May 2011

Rainy Sunday

It rained in the early morning hours and they cancelled BP and field work cause the tarp was on the field. Instead of coming over at 10:30 we pushed the bus back to 11:30 and got here as they were taking the tarp off the field and starting to get to work on a few problem areas, mostly in foul territory. Looks like we should be clear for today’s game but there is a 40% chance of rain later in the afternoon.

This team is extremely loose for having lost 2 games in a row on the road trip and even though we are 2-9 on the road since sweeping Clinton April 25-27, I really like the makeup of this team mentally. They don’t get down on themselves and you can sense the confidence, even on the bus.

As we start play on this final Sunday in May which is game #50, the Chiefs are in the wild card spot and here is what the standings look like:

Burlington       36-14  .720   —
Peoria             27-22 .551  8.5
Wisconsin       26-23  .531  9.5
Cedar Rapids 25-24 .510 10.5
Quad Cities     25-24 .510 10.5

Beloit and Kane County are both 13.5 back and Clinton cannot catch Burlington as they are 22 back with 20 to play. The top 2 teams in the first half, which ends June 19, make the playoffs and get home field for the 1st round. These next two games are huge for tiebreaking purposes as the Chiefs are 2-4 against Cedar Rapids this season and need to win both so the Kernels don’t take the tiebreaker over us. We are 3-2 against Wisconsin with 4 left to play, all at home and 3-3 against Quad Cities with three left to play, all on the road.Today Burlington hosts Quad Cities and Wisconsin is at Kane County

Also as we start play today, Greg Rohan leads the MWL in batting average at .354 while teammate Matt Szczur is 3rd at .344. Rohan is also 5th in RBI with 33, 4th in hits with 51 and Szczur is 5th in on-base percentage at .410. Pitching wise Eric Jokisch is 2nd in wins with 6, 1st in win percentage at 1.000 and Austin Kirk is 9th in ERA at 2.06, 3rd in WHIP at 0.84 and 3rd in opponents batting average at .180. The Chiefs are 1st in the MWL in team batting at .265 and 2nd in team ERA at 3.19

Rotation for this series:
Sunday 2:05: LH Graham Hicks vs. CR LH Max Russell
Monday 2:05: LH Cam Greathouse vs. CR RH Heath Nichols

Su-Min Jung will piggyback Hicks on Sunday.

May 29 Lineup
Szczur 8
LePage 4
Rohan 5
Cuneo 3
Gibbs 2
Soto 6
Giansanti 9
Fitzgerald DH
Na 7
Hicks LHP followed bu Jung RHP

Here are today’s game notes: May29GameNotes

And as always listen live at 1:50 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Late Start to a Saturday

Tough 2-0 loss last night for the Chiefs to start this roadtrip. Found out yesterday that we didn’t get to be on the field pregame today for batting practice or infield because of something called Orchestra Iowa which was scheduled to start at 4 pm. So we came over at 4 pm only to find out that when they put the huge orchestra trailer on the infield that the infield was still wet so now they will need a lot more post-concert work to get the field ready and we aren’t expecting to start the game until 7:20 pm at the earliest and maybe not til 7:30. Wish we had stayed at the hotel a little longer. The Breakfast Club was on Encore.

In the meantime we are listening to an orchestra with 4 lead singers performing mostly hits from Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago and ELO. Which is great if you like those 3 bands, Or Orchestra music. They are actually pretty good and there are about a thousand people here.

The Orchestra trailer at 2nd base

Dallas Beeler starts tonight for the Chiefs against Brian Diemer.

Rotation for this series:
Sunday 2:05: LH Graham Hicks vs. CR LH Max Russell
Monday 2:05: LH Cam Greathouse vs. CR RH Heath Nichols

Su-Min Jung will piggyback Hicks on Sunday.

May 28 Lineup
Szczur 8
Soto 4
Rohan 5
Jones DH
Cuneo 3
Giansanti 9
Burruel 2
Fitzgerald 7
Alcantara 6
Beeler 1

Here are today’s game notes: May28GameNotes

And as always listen live at 7:05 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Hello Road Trip

Back on the road and back on the blog, my apologies for neglecting the blogosphere the last week but the Chiefs were 7-3 on the last homestand after a couple of wins yesterday the included a handful of firsts: First career win for Hayden Simpson, first career save for Eric Jokish, first career save for Robinson Lopez and first doubleheader home sweep of the year.

The Tuesday rain delay also included some tarp sliding and jousting by the great upstairs interns (make sure you check out the other videos on the youtube page too cause Kristin, Cory and Curtis do a hell of  a job getting those put together.

The 7-1 stretch to close the homestand has the Chiefs in the wild card spot and one game up on Wisconsin. This 10 game roadtrip takes us over 1100 miles to Cedar Rapids,  Lansing and Great Lakes. The next home game, after an off day, is on Tuesday June 7.

  • In case you didn’t notice, Quad Cities hosted Kane County at St. Louis’s Busch Stadium last night with $10 GA tickets and half price concessions. KC won in front of 1,676 fans. Here’s what part of the seats looked like from the QC game story.
  • As a point of reference, we drew 32,103 fans at Wrigley Field in July 2008 and 8,994 last July. We also played in front of 17,880 in April 2009 against Wisconsin at Miller Park in Milwaukee
  • Don’t forget to get your tickets for our Miller Park game this year on June 29. All tickets are $10
  • Former Chiefs reliever Ryan Buchter was traded to Atlanta for P Rodrigo Lopez
  • Former Chiefs hurler Justin Berg was sent back from Chicago to Iowa to make room for Lopez on the Cubs 25 man roster
  • The movie of choice today at 9:30 am departure was  I Am Number Four brought by our athletic trainer AJ Larson. I half watched it and half read a book. When it was over, someone from the back asked “What’s Next?” to which I quickly replied, “Don’t we have to watch Number Five next?” AJ didn’t appreciate my humor and the next movie was The Mechanic but we only got about a half hour into it before arriving at the hotel.
  • Big thanks to the interns (Jeremy, Brittlynn & Kristin) who gave me some new music for the roadtrip so that i could finally enter 2011′s music scene. Some good stuff there (some bad stuff too) and I only got about halfway through the playlist!

Rotation for this series:
Tonight 6:35: LH Austin Kirk vs. CR RH Jutin LaTempa
Saturday 7:05: RH Dallas Beeler vs. CR RH Brian Diemer
Sunday 2:05: LH Graham Hicks vs. CR LH Max Russell
Monday 2:05: LH Cam Greathouse vs. CR RH Heath Nichols

Su-Min Jung will piggyback Hicks on Sunday.

May 27 Lineup
Szczur 8
LePage 4
Rohan DH
Jones 3
Gibbs 2
Soto 6
Giansanti 9
Na 7
Alcantara 5
Kirk 1

Here are today’s game notes: May27GameNotes

And as always listen live at 6:20 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Randy Wells vs. Brian Tallet

What a beautiful day for baseball as it is 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Its Cubs – Cardinals rivalry Midwest League style and both teams are starting a MLB pitcher. We knew about Randy Wells from Friday but word came in this morning that Cardinals reliever Brian Tallet would start and throw 30 pitches for the River Bandits. Pretty cool setup with MLB guys on both side of the diamond, which has never happened before on the mound in Chiefs history

May 17 Lineup
LePage 4
Soto 6
Cuneo 3
Jones DH
Gibbs 2
Borges 9
Alcantara 5
Giansanti 7
Na 8
Wells RHP followed by Kirk LHP

Ryan Cuneo and Kyung-Min Na are new as Rubi Silva went up to Daytona (he homered today) and Jeff Antigua went down. Matt Szczur is back, and took BP,  but not in the lineup as DJ Fitzgerald went on the DL (hamstring). Greg Rohan was originally in the lineup but he was hit and injured in batting practice causing a shuffle to the lineup

Today’s Game Notes: May17GameNotes

And as always listen live at 6:15 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Sunday Lineup & Notes

Its still cold , rainy and windy as the Chiefs look for their first win of the series. We have lost five straight road games and 7 of 8 since sweeping Clinton April 25-27.

About 10 minutes ago Kane County switched starting pitchers on us…well they switched on Friday they just didn’t share that information with us until 10 minutes ago so the pitcher in the Game Notes is wrong and all my prep work on Sugar Ray Marimon is useless. We now face a RH named Yordano Ventura who I know nothing about.

Randy Wells will make a rehab start for us on Tuesday night against Quad Cities! The game starts at 6:30 and more information is Here. He will be followed after 50-55 pitches by LH Austin Kirk who was the original starter for Tuesday.

Monday May 16 is a league wide off day, our first since April 24 which was Easter.

May 15 Lineup
LePage 4
Silva 8
Rohan 5
Jones 3
Soto DH
Burruel 2
Alcantara 6
Borges 9
Giansanti 7
Simpson RHP followed by Jokisch LHP

Fitzgerald left with a tight hamstring last night in the 6th inning on Friday and is not available today except in an emergency. He is officially day-to-day.

Here are today’s game notes: May15GameNoteswhich includes our rotation for the Quad Cities series but nothing from the Bandits who have yet to let us know who will be pitching in any of the three games.

And as always listen live at 12:45 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Saturday Lineup & Notes

A cold and overcast day again in Kane County as we try to bounce back from being shutout for the first time this season. The Chiefs did not have a hit until the 6th inning last night and hopefully can put that behind them for today’s matchup. Peoria has not lost consecutive games since being swept in Burlington May 1-3 and we are 10-5 this season when following a loss.

Cam Greathouse is on the hill for his 7th start of the season and as you can see from his game notes page, Cam is having a great May. In two starts this month, Greathouse is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA. He has 13.1 straight scoreless dating back to April 29 in Beloit and has only allowed three hits total in his two May starts. Greathouse has 13 strikeouts in those two starts and the only blemish is eight walks in his last 13 innings, including a career-high five on Monday against this Kane County team.

Randy Wells will make a rehab start for us on Tuesday night against Quad Cities! The game starts at 6:30 and more information is Here. He will be followed after 50-55 pitches by LH Austin Kirk who was the original starter for Tuesday.

Good news on the Hayden Simpson front with Casey telling me this morning that not only will Hayden start tomorrow on his regular rest but that he will not have to come down from his 75 pitch count. Simpson left his Tuesday night start at home against Burlington with a tight shoulder after just 22 pitches and one inning. Eric Jokisch will follow Simpson on Sunday afternoon.

Because of the Wells rehab in the same week that we take Dallas Beeler and Graham Hicks off the DL, we will have piggyback tandems in four straight games. Simpson/Jokisch here on Sunday, Wells/Kirk on Tuesday against Quad Cities, Beeler/Robinson Lopez on Wednesday and Hicks/Su-Min Jung on Thursday. Monday May 16 is a league wide off day, our first since April 24 which was Easter.

May 13 Lineup
LePage 4
Silva 8
Rohan 5
Jones 3
Gibbs 2
Soto 6
Alcantara DH
Borges 9
Giansanti 7
Greahoutse LHP

Fitzgerald left with a tight hamstring last night in the 6th inning and is not available today except in an emergency. He is officially day-to-day.

Here are today’s game notes: May14GameNotes which include the pitching matchups for the series.

And as always listen live at 5:45 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Busy start to the weekend

Its kinda weird to be on the road again after a 9-game homestand and really 13 days in our own beds cause of the commuters to Burlington. Still in the state of Illinois though and it always seems to rain in Kane County. But I walked over to Portillo’s (look it up, its freaking awesome) for some Beef/Sausage Combo and there is NO better way to start the weekend. Everyone at the hotel, in Portillos and in the Walgreen’s i popped into is talking about 2 things. How did the weather go from 88 yesterday to 60s and tornado warnings today. And can the Bulls beat the Heat in Game 1 at the United Center on Sunday. My answers: Its Illinois. And of course.

So we started the day by activating Graham Hicks from the DL and he will start tonight. Hicks, much like Dallas Beeler last night, will throw 40ish pitches and then be followed by Su-Min Jung. To make room on the roster, Matt Szczur was placed on the temporarily inactive list as he flew out this morning to Philadelphia to attend Villanova University’s Graduation ceremonies this weekend. He will miss the series leaving us with 14 pitchers and 11 position players for these three games. With one of the two backups a catcher, it virtually guarantees that Casey Kopitzke will keep the pinch running and pinch hitting to a minimum and hope for no injuries or sickness.

We were about an hour out of Peoria when my boss and our team President Rocky Vonachen (who is on the road to Kentucky for his middle daughter Abby’s college graduation) called to tell me that Randy Wells will make a rehab start for us on Tuesday night against Quad Cities! The game starts at 6:30 and more information is Here. Although Randy has not pitched for us, he did pitch at O’Brien Field with Lansing in 2004 and has been on the last couple of Cubs Caravan’s in January. He has always been great to talk to and has a lot of fun interacting with our staff and the fans at those events.

Its always fun to have the MLB guys around on rehab starts even though they are there to get better and head back to Chicago quickly but its nice for the fans and for our players to be around them and see how they do their job and for the fans to watch them up close for MiLB prices and in our atmosphere. Its also fun for the staff and raises the entire atmosphere in the ballpark.

May 13 Lineup
LePage 4
Silva 8
Rohan 3
Jones DH
Gibbs 2
Soto 6
Alcantara 5
Borges 9
Fitzgerald 7
Hicks LHP followed by Jung RHP

Here are today’s game notes: May13GameNotes which include the pitching matchups for the series.

And as always listen live at 6:40 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Tuesday vs. Bees

Its been a hectic couple of days alternating day games and night games so my apologies for neglecting the blog. Today the Chiefs welcome in Burlington a team that has beat us 6 times this season but only outscored us by 7 runs in 7 games. All three wins last week in the Bees sweep were 1 run wins and two of them were in the last at-bat.

Its nice to get them on our turf especially the way the Chiefs are playing this homestand at 5-1 with no more than one run allowed in any of the wins, or any of the 9-inning games for that matter. The Chiefs have a 1.59 ERA in May which leads the Midwest League.

Hoping to have Greg Rohan back in the lineup tomorrow if everything goes well today with him being a full participant in batting practice, early work and infield. Dallas Beeler and Graham Hicks are also both on the mend so we could have roster moves by the end of the week to activate both pitchers from the DL.

The rotation is set up as follows against Burlington, and expect some long games since we are now facing the unproven but still in effect Moneyball pitch taking, game prolonging theory of baseball that is the Oakland A’s system. (PS – all three games against Kane County took less than 2 hr and 20 minutes while the two 9 inning games against Clinton on this homestand were 2:02 and 2:29)

Tuesday May 10 vs. Burlington RH Hayden Simpson (0-1, 4.15)  vs.    RH A.J. Griffin (3-0, 2.04)   6:30 PM
Wednesday May 11 vs. Burlington      LH Austin Kirk (2-1, 1.86)  vs.    RH Josh Bowman (4-0, 3.34)   6:30 PM
Thursday May 12 vs. Burlington  RH Robinson Lopez (2-0, 4.03)  vs.    RH Tyler Vail (0-0, 2.08)   6:30 PM

May 10 Lineup
Szczur cf
LePage 2b
Silva rf
Jones 1b
Gibbs c
Soto 3b
Alcantara ss
Fitzgerald dh
Giansanti lf
Simpson rhp followed by Jokisch lhp

Wednesday Game Notes: May10GameNotes

And as always listen live at 6:10 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Day Baseball

Morning! Time for baseball in Peoria as the Chiefs go for their second sweep of Clinton this season and the first of three 11:00 am games in May. Bradley plays SIU tonight so we have the early game this morning and will also play at 11 am on Monday and May 19.

Not a lot of news for today since its early and there are a lot of kids at the ballpark.

May 6 Lineup
Szczur rf
Soto 2b
Silva cf
Jones 1b
Borges dh
Burruel c
Alcantara ss
Fitzgerald lf
Giansanti 3b
Kirk lhp

Friday Game Notes: May6GameNotes

And as always listen live at 10:45 am. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

Cinco de Mayo Game Notes

What a great start to the Homestand last night: A shutout win, a combined 1-hitter by Cam Greathouse/Yohan Gonzalez and the 2nd Triple Play in O’Brien Field history. Oh and the game lasted just 2 hours and 2 minutes.

It was our first 1-hitter since May 1, 2005 when three pitchers kept Kane County without a hit until a 9th inning double in a 1-0 win at home. We have tossed two no-hitters since then, both at home, but no 1-hitters.

As for triple plays, I have now called four as the Chiefs radio broadcaster since 2003. The first one I called was in Lansing on Memorial Day 2003 (May 26) in a game we eventually lost on a walk-off homer 7-6. It was a linedrive off the pitcher’s (Miguel Martinez) glove that went to second base where Mike McCoy recorded two outs before throwing to first for the final out.

On July 25, 2005 the Chiefs turned the first Triple Play in O’Brien Field history against Dayton. Jesse Schmidt made a diving catch in deep right-center and both runners were past second base. Schmidt got it in to the cutoff man Eric Patterson who flipped to Joe Simokaitis at second and then onto first to Drew Larsen.

The last Triple Play was April 19, 2007 in Great Lakes we finished the game with a triple play.r.ground ball to third in game 2 of a double header. Josh Lansford stepped on third, threw to Matt Camp at second and then onto DJ Lewis at first.

May 5 Lineup
LePage 2b
Soto dh
Silva cf
Jones 1b
Gibbs c
Borges rf
Alcantara ss
Fitzgerald lf
Giansanti 3b
Simpson rhp followed by Jokisch lhp

Wednesday Game Notes: May5GameNotes

And as always listen live at 6:10 pm. Follow along on Twitter and Facebook

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