Peoria Chiefs Notebook: 2014 Week 4

The Cardinals' Single-A club had a five-game winning streak that put them five games over .500.

The week that was

This report covers the period from Tuesday, April 22 through Monday, April 28.

The Chiefs returned home to Dozer Park for a six-game home stand that saw just as many rainouts as losses. Peoria finished off its series with the Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) with two more wins and took the first two against the Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) before dropping the third game.

On Monday, the team was scheduled to open up a series in Beloit, Wisconsin against the Snappers (OAK), but the game was rained out. They clubs will try to get in a pair on Tuesday.

On the season, the Chiefs sit in a tie for third place in the Midwest League West with a 13-8 record, 2.5 games behind the Kane County Cougars (CHC).

Game Summaries

Tuesday, April 22: Peoria Chiefs 4, Cedar Rapids Kernels 1
Nick Petree threw six shutout innings, striking out a career-high eight, to extend his scoreless inning streak to 17 to start the season.

The Chiefs got on the board in the first inning. Juan Herrera lined a double into left-center field. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Kenny Peoples-Walls infield single.

Peoria extended its lead in the sixth without a base hit. Mason Katz walked, went to second on another wild pitch, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on an error.

C.J. McElroy Jr., Herrera, and Peoples-Walls each had two hits to lead the offense.

Wednesday, April 23: Peoria Chiefs 2, Cedar Rapids Kernels 0
For the second straight game, the Chiefs' starter did not give up a run. Arturo Reyes went five-plus innings, giving up three hits with two strikeouts and a pair of walks.

Reyes gave up back-to-back singles with one out in the second, but got out of the inning with a strike-him-out, throw-him-out double play.

In the sixth, a single and a misplayed sac bunt put two Kernels' runners aboard with nobody out. Blake McKnight came in and recorded three straight outs to strand the runners.

The Chiefs' first run came in the seventh. Ronald Castillo lined a double into right-center field for Peoria's first hit. Mason Katz hit a ground ball to third that was misplayed, allowing Castillo to advance to third. A Steve Bean groundout scored Castillo.

Castillo tallied two of the Chiefs' three hits, with shortstop Cesar Valera earning the third. Valera also walked twice and scored a run.

Thursday, April 24: Peoria Chiefs vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels POSTPONED
The finale of the series was postponed due to rain after a 45-minute rain delay. The game will be made up May 12 in Cedar Rapids as part of a doubleheader.

Friday, April 25: Peoria Chiefs 8, Quad Cities River Bandits 4
The Chiefs turned to the long ball in the opener against the River Bandits. Katz hit a three-run home run to erase an early 2-0 deficit. The Chiefs scored again on a Michael Schulze walk, stolen base, and an RBI single by McElroy Jr.

Peoria wasn't done there. In the fifth inning, Carson Kelly, Castillo, and Peoples-Walls loaded the bases on consecutive singles. Matthew Young smacked the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a grand slam and an 8-2 lead.

Jimmy Reed went five innings, giving up just the two first-inning runs. The lefty allowed seven hits with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. All nine starters for the Chiefs had at least one hit, with Castillo leading the way with three.

Saturday, April 26: Peoria Chiefs 3, Quad Cities River Bandits 2
The Chiefs' bullpen picked up the slack in game two of the series. Joe Scanio and Kyle Barraclough combined to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.

After allowing a run in the top of the first, the Chiefs' tied it thanks in large part to a leadoff walk to McElroy Jr. He stole second and scored on Herrera's single.

A wild pitch gave Quad Cities a temporary 2-1 lead, but the Chiefs rallied back in the in the third. Herrera singled and stole second. Castillo walked and both of them scored on Steve Bean's two-out single down the line in right field.

The Chiefs had four steals in the game, tying their season high. Barraclough picked up his first save since 2012 with Quad Cities.

Sunday, April 27: Quad Cities River Bandits 15 at Peoria Chiefs 3
Peoria's five-game winning streak ended with a thud in the finale against the River Bandits.

Chase Brookshire started for the Chiefs, and his final line wasn't pretty. He gave up seven runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Chris Thomas came in and got two outs, but Blake McKnight yielded seven more runs in his four innings of work to put the game out of reach.

Offensively, Jimmy Bosco, Katz, Herrera and Castillo were the only Chiefs to collect a hit in the game. Bosco scored two runs while Castillo totaled two of the Chiefs' five hits.

Monday, April 28: Peoria Chiefs at Beloit Snappers POSTPONED
For the second time this week, the Chiefs fell victim to a rainout. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday, 4/29, if the weather cooperates.

Home Cookin'

The Chiefs won five of six home games last weekend to run the team's record to 8-3 on the season at Dozer Park. The eight wins put them in a three-way tie for second in the Midwest League. Only Kane County's 11 wins are higher.

Who's Hot

Nick Petree. The righty started three games for the Chiefs on the season and he has been spectacular in all three. Petree has yet to give up a run in 17 innings pitched while striking out 19 batters on the season. The former Missouri State pitcher is sporting a mere .155 batting average against on the season, and while he hasn't pitched more than six innings in a game yet, he has shown early on that he can be a dominant force on the mound.

Cesar Valera. Valera has totaled 37 at-bats since April 11. The right-handed hitter collected 15 hits in those at-bats, giving the Venezuelan native a .405 average over that time frame. He has also knocked in five runs while scoring three of his own. The shortstop has stolen four bases, all of them coming in the last week. Despite that, Valera still ranks tied for third on the team in steals with Peoples-Walls.

Who's Not

Chase Brookshire. It has not been the best season so far for the 23-year-old. In addition to the struggles detailed above, Brookshire has pitched in three games on the season in which he has given up at least five earned runs. In two of those starts, the lefty surrendered seven earned runs and, in the first start, didn't make it out of the first inning. His ERA now sits at a rather robust 12.56 on the year.

Matthew Young. The outfielder has tallied 43 at-bats on the season, and only has seven hits to show for them. The first of those seven hits was a triple, but none of the other six have been for extra-bases. The 24-year-old is currently sporting a .162 batting average and a 13:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the season.


4/28 – Joe Scanio was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a fractured left wrist.
Catcher Gerwuins Velazco remains on the 7-day DL with a knee injury.


4/28 - Pitcher Jhonny Polanco was called up from State College after Scanio was placed on the DL.

Peoria Chiefs Team Stats

Outside of Nick Petree, the team's pitching staff hasn't been all that good. If you remove him and his 17 innings from the team's stats, the team's ERA rises to 5.60, which would be the worst in the Midwest League.

Offense Season # MWL rank of 16
BA .253 T-5th
Runs 96 T-7th
OPS .686 5th
Doubles 32 T-13th
HR 10 T5th
Steals 26 T-6th
Pitching Season # MWL rank of 16
ERA 4.03 10th
Strikeouts 157 14th
Walks 86 5th-most
HR allowed 13 T-2nd most
Saves 8 3rd

Midwest League Western Division Standings

The rainouts have had a bit of an effect on the standings for the Chiefs, as they're tied with the Bees for fewest games played so far with 21. Even still, they're sitting in a tie for second place with an opportunity to gain some ground on the first place Cougars.

Club W L PCT GB L 10 Streak
Kane County Cougars (CHC) 17 7 .708 - 6-4 L1
Burlington Bees (LAA) 13 8 .619 2.5 7-3 L1
Peoria Chiefs (STL) 13 8 .619 2.5 6-4 L1
Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 13 10 .565 3.5 5-5 W4
Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) 10 12 .455 6.0 4-6 W1
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 10 12 .455 6.0 2-8 L4
Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 9 12 .429 6.5 4-6 L5
Beloit Snappers (OAK) 8 14 .364 8.0 4-6 W1

What's Next

On Tuesday, the Chiefs will try again to start a four-game series at the Beloit Snappers (OAK). While the Chiefs haven't officially announced who will start game one, righty Alex Reyes (1-0, 2.19) is expected to square off against fellow righty Junior Mendez (0-1, 5.40). In the other contest, Nick Petree (2-0, 0.00) will look to continue his scoreless innings streak against right-hander Dillon Covey (0-2, 6.63). Peoria will then move on to Cedar Rapids (MIN) for a three-game weekend set.

Follow Garth Shanklin on Twitter @GarthShanklin.

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