, Double-A Mississippi and Low-A Rome, the right-hander is 7-6 with a 4.21 ERA. Most of Waszak’s time has come with the Mudcats, where he is 6-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 24 games (11 starts) over 78.2 innings. Joining Carolina from Low-A Rome, the Michigan native last pitched on Tuesday night against Biloxi in relief. Working 1.1 innings, he gave up one hit and did not factor into the decision. With Carolina, Waszak has fared better as a starting pitcher (3.09 ERA) than as a reliever (4.24 ERA). Before moving up to Double-A, his August in Carolina was outstanding, as the 24-year-old allowed only two runs (one earned) on nine hits in 16 innings (0.56 ERA). Against the Keys this year, Waszak is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA (5.2 IP/3R) in two games (one start). Waszak split 2014 between Rookie-Danville, Low-A Rome and Lynchburg, going 4-7 with a 5.52 ERA over 21 games (18 starts). With the Hillcats he went 0-0 with a 9.42 ERA in five games (four starts). Waszak’s Carolina League debut came against the Keys on Opening Day 2014. In 1.1 innings, the Michigan native struck out one and did not allow any runs. A 22nd round selection by Atlanta in 2013, Waszak was a standout pitcher at Michigan State. The right-hander earned third team All-Big 10 honors as a senior, and ranked fifth in the conference in ERA (2.36). In his college career, he went 18-11 with a 3.82 ERA. As a member of the Spartans, he was teammates with former Keys outfielder Torsten Boss.

Keys look to even series with Carolina

Last the Keys were finally eliminated from postseason contention when they lost to the Carolina Mudcats allowing the Lynchburg Hillcats to clinch the North Division title in the second half. Now with nothing to play for, the orange and black will look to go out and finish on a high note as they hope to even the series at one game apiece as they send out southpaw Mitch Horacek (7-16, 4.67). This will be Horacek’s third start against the Mudcats where he is 0-2. Carolina will look to counter with Seth Webster (8-7, 2.75) who is making his fourth appearance against Frederick on the year where he is 3-0. Tonights contest will begin at 7:00 PM.

 

Tonight’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Anthony Caronia 2B

Wynston Sawyer C

Derek Peterson 3B

Tad Gold RF

Adrian Marin SS

Conor Bierfeldt DH

Yaisel Mederos 1B

Jay Gonzalez LF

9/2 Game Notes

                                                                                                                                                              

KEYS KNOCKED OUT OF PLAYOFF RACE: The Frederick Keys were eliminated from second-half playoff contention on Tuesday night following an 8-5 setback to the Carolina Mudcats at Nymeo Field. It was the club’s sixth loss in its last seven games. Armed with a number of scoring chances, Frederick finished 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base. Three of those came in the ninth inning, as the orange and black loaded the bases with no outs. Jorge Zavala plunked Josh Hart, before issuing consecutive walks to Tad Gold and Wynston Sawyer. That prompted a pitching change by Mudcats manager Luis Salazar who turned to Bradley Roney. The right-hander quickly struck out Yaisel Mederos and Conor Bierfeldt before hitting Adrian Marin to make it a three-run contest. However, Roney struck out Derek Peterson to end the game. Carolina was fueled by three different multi-run innings, while Conor Lien, Keith Curcio and Dustin Peterson all drove in two runs.

THAT’S ALL FOLKS: For the fourth straight season, the Keys have been eliminated from playoff contention. Entering the night with an elimination number of one, Frederick would have needed seven straight wins and seven straight Lynchburg losses to force a one-game playoff. In spite of a loss to the Salem, the Hillcats clinch a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive year. They will meet Wilmington in the North Division Championship Series.

TRYING TO CLOSE IN ON .500: Although Frederick will not be able to reach the .500 mark for the year with just six games remaining, the team will try and avoid falling more than 10 games below sea-level. This year, the Keys have been 10 games below .500 on four occasions, but have not dipped farther south. In 2014, Frederick’s low-water mark was 11 games, something which has not happened since last August 13.

WRAPPING UP AUGUST: A win Sunday helped the Keys conclude August on an encouraging note. Despite hitting only .231 as a club (the team’s worst showing in any month) the orange and black finished with a 13-14 August record. The 13 wins are tied for the second-most the Keys have posted in a month. In July, the team went 15-15, while the orange and black went 13-8 in April (the team’s only winning month of the year). On the mound, the Keys registered a 4.19 staff ERA, while David Hess (0.99 ERA) and Mikey O’Brien (1.57) put together outstanding months. Among active players, Conor Bierfeldt led the Keys with a .286 average.

KEYS ABOUND IN ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE: On Tuesday afternoon Adrian Marin and Donnie Hart were selected to play in the Arizona Fall League, while former Keys Jon Keller, Chance Sisco and Mike Yastrzemski were also tabbed to play for the Peoria Javelinas. Considered a “finishing school” for top minor league prospects, the AFL runs from mid-October to late-November.

PUT THE SUITCASES AWAY: Sunday marked the Keys final regular season road game. Overall, the team finished 29-41 in games away Nymeo Field, the second-worst mark in the CL. In the second-half, the Keys posted a 16-19 road record. In contrast, Frederick is two games over .500 at home (33-31) for the season but just 14-15 in second-half home affairs. Still, the club has won three of its last four home series.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Saturday afternoon, Cody Wheeler was named a Carolina League postseason all-star. He was Frederick’s lone selection. In 42 games this year, the Virginian is 5-1 with 17 saves and a 2.79 ERA. Over 51.2 innings, he has walked 28, struck out 56 and is holding opponents to a .194 average. Entering Wednesday’s action, Wheeler is tops in the CL in saves, appearances and games finished (35).

AN AWARD AND A PROMOTION: The day after winning his second Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” Award, Keys starter David Hess was promoted to Double-A Bowie. It marks the right-hander’s first call-up to the Eastern League, while he becomes the 15th Frederick player to receive a promotion this season. In 26 games, the Tennessee native went 9-4 with a 3.58 ERA. Over 133.1 innings, he allowed 112 hits, walked 33 and struck out 110. Opponents were batting .224 against him. At the time of his promotion, Hess was second in the CL in batting average against and games started, fourth in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched and ninth in ERA. In 12 second-half starts, Hess went 7-0 with a 1.34 ERA, the lowest of any starting pitcher in the league.

AGAINST CAROLINA: Frederick plays its penultimate series of the year against the Mudcats. Carolina has already taken the season-series, winning 12 of the 14 matchups, while the Muddies won the first 10 meetings. Against Carolina pitching, Frederick is batting just .227 while the pitching staff has a 4.54 ERA. In contrast, the Mudcats are batting .289 off Keys arms and boast a 2.47 ERA. Individually, Josh Hart leads the way with a .308 average.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Seth Webster makes his 19th appearance with Carolina and his 18th start. His most recent outing came last Thursday against Lynchburg. Receiving a no-decision, he allowed one runs on eight hits in seven innings. A pitcher with pinpoint command, Webster has walked only seven in 117.2 innings and leads the minors in SO/BB ratio (12.14) among pitchers with a minimum of 90 innings. The righty is second in the CL in ERA (2.75) and second in WHIP (1.07). Against Frederick he is 3-0 with a 1.74 ERA in three starts. His last win came at Nymeo Field on August 16, a game where Webster threw seven innings and allowed one unearned run. Of his 17 starts, 13 have been quality outings, while he has pitched seven innings or more 12 times. Signed by the Braves as a non-drafted free agent on May 18, Webster made one start at Low-A Rome before joining the Mudcats on May 21. Prior to joining the Braves, Webster pitched for the Schaumberg Boomers of the Frontier League from 2013 through this season. In his career with the Boomers, he went 14-6 with a 2.88 ERA in 300 games while logging 200 innings. Last season, Webster helped guide Schaumburg to the Frontier League championship, going 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in postseason play. Originally from Alexandria, Louisiana, Webster played college baseball for the Louisiana College Wildcats, a Division III school.

Keys open final homestand tonight!

The Keys managed to stave off elimination as they defeated Winston-Salem on Sunday night. Tonight, Frederick comes to Nymeo Field for their final homestand of the season for seven games closing out the season on Monday. For the first three games of the homestand, the orange and black will be taking on the Carolina Mudcats as they hope to keep their playoff hopes alive. However, if either the Keys lose or Lynchburg wins tonight, Frederick will be eliminated from postseason contention. With the daunting task of keeping his team alive in the playoff hunt, southpaw John Means (0-1, 7.45) will go out for the orange and black making his third start for the team. The Mudcats will counter with Blair Walters (5-8, 2.93) who is making his fourth appearance against the Keys this season. Game time start will be at 7:00 PM.

Tonight’s lineup

Josh Hart CF

Tad Gold RF

Wynston Sawyer C

Yaisel Mederos 1B

Conor Bierfeldt DH

Adrian Marin SS

Derek Peterson 3B

Jay Gonzalez LF

Tanner Witt 2B

Also a number of Keys this season made the Arizona Fall League team in Peoria as Chance Sisco, Donnie Hart, Jon Keller, and Adrian Marin will be playing after this season comes to an end.

Game Notes 9/1

CARONIA HELPS KEYS STEAL WIN: The Frederick Keys scored three times in the ninth inning, while a steal of home by Anthony Caronia helped the orange and black earn a 4-3 comeback win over the Winston-Salem Dash on Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. Thanks to the come-from-behind win, the Keys kept their playoff hopes alive, while the club snapped a five-game losing streak. Needing two runs to stay alive in the ninth, Conor Bierfeldt opened the inning with a double off Brad Goldberg. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Derek Peterson. After Josh Hart came on to pinch-run, Caronia tripled home his teammate to level the score. That sent up Stuart Levy, who missed on a suicide squeeze, but Caronia snuck around the tag of Brett Austin to take the lead. Cody Wheeler worked a clean ninth to wrap up the win.

SLIDE SNAPPED: The Keys snapped a five-game losing streak on Sunday at Winston-Salem, and avoided being swept for the fifth time this year. It was tied for the team’s second-longest losing streak of the year. Runs were at a premium over the team’s seven-day roadtrip, as the Keys were outscored 35-15 and shutout three different times. Over the seven-game road stretch, the Keys hit .187 (40-214) and committed 11 errors, resulting in 11 unearned runs.

NEEDING A MIRACLE: In addition to the Keys ending a five-game losing streak, first-place Lynchburg saw its five-game winning streak come to a close. Entering Tuesday, Frederick’s playoff elimination number is one, meaning that a Keys loss or a Lynchburg win over Salem would knock the orange and black out of playoff contention for a fourth straight year. Tonight’s opponent, the Carolina Mudcats, were eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday, when the Dash blanked the Keys 4-0.

WRAPPING UP AUGUST: A win Sunday helped the Keys conclude August on an encouraging note. Despite hitting only .231 as a club (the team’s worst showing in any month) the orange and black finished with a 13-14 August record. The 13 wins are tied for the second-most the Keys have posted in a month. In July, the team went 15-15, while the orange and black went 13-8 in April (the team’s only winning month of the year). On the mound, the Keys registered a 4.19 staff ERA, while David Hess (0.99 ERA) and Mikey O’Brien (1.57) put together outstanding months. Among active players, Conor Bierfeldt led the Keys with a .286 average.

PUT THE SUITCASES AWAY: Sunday marked the Keys final regular season road game. Overall, the team finished 29-41 in games away Nymeo Field, the second-worst mark in the CL. In the second-half, the Keys posted a 16-19 road record. In contrast, Frederick is three games over .500 at home (33-30) for the season but just 14-14 in second-half home affairs. Still, the club has won three of its last four home series.

HEY NOW YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR: On Saturday afternoon, Cody Wheeler was named a Carolina League postseason all-star. He was Frederick’s lone selection. In 42 games this year, the Virginian is 5-1 with 17 saves and a 2.79 ERA. Over 51.2 innings, he has walked 28, struck out 56 and is holding opponents to a .194 average. Entering Tuesday’s action, Wheeler is tops in the CL in saves, appearances and games finished (35).

AN AWARD AND A PROMOTION: The day after winning his second Carolina League “Pitcher of the Week” Award, Keys starter David Hess was promoted to Double-A Bowie. It marks the right-hander’s first call-up to the Eastern League, while he becomes the 15th Frederick player to receive a promotion this season. In 26 games, the Tennessee native went 9-4 with a 3.58 ERA. Over 133.1 innings, he allowed 112 hits, walked 33 and struck out 110. Opponents were batting .224 against him. At the time of his promotion, Hess was second in the CL in batting average against and games started, fourth in strikeouts, fifth in innings pitched and ninth in ERA. In 12 second-half starts, Hess went 7-0 with a 1.34 ERA, the lowest of any starting pitcher in the league.

ROSTER MOVEMENT: With Hess’ call-up to the Baysox, the Keys have activated left-handed reliever Ronan Pacheco from the seven-day DL. Mikey O’Brien has also been placed on the temporary inactive list, while Steel Russell has joined the Keys from Low-A Delmarva.

AGAINST CAROLINA: Frederick plays its penultimate series of the year against the Mudcats. Carolina has already taken the season-series, winning 11 of the 13 matchups, while the Muddies won the first 10 meetings. Against Carolina pitching, Frederick is batting just .229 while the pitching staff has a 4.34 ERA. In contrast, the Mudcats are batting .283 off Keys arms and boast a 2.35 ERA. Individually, Josh Hart leads the way with a .343 average.

TODAY’S OPPOSING PITCHER: Blair Walters makes his 28th appearance of the season and his 21st start. A loser in his last three games, the southpaw’s latest setback came last Wednesday against Wilmington. Tossing 5.2 innings, Walters allowed two runs on seven hits. Walters is fourth in the CL in ERA (2.93), third in batting average against (.243), while he has been very consistent, posting a 2.91 ERA in the first-half and a 2.94 mark in the second stanza. This will be Walters’ fourth appearance against the Keys. Combined he is 0-1 with a 1.98 ERA (13.2 IP/3ER). In five career games against Frederick, Walters is 1-3 with a 3.03 ERA (32.2 IP/11ER).  Signed by Atlanta last July, the lefty went 6-1 with a 2.33 ERA in eight games (seven starts) for Lynchburg (then a Braves affiliate). Prior to joining the Braves, Walters was playing for the Independent Joliet Slammers. A Frontier League All-Star, he pitched to a 2.74 ERA in 75.2 innings. He allowed just 59 hits and struck out 54. Originally selected by the White Sox in the 11th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Hawaii, Walters was acquired by the Houston Astros in July 2012 along with RHP Matt Heidenreich and RHP Chris Devenski in exchange for RHP Brett Myers. Last March, Walters was released by the Astros after finishing with a combined 7.18 ERA between High-A Lancaster and Triple-A Oklahoma City (one game) in 2013. He throws a fastball, a curveball, a slider and a changeup.

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