Peoria Chiefs Notebook: 2015 Week 17

The Peoria Chiefs finished off a red-hot July with the most wins in any month in team history. Peoria went 3-3 on the week with a power surge assisting them and Jack Flaherty leading the staff.

This notebook covers Tuesday, July 28 through Monday, August 3.

7/28/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 8

The Chiefs bit off the bitter end with a loss against the Timber Rattlers to kick off their road trip.

Errors and mishaps were abundant as Wisconsin took advantage of Peoria’s shaky defense. Oscar Mercado’s second inning throwing error sparked the Wisconsin offensive outburst and they didn’t look back from there as they brought in three in the second.

Luis Perdomo struggled to get into a groove as he lasted 4 1/3 innings with seven runs, five earned, two walks, five strikeouts, and one home run. With his eighth loss of the season, Perdomo’s ERA now stands at 4.88 in the second half.

The only offensive support for the Chiefs came via a big swing from Andrew Sohn. With two on and two out in the seventh, Sohn blasted a shot into left field to make it 7-3, but it wasn’t enough as Wisconsin dealt Peoria its first road loss since July 9.

7/29/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 4

Peoria’s slim 3-2 lead evaporated in the final two frames as Wisconsin squeaked by with a 4-3 walk-off victory.

The long ball paved the way for the Chiefs early on. Paul DeJong hit his second homer since joining the Chiefs in the top of the first to make it 2-0.

With the game tied at two, Kenny Peoples-Walls gave the Chiefs a 3-2 lead with his fifth home run that went high over the left field wall.

Dewin Perez delivered an excellent start with five innings with two runs on four hits with two K’s, four walks and a home run, while receiving the no-decision.

Chiefs reliever Steve Sabatino rolled through in his 2 2/3 innings until Wisconsin broke through in the bottom of the eighth. Sabatino allowed a leadoff double and the tying run was moved over to third via sacrifice bunt.

Kyle Grana came in and gave up a bloop double that tied up the game. The Chiefs closer came back to get two outs and keep the game at three apiece. However, in the ninth, Grana walked the first three batters and proceeded to allow the walk-off single as the Chiefs once again took a tough loss.

7/30/15: Peoria Chiefs 5 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 1

The Chiefs avoided being swept on the road thanks to their southpaw Austin Gomber, who earned his 11th win of the season.

Gomber was stellar in his 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball with three hits, seven strikeouts, and a home run as his sole mistake.

The Peoria bats wasted no time getting things going as they crossed the plate in the top of the first. Brian O’Keefe singled in Darren Seferina to make it 1-0. Steve Bean thought he had a home run to make it 2-0, but base umpire Matt Batts called the no-doubt home run ball foul. After discussing with the umpires, Manager Joe Kruzel was ejected and the call stood.

The Chiefs did not score again until the seventh, where they brought three, highlighted by back-to-back RBI singles from Darren Seferina and Paul DeJong.

Jhonny Polanco closed out the game with 1 1/3 perfect innings and earned the save in the process.

7/31/15: Peoria Chiefs 4 @ Beloit Snappers 2

Two home runs and an excellent performance from Jack Flaherty propelled the Chiefs to a win in the opener at Beloit.

Flaherty struck out a career-high seven, in addition to six innings of four-hit ball with one run. The righty continues his tremendous stretch at 6-0 since July 1.

Nick Thompson put the Chiefs on the board with a solo shot in the top of the second. Alex De Leon smacked his 10th homer in the fourth to make it 3-1 Chiefs. Peoria added on another run in the seventh via a fielder’s choice.

Nick Frey earned the hold in his one inning of one run on three hits with three K’s. Dixon Llorens tossed the final two shutout innings for the save.

8/1/15: Peoria Chiefs 7 @ Beloit Snappers 5

Oscar Mercado’s ninth-inning go-ahead homer capped off a late game rally for the Chiefs as they stole Game 2 in Beloit. Including his big home run, Mercado went 3-for-5 with a home run, a double, two RBI, and two stolen bases.

Five of Peoria’s seven runs came in the final three innings. Darren Seferina went deep in the seventh to cut the deficit to tie things up. Seferina showed off his power as his home run travelled over the batter’s eye in deep center.

Matt Pearce threw six innings with four runs, three earned and two strikeouts while surrendering two homers.

Nick Lomascolo tossed 1 1/3 innings with one run and four K’s. While blowing his second save this week, Kyle Grana earned the win in his 1 2/3 innings.

8/2/15: Peoria Chiefs 6 @ Beloit Snappers 8

The Beloit bats put down the Chiefs as they kept the brooms stored away, stopping Peoria’s hopes for the sweep.

The Snappers offense hit five home runs, teeing four of them off Luis Perdomo. The righty went 5 2/3 innings with seven runs on nine hits with eight K’s as he took his ninth loss of the year.

The Chiefs had the lead for a short point thanks to a three-run homer from Alex De Leon in the top of the fifth. However, Beloit came right back in the bottom half to retake the lead for good.

Cody Schumacher went 1 1/3 perfect innings with two strikeouts. Steve Sabatino threw one inning with his sole run and hit yielded a home run.

Who’s Hot

Jack Flaherty – The young righty continues a wonderful stretch, going 6-0 since June 1. In the span, Flaherty has an ERA of 2.91 in 55 2/3 innings and 47 strikeouts.

Paul DeJong – The 2015 fourth-rounder continues to prove himself with his stellar road trip performance with 10 hits in 22 at-bats (.455). DeJong also collected five RBI and three stolen bases last week.

Darren Seferina - Seferina has made it clear that he didn’t lose anything during his short injury stint that sidelined him. The second baseman continues his hot hitting, as he sits on a .300 average for the season while collecting seven hits on the road trip.

Who’s Not

Alex De Leon – The first baseman picked up two big home runs on the road trip, but that’s all he could do as he suffered through a 4-for-19 road trip (.211). While his average hasn’t been completely affected, De Leon has kept his average in the range of .211 to .216 since July 21.

Jake Gronsky – The 23-year-old had only two hits in 16-at-bats (.125) during the road trip. With only three appearances in the road trip, Gronsky has seen limited playing time with Andrew Sohn’s and Darren Seferina’s returns.

Kyle Grana - The Peoria closer proved he was human after all as he blew his first two saves of 2015 this past week. While he did earn the win on August 1, Grana blew his second save opportunity of the week as well.

Record Month

The Chiefs finished July 21-8, the best July in team history. The 21 wins are the fourth most in a month in team history as the Chiefs won 22 games in August 1986, August 1988 and August 2009. The .724 win percentage is also fourth best for a month in club history behind April 1989 (18-6, .750), April 2002 (18-6, .750) and August 2009 (22-8, .733).

Standings – Midwest League Western – Second half

Club W L PCT GB Home Away L 10 Streak
Kane County Cougars (ARI) 28 9 .757 - 16-4 12-5 6-4 W1
Peoria Chiefs (STL) 24 13 .649 4.0 11-6 13-7 7-3 L1
Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU)* 24 13 .649 4.0 11-6 13-7 8-2 W7
Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 21 16 .568 7.0 10-7 11-9 6-4 L1
Beloit Snappers (OAK) 15 21 .417 12.5 9-10 6-11 2-8 W1
Burlington Bees (LAA) 14 23 .378 14.0 6-11 8-12 4-6 W2
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 13 23 .361 14.5 11-9 2-14 5-5 L4
Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 8 29 .216 20.0 4-16 4-13 2-8 L2
* first-half division winner                


8/3/15: Ian McKinney assigned to Peoria Chiefs from State College Spikes.

With the addition of McKinney, Kruzel and Co. have another lefty option along with Steve Sabatino and Nick Lomascolo.

What’s Next

The Chiefs are back at home in Dozer Park Tuesday night kicking off a series with the Lake County Captains. Dewin Perez takes the mound for the Chiefs as they open up a three-game set, which is followed by another three-game set with the Fort Wayne TinCaps.

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