Peoria Chiefs Notebook: 2015 Week 20

The Peoria Chiefs continue to roll and are approaching clinching the second-half wild card. Paul DeJong is swinging a hot bat.

This notebook covers Tuesday, August 18 through Monday, August 24.

8/18/15: Peoria Chiefs 6 vs. Beloit Snappers 0

After a one hour and one minute rain delay, Nick Thompson’s grand slam lifted the Chiefs to a big win in Tuesday’s series opener against the Beloit Snappers (OAK).

The game went scoreless until the Chiefs broke through in the bottom of the sixth with Oscar Mercado scored on a wild pitch.

Five insurance runs came through in the bottom of the eighth with four coming from one swing. Thompson’s blast put Peoria up 6-0 and highlighted the five-run inning, topping off his 3-for-3 evening.

Jack Flaherty won his eighth straight decision in a six-inning shutout with four hits and nine strikeouts. Newcomer Jery Then threw two perfect innings with two punchouts in his Peoria debut and Kyle Grana closed out the game with a shutout ninth.

8/19/15: Peoria Chiefs 15 vs. Beloit Snappers 2

The Chiefs turned in an offensive explosion with 15 men crossing the plate as Peoria came out as the clear victor in this lopsided contest.

Harrison Bader led the charge, going 2-for-4 with his fifth homer and four RBI.

A 9-2 game suddenly turned into a 13-run lead when the bats jumped on Beloit for a six-run eighth. The offense in total tallied up 18 hits, nine extra base hits, and went 8-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Matt Pearce took the mound and went five innings with three hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Tyler Bray allowed two solo shots through two innings in his Peoria return. Steve Sabatino turned in a scoreless eighth and Dixon Llorens finished off Beloit with a scoreless ninth.

8/20/15: Peoria Chiefs 5 vs. Beloit Snappers 3

Paul DeJong’s powerful swing in the bottom of the fifth brought the Chiefs to a come from behind victory and a sweep of Beloit.

Ian McKinney allowed his first two runs in a Peoria uniform, but settled down to finish with 6 2/3 innings with three runs, two earned, on ten hits and five K’s. The lefty earned his second win with the Chiefs.

With two men on and Peoria trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, DeJong unloaded on a pitch that he drilled out to left field for his third long ball to turn it into a 4-3 Chiefs lead.

Nick Frey went 1 1/3 shutout innings, and Kyle Grana earned his 19th save with a scoreless ninth.

8/21/15: Peoria Chiefs 1 vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2

A solid outing from Dewin Perez went to waste as the Timber Rattlers (MIL) squeaked by with a 2-1 series opener win.

Perez went seven innings with two runs, one earned, on six hits and nine strikeouts. Jery Then came in for relief with two innings and no runs allowed.

The limited offensive highlights came via Paul DeJong’s RBI single in the bottom of the fourth that scored Oscar Mercado, who went 3-for-4.

8/22/15: Peoria Chiefs 4 vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2

The Chiefs won thanks in part to Austin Gomber. Gomber went six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. The lefty is now the Peoria all-time single season wins leader with 14, which surpasses Greg Maddux.

Peoria’s runs came early as the four crossed the plate in the first two frames.

Nick Lomascolo pitched a shutout seventh. In his 1 1/3 innings, Dixon Llorens ran into trouble, giving up two runs in the ninth. However, Kyle Grana saved the day for his 20th save.

8/23/15: Peoria Chiefs 5 vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 9

The Chiefs dropped the rubber match to Wisconsin as five late runs turned out to be too much.

Wisconsin staggered their 4-2 lead over Peoria starting in the sixth inning and scored five in the last four innings.

Starter Landon Beck went three innings and yielded four runs on seven hits and three strikeouts. Steve Sabatino allowed a run in his 2 2/3 innings pitched. Nick Frey tossed 1 1/3 innings with a run on two hits, and Tyler Bray went two innings with three runs, two earned, on three hits and three K’s.

8/24/15: Peoria Chiefs 3 @ Cedar Rapids Kernels 23

History came upon the Chiefs in Monday’s series opener. However, it didn’t benefit Peoria, as it became their worst loss in franchise history.

The Chiefs used a total of seven pitchers, including three position players. Alex De Leon, Luis Cruz, and Jake Gronsky took the mound in hope of slowing the bleeding. Starter Jack Flaherty only recorded one out as he allowed five runs in the first to put Peoria in an immediate hole.

The sole offensive highlight came from Harrison Bader’s two-run homer in the in the fourth.

Transactions

8/18/15: RHP Cody Schumacher assigned to Palm Beach Cardinals from Peoria Chiefs.
8/18/15: Tyler Bray assigned to Peoria Chiefs from State College Spikes.

Second half standings – Midwest League Western

CLUB W L Pct GB ELIM# HOME AWAY DIV L10 STRK
Kane County Cougars (ARI) 38 18 .679 - - 22-7 16-11 30-14 5-5 L1
Peoria Chiefs (STL) 35 21 .625 3.0 - 19-10 16-11 28-16 5-5 L2
Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU)* 35 21 .625 3.0 - 19-8 16-13 29-15 6-4 W1
Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 31 25 .554 7.0 11 17-10 14-15 25-19 4-6 W1
Beloit Snappers (OAK) 24 31 .436 13.5 5 15-14 9-17 19-24 5-5 W4
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 20 35 .364 17.5 1 13-14 7-21 16-27 4-6 L1
Burlington Bees (LAA) 20 36 .357 18.0 E 10-16 10-20 17-27 4-6 W1
Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 14 42 .250 24.0 E 8-21 6-21 11-33 3-7 L1
* first-half division winner
                   

The Chiefs are in the midst of a great playoff race and hold a comfortable lead over Wisconsin, the next eligible second-half wild card winner. Thanks to clutch hitting, defense, and solid pitching, the Chiefs’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is four with 14 games remaining.

Who’s Hot

Paul DeJong – The man at the hot corner has the hot bat. DeJong is hitting .314 with a homer and seven RBI in his last 10 games.

Austin Gomber - The lefty has allowed just one earned run over his last three starts as he keeps on rolling in the 2015 campaign.

Who’s Not

Steve Bean – The catcher continues to struggle, hitting .094 and striking out 11 times in his last 10 games. Bean currently sits at .207 for the season, his second with Peoria.

Post-Season All-Stars

The Midwest League announced its Post-Season All-Star Team on Monday and the Chiefs led the way with three selections, the most of any team. A selection is truly elite as the 13-member All-Star roster covers the full 16-team league.

Second baseman Darren Seferina, left-handed pitcher Austin Gomber and right-handed reliever Kyle Grana were chosen in a vote of MWL Managers to the post-season team. Seferina and Grana were 2014 New York-Penn League All-Stars as well.

Gomber is the lone repeater from the five Chiefs mid-season stars from 2015. Daniel Poncedeleon, Luis Perdomo and Robby Rowland have since been promoted. Oscar Mercado remains with Peoria.

The Cardinals’ last MWL post-season stars were Anthony Garcia and Colin Walsh back in 2012, the organization’s final year in Quad Cities.

For more details on the three honorees’ accomplishments, click here.

Best Week in Midwest League for Thompson

Chiefs outfielder Nick Thompson was named Midwest League Player of the Week for the period of August 17-23. In six games, Thompson collected 11 hits in 24 at-bats for a .458 average including two home runs, six RBI, five runs scored and two doubles. He also drew a walk, finishing the week with a .480 on-base percentage and .792 slugging percentage.

For the season, Thompson is batting .238 with 11 home runs, 17 doubles, three triples and 52 RBI. He leads the Chiefs with 12 outfield assists and in walks with 46.

What’s Next

After suffering their worst loss in franchise history, the Chiefs hope to come back in their final two at Cedar Rapids. The Chiefs open up a three-game set at the Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) this Thursday and then will return home this upcoming Sunday for the first of three against the Kernels.



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