August 2013

Chiefs Playoff Race Update…Monday Edition

There are six teams in the 2nd half playoff race for two spots. Here is a schedule matrix for what each team has left:

a 12 a 14-16 a 17-20 a 21-23 a 24-27 a 28-30 a 31-s2 H R
Burlington v. Bel v. KC at QC at Peo v. QC at Bel v. Wis 11 10
Clinton v. Peo v. QC at KC v. Wis at Bel at Peo v. CR 10 11
Kane County v. CR at Bur v. Cli v Bel at Wis at CR v. Peo 11 10
Peoria at Cli at Wis v. CR v. BUR at CR v. CLI at KC 10 11
Quad Cities v. Wis at Cli v. Bur v. CR at Bur at Wis v. Bel 11 10
Wisconsin at QC v. Peo at Bel at Cli v. KC v. QC at Bur 10 11

And here are the standings heading into Monday’s game.

W L Pct GB  Wild Card Games Left
Quad Cities 30 18 0.625  —  — 21
Peoria 25 24 0.510 5.5  — 21
Clinton 23 26 0.469 7.5 2 21
Wisconsin 21 28 0.428 9.5 4 21
Burlington 19 30 0.387 11.5 6 21
Kane County 17 31 0.354 13.0 7.5 21

Quad Cities and Kane County had a game rained out that will NOT be made up. The Chiefs hold the tiebreaker over Quad Cities and Wisconsin while currently leading the season series against Burlington and Kane County but trailing against Clinton.

The Chiefs do have 8 games against Cedar Rapids, the best record in the West all season, but the other 13 games left are against teams behind Peoria in the standings. The Chiefs are 7-5 against Cedar Rapids in 2013, 2-1 at home and 5-4 in Iowa.

We all know the St. Louis Cardinals are in the National League playoff race and currently lead the Wild Card race by 7.5 games (+2 on Cincinnati for the top spot). But in case you haven’t looked at all Minor League Standings, check this out:

Memphis Redbirds – AAA Pacific Coast League – 2nd place, 1 game back
Springfield Cardinals – AA Texas League – In a 3-way tie for 1st place
Palm Beach Cardinals – A+ Florida State League – Tied for 1st place
State College Spikes – SS NY-Penn League – 2nd place, 2 games back, Lead Wild Card
Johnson City Cardinals – Rookie Ball Appalachian League – 3rd place
GCL Cardinals – Rookie Gulf Coast League – 2nd place

All of the Cardinals affiliates are in a top 3 spot, though Johnson City and GCL Cardinals have long shots to make the playoffs as they are both at least seven games back. It is very possible that come September, the Cardinals will have multiple MiLB teams in the post-season and could realistically have as many as five along with the parent club. It is going to be a fun three weeks following all these races!

Tonight is a big game for the Chiefs finishing the series in Clinton. Peoria has done well in 2013 in the rubber match of a 3-game series going 6-2 (3-2 on the road). Tune in online or through the smartphone Apps and TuneIn Radio as we go on the air at 6:45. As always you can follow on twitter as well. Have a great Monday!

Patrick Wisdom Moves Up

By Ryan Piers, Broadcasting Assistant

After winning three-of-four games against Burlington, the Chiefs welcome in Wisconsin for a three-game series before beginning a six-game road trip at Clinton. They enter this crucial stretch of their season without one of their main run producers, Patrick Wisdom, who was called up to Palm Beach Wednesday.

Wisdom’s jump to High-A is one that many expected the former first round pick to make at some point this season. Even with his absence to be expected, Wisdom will certainly be missed at third base and in the middle of the Chiefs order. He served as one of the Chiefs main power sources during his time in Peoria, blasting 13 home runs and driving in 62. Wisdom finished second on the team in both categories behind second baseman Jacob Wilson, who was promoted to Palm Beach on July 31.

The recent loss of both Wisdom and Wilson leaves the Chiefs lineup a bit sparse for power. The two combined to belt 28 out of the teams 53 homers this season, as well as drive in 30 percent of the team’s runs. Apart from being important run producers, Wisdom and Wilson were patient hitters combining for 82 walks during their stint with the Chiefs

Jeremy Schaffer becomes the de facto leader in long balls with nine, with two of them coming in game three in their recent series against Burlington. The rest of the current roster has combined for eight. That may not seem like much, but it’s important to remember that this Chiefs team is not built on a home-run happy offense. Their strengths are in their pitching and defense. The staff is in the top three in the Midwest League in earned runs, and the Chiefs have committed the least amount of errors in the league.

There is also a platoon of players who can fill in for both Wisdom and Wilson in the infield. Defensively stellar SS Ildemaro Vargas is very serviceable at third and the newly added Trevor Martin- who is batting .556 in nine games- is a natural at the hot corner. Another newcomer, Bruce Caldwell, has a fair amount of pop and plays second while Breyvic Valera is versatile enough to fill in at either position. Juan Herrera, who made his Chiefs debut on Tuesday, can help compensate for the team’s decrease in power.

Although their absence is palpable, the loss off Wisdom and Wilson isn’t a crushing blow to the offense and ultimately the team’s playoff chances. They are a squad built on much more than home runs, and have plenty of players ready to step up.

Our video team of Ryan, Kristin, Andrew and Aaron produced this compilation of Wisdom’s highlights at Dozer Park this season, accompanied by Nathan Baliva’s radio calls. All the best to Patrick as he plays in Palm Beach and makes his way through the Cardinals organization.