Peoria Chiefs Notebook: 2015 Week 19

The Peoria Chiefs went .500 on their road trip this past week, holding onto their wild card lead. Austin Gomber tied an important team record.

This notebook covers Tuesday, August 11 through Monday, August 17.

8/11/15: Peoria Chiefs 2 @ Dayton Dragons 1

Austin Gomber tossed a seven-inning gem to lead the Chiefs to a victory in the opener at Dayton.

The offense needed only one inning to bring in their offensive support for their starting lefty. Alex De Leon and Brian O’Keefe went back-to-back with RBI singles to give the Chiefs a 2-0 lead in the top of the third.

The Peoria southpaw paved the way for the Chiefs with seven innings of one run ball on five hits while striking out nine. Gomber’s effort brought his 13th win, which ties him for the most single-season wins in team history.

Nick Frey pitched a shutout eighth inning, and Dixon Llorens came in the ninth to earn the save.

8/12/15: Peoria Chiefs 7 @ Dayton Dragons 0

The Chiefs cruised to an offensive rout as Jack Flaherty delivered a shutout performance.

The bats got right to it with two runs in the top of the first from a Paul DeJong RBI triple and an Alex De Leon RBI double. Two more were added in the second thanks to Oscar Mercado and Andrew Sohn to make it 4-0.

In total, the offense put together seven runs on 13 hits, scoring six of the seven runs in the first three innings.

Flaherty went 6 1/3 innings with no runs on six hits with eight strikeouts to earn his seventh win. Jhonny Polanco went 2/3 shutout innings with one hit. Steve Sabatino and Kyle Grana tossed a perfect inning each to preserve the shutout.

8/13/15: Peoria Chiefs 1 @ Dayton Dragons 6

The Chiefs couldn’t complete the sweep as they dropped the series finale.

Matt Pearce’s solid start wasn’t enough despite going six innings with two runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.

The wheels fell off once Cody Schumacher came in as he went 1 1/3 innings with four runs, three unearned, on five hits with two strikeouts.

There was no answer from the offensive side. The sole run came in the top of the ninth inning via a fielders’ choice from Derek Gibson. The offense went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.

8/14/15: Peoria Chiefs 4 @ Bowling Green Hot Rods 1

Behind Ian McKinney, the Peoria Chiefs opened up the road series in Bowling Green with a nice win.

Jake Gronsky put the Chiefs on the board with a hot shot hit in the infield that was mishandled. While Gronsky was thrown out, it was enough to bring in Harrison Bader.

Oscar Mercado used his speed in the third inning to score the second run as his 43rd stolen base resulted in a throw sailing into left. Brian O’Keefe brought in Paul DeJong with an RBI single.

Mercado had an RBI of his own in the seventh inning to make it 4-0.

McKinney went seven shutout innings with four strikeouts to earn his first win with Peoria. Nick Lomascolo threw a shutout eighth, and Kyle Grana allowed one run on two hits in the ninth.

8/15/15: Peoria Chiefs 4 @ Bowling Green Hot Rods 5

A late rally wasn’t enough for Peoria as they dropped the second game of the series. Dewin Perez struggled on the bump in his 5 2/3 innings with five runs, four earned, three walks, and four strikeouts.

The Hot Rods jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings, but Harrison Bader’s solo shot in the top of the fourth put the Chiefs on the board.

The Chiefs brought in three more runs in the final two frames, but 1-for-7 struggles with runners in scoring position blunted the comeback.

8/16/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 @ Bowling Green Hot Rods 7

Despite a Darren Seferina leadoff homer, the Chiefs dropped the finale and the series at Bowling Green.

With starter Austin Gomber skipped this time through the rotation, the Chiefs utilized the bullpen and received strong contributions from Cody Schumacher and Nick Lomascolo.

However, Nick Frey allowed three runs on three hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. Steve Sabatino threw 1 2/3 innings with three runs on six hits as the Hot Rods opened up their lead.

The offense couldn’t get the ball rolling as they went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and left six on base.

Who’s Hot

Austin Gomber – The southpaw continues his stellar season with his seven-inning outing this past week. Gomber’s 13th win of the season tied him for the Chiefs single-season wins lead.

Ian McKinney – The 20-year-old has put in 14 innings of shutout ball with 12 strikeouts in his two appearances since his call-up from State College.

Derek Gibson – The new Chiefs outfielder hit .313 through his four games played. Gibson also has a .353 OBP and a .563 slugging percentage.

Who’s Not

Nick Frey – The 23-year-old righty had a rough outing on August 16, in which he surrendered three runs on three hits. On the season, Frey has a 6.04 ERA with an opponent’s batting average of .337 in 12 appearances.

Darren Seferina – While he collected a hit in three of the five games played, Seferina went just 4-for-21 throughout this past week of play. After starting off the month at .300, Seferina’s average has plummeted to .283 in the past few weeks of August.

Dewin Perez – The lefty in the starting rotation saw his last start spiral downward with three earned in 5 2/3 innings pitched. Perez is 2-5 on the season with an ERA of 6.38.

Midwest League Western Division Second-Half Standings

Kane County Cougars (ARI) 36 13 .735 - 21-5 15-8 28-9 7-3 W4
Peoria Chiefs (STL) 31 18 .633 5.0 15-8 16-10 24-13 5-5 L2
Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU)* 30 19 .612 6.0 16-7 14-12 24-13 4-6 W1
Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 27 22 .551 9.0 14-9 13-13 21-16 5-5 L3
Beloit Snappers (OAK) 20 28 .417 15.5 11-14 9-14 15-21 3-7 W1
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 17 31 .354 18.5 13-13 4-18 13-23 4-6 L1
Burlington Bees (LAA) 17 32 .347 19.0 8-15 9-17 14-23 2-8 W1
Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 11 38 .224 25.0 6-20 5-18 8-29 3-7 L3
* first-half division winner

The Chiefs currently hold the wild card lead by 10.5 games.

Transactions Overview

The Chiefs received catcher Luis Cruz back following his brief call-up to Double-A due to an injury at Springfield.

Jhonny Polanco’s move up to Palm Beach will be a move Peoria must adjust to. However, the bullpen has proven in the past that they can fill the voids with pitchers stepping up and call-ups from short-season.


8/13/15: C Luis Cruz assigned to Peoria Chiefs from Springfield Cardinals.
8/13/15: 2B Michael Massi assigned to State College Spikes from Peoria Chiefs.
8/14/15: RHR Jhonny Polanco assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Peoria Chiefs.
8/14/15: RHR Jery Then assigned to Peoria Chiefs from State College Spikes.

What’s Next

The Chiefs return to Dozer Park for their second to last homestand of the regular season with three against the Beloit Snappers and three against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Jack Flaherty takes the bump for Peoria Tuesday night in the Beloit series opener.

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