The week that was
This report covers the period from Wednesday, August 28 through the close of the season on Tuesday, September 3.
The Peoria Chiefs' promising season come to an end on Monday after a 2-4 week. After being in the second half playoff chase, they were officially eliminated Friday and missed the postseason by four games. The Chiefs had a rough August and lost 22 of their last 33 games. That is recipe to miss the postseason. Overall, the team had a good season and finished with the fourth-best record in the Midwest League Western Division for the entire year.
Peoria began the final week by beating Clinton (Seattle) in the first game of the three-game series at Dozer Park. But, as has been the theme all season long, the offense struggled the next two games. They scored four runs and were beaten by the LumberKings in both games to lose the series and officially end the team's playoff chances.
The Chiefs then traveled to Kane County (Cubs). Again, Dann Bilardello's ballclub won the first game, 9-0. But for the second consecutive series, they dropped the last two games to lose the set and end the season on a losing note.
The Chiefs finished with a 68-69 record and a 30-40 record in the second half of the season.
Wednesday, August 28: Clinton 6 at Peoria 7 (12 innings)
The Chiefs had a season-best 23 hits and scored in the bottom of the 12th innings to win game one against Clinton. C.J. McElroy led the hit barrage, going 4-for-7 with two runs scored and an RBI. Trevor Martin had two hits and three driven in. As a team, Peoria was 8-for-21 with runners in scoring position.
Starter Brad Watson gave up six earned runs but was able to fight through seven innings. He was hurt by the home run as he gave up four. Joey Donofrio earned the win in relief, his sixth of the season. He pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three.
Thursday, August 29: Clinton 3 at Peoria 2
After the bats were so good on Wednesday, the Chiefs offense struggled to score on Thursday. The team managed just seven hits and two runs, losing another one-run ballgame. Nick Martini and Jordan Walton each had two hits. C.J. McElroy scored a run.
Mike Mayers struggled in 3 2/3 innings of work. He gave up three runs and seven hits. Joe Scanio pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up only one hit in relief. Dixon Llorens finished with one inning and struck out all three batters he faced.
Friday, August 30: Clinton 4 at Peoria 2
Peoria was officially eliminated from the playoff race with a 4-2 loss to Clinton. It was fitting that the offense stumbled while the pitching was good. That was the theme all season for the Chiefs. Kyle Helisek finished his year with a 7-7 record after going seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out five.
The offense managed just six hits. Trevor Martin had two of those and also added a RBI. Jordan Walton had a hit, run scored and a run driven in.
Saturday, August 31: Peoria 9 at Kane County 0
For the second time this week, the Chiefs had one of their best offensive games of the season, pounding out 17 hits and nine runs. Jordan Walton kept up his hot hitting with three hits and two runs scored. Trevor Martin had a monster game with three hits and five RBI. His three-run home run in the third inning blew open the game.
In his second game back from injury, Cory Jones pitched a gem. He went six innings and allowed no runs to finish his season at 8-2 with a 2.04 ERA.
Sunday, September 1: Kane County 11 at Peoria 2 (8 innings)
Chris Perry had a terrible start, getting through just 1 2/3 innings. He walked five and gave up five earned runs. The Chiefs were down 9-0 after four innings. The bullpen also struggled. Joey Donofrio, Jay Voss and Dixon Llorens combined to pitch 6 1/3 innings and yield five runs.
Monday, September 2: Kane County 5 at Peoria 4
In the final game of the season, Peoria lost on a walk off in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Chiefs scored two runs in the top of the inning to tie the game, but Dixon Llorens gave up the game winner.
Starter Silfredo Garcia was good in his final start of the year. He went five innings and allowed only one earned run. Garcia ended the season with a 3.82 ERA.
Nick Martini went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Breyvic Valera also had two hits and scored two runs.
Trevor Martin. Martin was the Chiefs best position player the last few weeks of the season. He was one of the few Peoria players consistently performing at the plate. Over his last 10 games, Martin batted .333 and finished the season with a .373 average in 29 games.
This week alone he had a home run and nine RBI. Martin finished with two home runs and 22 RBI for the season. It would have been interesting to see what kind of production Martin would have provided had he played with the team all season.
Breyvic Valera. After struggling a bit down the stretch, Valera got hot the last ten games and especially in the final games of the season. He went 9-for-17 in the last four games with five runs scored and two RBI. Over his last 10 starts, Valera batted .390.
He finished the season with the highest average on the team at .309 and also drove in 48 runs. Overall, Valera was one of the Chiefs best hitters all season long.
Cory Jones. The right-handed starter missed over a month due to injury and it showed in his first start back last week. But in his start Saturday against Kane County, he showed the pitcher he had been in his time with the Chiefs this season. Jones went six innings allowing four hits, no runs and he fanned five. It was his eighth win of the season and Jones finished with a 2.04 ERA. Both are team bests.
Chris Perry. Perry pitched well in nine starts for the Chiefs, but his last three of the season were not among his best. The right-hander gave up 11 earned runs in his last 11 innings of those starts. He also walked 10 batters. Perry was the loser in all three of those games.
He finished the season with a 3.91 ERA and had a 2-4 record. But Perry showed promise in many of his starts and should be an interesting prospect to follow going forward.
Final team stats
|Offense||Season #||MWL rank of 16|
|Pitching||Season #||MWL rank of 16|
|HR allowed||71||3rd fewest|
Midwest League Western Division Standings – second half final
|Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN)||48||22||0.686||-||88-50||W1|
|Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU)||43||26||0.623||4.5||81-57||W2|
|Beloit Snappers (OAK)||34||35||0.493||14||77-62||L2|
|Clinton LumberKings (SEA)||34||36||0.486||14||67-72||L1|
|Burlington Bees (LAA)||30||39||0.435||18||56-78||W3|
|Peoria Chiefs (STL)||30||40||0.429||18||68-69||L2|
|Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL)||30||40||0.429||18||59-76||L6|
|Kane County Cougars (CHC)||25||44||0.362||23||55-80||W2|
Look for four articles over the coming weeks starting with a Chiefs season recap then a report on the top reliever, starting pitcher and position player of the 2013 season.
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