Playoff Preview: Potomac vs. Frederick

Wait, haven’t I done this before?

For the second straight year, it’s Potomac vs. Frederick in the Divisional Series, and the “Battle of The Beltways” misnomer is back. As of 3 p.m., “The Game Is Still On” according to the Keys website.

Similar to 2008 for Potomac, the Frederick Keys have basically led wire-to-wire, winning 41 games in the first half and 39 in the second. [Insert snarky comparison about overaged team and only a couple of true prospects here]. Yes, Potomac did manage to catch them (*ahem*) to win the paper title of second-half champion, but because Potomac did not win the Northern Division outright (the two teams tied with 39 wins), Frederick gets the advantage of hosting a Game Five if one is necessary.

With a season series that went 10-10, that’s kind of a big deal. Or is it?

Frederick actually had a losing record vs. Potomac at home, going 5-8, the uneven split made possible by the series shift in April. Potomac actually won the last two series played there (July 6-8, August 26-28) two games to one.

What should have P-Nats fans worried is the lack of one Mr. Rosenbaum, who beat the Keys three times out four starts, including his final start for Potomac. What should have Keys fans worried is how they staggered to the finish line, winning just twice over the last 10 games, and three in a row to the last-place Wilmington Blue Rocks.

On paper, this shouldn’t even be close. Looking at the team stats in the aggregate, Frederick has the league’s best pitching, Potomac has the worst. The problem with that approach is that it ignores what everybody knows: It’s how the current roster is playing right now that matters most, not how the collective team has done over the past five months.

Unlike last year, I would not be surprised by a couple of 1-0, 2-1, or 3-2 scores in this series — even in the hittng-friendly confines of Harry Grove Stadium.

Without further ado, here’s the schedule, starting with the schedule…
Game 1 at Frederick, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.
Game 2 at Frederick, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m.
Game 3 at Potomac, Sept. 9 at 7:05 p.m.
Game 4 at Potomac (if necessary), Sept. 10 at 6:35 p.m.
Game 5 at Frederick (if necessary), Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.

And here are the announced matchups, per…

Game 1 Paul Demny (10-10, 4.32) vs. Jacob Petit (7-0, 1.62)
Game 2 Sammy Solis (6-2, 2.72) vs. Richard Zagone (4-2, 2.97)
Game 3 Evan Bronson (5-5, 3.64) vs. Scott Copeland (3-2, 2.14)
Game 4 Adam Olbrychowski (5-7, 4.16) vs. TBD
Game 5 Mitchell Clegg vs. Nicholas Haughian (8-7, 3.67)

Projected Starting Lineups
LF Francisco Soriano
2B Jeff Kobernus
DH Justin Bloxom
RF Destin Hood
1B Steve Souza
SS Zach Walters
C Sandy Leon
3B Jose Lozada
CF Eury Perez

3B Dale Mollenhauer
2B Jonathan Schoop
SS Manny Machado
1B Aaron Baker
DH Michael Flacco
RF Jacob Julius
CF Miguel Abreu
C Brian Ward
LF Bobby Stevens

Obligatory Prediction:
Head: Frederick in Four
Heart: Potomac in Five

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

3 thoughts on “Playoff Preview: Potomac vs. Frederick”

  1. Given the predicted pitching alignments, I’d call the following…
    Game 1 – advantage Frederick
    Game 2 – advantage Potomac
    Game 3 – toss up
    Game 4 – advantage Potomac
    Game 5 (if needed) – toss up
    If it comes to a game 5, I’d rather see LeCroy go with Selik as the SP, with an ‘all-hands available’ approach to the bullpen.
    My pick = Potomac in four.

  2. You may have a misprint somewhere as to Game 5’s location. The second para appears to indicate Frederick, then it’s Potomac under your schedule section (the “without further ado …” part).

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