Archive for June, 2008

Chiefs win wild one 8-7

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Peoria, IL – The Peoria Chiefs found themselves trailing by two runs headed into the bottom of the ninth inning but rallied for three runs in the final frame to beat the visiting Kane County Cougars 8-7 at O’Brien Field on Friday evening. The win is the fourth in a row by the Chiefs to bring them to 4-5 in the second half and 34-43 overall.

Trailing 7-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, the Chiefs put together one more rally against Kane County reliever Justin Friend. Brandon Guyer started the inning with a smash single past the third basemen. Cliff Andersen singled back up the box with Guyer running on the play to give the Chiefs runners at the corners with no outs. A sacrifice bunt by Elvis Lara moved Andersen to second, and a wild pitch from Friend scored Guyer to make it 7-6. Down to their final strike, Samson blooped a base hit into right field to tie the game 7-7. Marquez Smith hit a ground ball that looked like it would send the game into extra innings, but the third baseman Justin Frash’s throw got away from first baseman Greg Dowling. Samson, who was running on the play, scored the winning run all the way from first base to give the Chiefs an 8-7 win.
The Chiefs offense picked up right where they left off at the end of the road trip in the first inning against Kane County starter Jamie Richmond. Jonathan Wyatt lined an opposite field single to left to start the frame. Samson followed with a perfectly executed hit-and-run that gave the Chiefs two runners in scoring position with no outs. During Marquez Smith’s at-bat, Richmond fired a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Wyatt to score from third to make it 1-0. Josh Donaldson grounded out to third, but Samson scored to give the Chiefs a 2-0 advantage.
Kane County answered back in the second inning against Peoria starter Robert Hernandez. After retiring the leadoff man, Hernandez surrendered a solo home run beyond the berm in left-center to Jake Smith to cut the Chiefs lead to 2-1. Hernandez gave up a double to Todd Johnson before striking out Shane Keough looking to end the inning.
Peoria got back on the board in an adventurous third inning. With one out Samson hit his second home run of the season that just cleared the wall in left field to extend the Chiefs lead to 3-1. Kane County manager Aaron Nieckula protested the call and was ejected from the game by home plate umpire Justin Sassman. Marquez Smith was the next batter to the plate and was drilled in the arm by a pitch from Richmond that caused both benches to empty but only words were exchanged.
The Cougars got on the board via the long ball again, this time in the fourth inning against Hernandez. Larry Cobb hit a home run to start the inning into the berm in left field to make it a 3-2 game. The next batter, Corey Brown, homered to the Pepsi Picnic Plaza in right-field to tie the contest 3-3.
Kane County homered for the fourth time on the night in the fifth, again off Hernandez. Matt Ray led the inning off with a base hit, and Adam Klein followed with a two-run blast to right-field to put the Cougars in front 5-3. Justin Frash followed with a double into the left field corner to chase Hernandez from the game. Chris Siegfried came out of the bullpen and gave up a double to Cobb that scored Frash to make it a 6-3 Cougars lead. Jake Smith drove in a run with a sacrifice fly that allowed Cobb to score and extend Kane County’s advantage to 7-3.
It was the Chiefs use of the home run ball in the fifth inning to climb back into the game. Lara reached on an infield single to start the inning and quickly stole second base to get into scoring position. Wyatt hit a no-doubt two-run shot off Richmond beyond the Pepsi Picnic Plaza in right field to pull the Chiefs to within 7-5.
Hernandez worked four innings and did not retire a batter in the fifth. He allowed six runs on eight hits, including four home runs. He struck out a pair and did not walk a batter. Siegfried allowed one run in 1 1/3 of work while striking out one and did not issue a walk. Jon Mueller pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen while allowing one hit and striking out a pair. Steve Vento worked two scoreless frames to pick up the win in relief for the Chiefs.

Players of the Game – Nate Samson (SS)- Samson finished the night 4-for-5 including his second home run of the season and scored the game winning run in the bottom of the ninth. The four-hit performance was the second by a Chiefs player this season.

Notes…The first two hitters in the Chiefs line up (Wyatt and Samson) were a combined 7-for-10 with two home runs, five runs scored and four RBI…Tonight marked the 15th come from behind win by the Chiefs this season…The walk off win was the five this season for the Chiefs…Peoria scored two runs in the first inning for the second straight game…The four home runs allowed by Hernandez brings his career total to 16, which moves him into 10th all-time in Chiefs history…The Chiefs pitching staff has allowed a league-high 61 home runs this season…In the last 22 innings Chiefs starting pitchers have walked only three batters…Samson’s home run was the second of his career and first since hitting a walk-off homer against West Michigan on April 16…Peoria has homered 27 times at O’Brien Field this year and 51 times overall which is third best in the league…Over the last 10 days, Luis Bautista is hitting 10-for-31 with five home runs and nine RBI… The two teams will continue their four-game series on Saturday evening at 6:30…Following the contest will be the first of two fireworks shows on the homestand…Saturday night’s spectacular fireworks show will be presented by Heart Technologies…Prior to the fireworks there will be another Pitch-In for Charity presented by Aquatech Pool and Spa and Little Caesar’s Pizza, tennis balls can be purchased for $1 during the game with all proceeds benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois…Peoria will send RH Audy Santana (0-4, 3.72) to the mound against RH Tyson Ross (0-0, 0.00) for Kane County

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Boise Clips Yakima 7-6

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

BOISE, Idaho – Ryan Sontag blooped a safety squeeze over Yakima reliever Bryan Woodall’s glove, allowing Jake Opitz to score from third, lifting the Boise Hawks to a 7-6 win over the Bears before a sellout crowd of 3,485 at Memorial Stadium.

After Yakima struck for five runs in the top of the ninth on five straight singles – tying the game on a Josh Vitters fielding error, allowing Brendan Duffy to score the tying run with two outs, the Hawks rallied. A one-out double by Carlos Perez put the winning run at second, with Opitz running for the catcher. A Drew Rundle single to right put runners at the corners, with Sontag squeezing home the game-winner on Woodall’s first pitch.

Boise jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on Vitters’ first professional homer, a long three-run shot to left center. They cruised through eight innings, thanks to four shutout innings from Marcus Hatley and four quality innings from Jay Jackson in relief, striking out seven.

Ryan Flaherty went 3-for-5 for the Hawks, part of a season-high 15-hit attack, while Andrew Fie had three hits for the Bears.

Game 2 of the series is at 7:15 p.m. tomorrow night with Mark Pawelek meeting Houston Summers.

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Smokies Win in Dramatic Fashion

Friday, June 27th, 2008

 From the Smokies Media Dept:

Sevierville, TN – Down at one point by a score of 7-1, the Tennessee Smokies rallied with seven runs in the last two innings to steal a win from the visiting Carolina Mudcats by the score of 8-7. Most of the crowd of 1,785 was treated to a stunning comeback, thanks largely in part to a grand slam by Kyle Reynolds, which tied the game in the bottom of the eighth.

The picture looked like the same old story and very bleak for the Smokies in the early going, as Carolina struck for five runs in the first three innings. Smokies pitcher Tanner Watson rejoined the starting rotation tonight, and struggled through three innings of work giving up five runs on seven hits. Mark Holliman came on in relief of Watson to pitch four innings, but also gave up a couple of runs in the fifth to stake Carolina to a 7-1 lead.

The Smokies offense remained cold through the seventh innings, as Mudcats starting pitcher Chris Volstad was virtually untouchable through seven innings. Volstad gave up just one run on five hits, and the Smokies looked to suffer another home loss tonight.

The eighth inning was when the tide finally turned in the Smokies favor. With Volstad out of the game, the Smokies battered the Mudcats bullpen. Jacob Marceaux walked both Matt Camp and Tyler Colvin to lead off the inning, with Mudcat killer Matt Craig continuing his hot hitting with a run scoring double to right field. With one out, Nate Spears walked to put runners on first and third. Steve Clevenger then ripped a single to left field to score another run, and the Smokies had pulled to within 7-3.

With the bases loaded and one out, Carolina put relief pitcher Carlos Martinez (1-1) into the game to face Kyle Reynolds. Reynolds proceed to deposit Martinez’s first pitch over the right field wall for a game tying grand slam that brought the remaining crowd to its feet. The Smokies had erased a six run deficit in one inning to tie the game at seven going into the ninth inning.

After Greg Reinhard (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth, the Smokies mounted another rally in the ninth. Camp drew another leadoff walk, and moved to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Colvin. Craig was then intentionally walked, followed by a Doug Deeds groundout to first base, which moved Camp over to third. After a walk issued to Spears to load the bases, Clevenger delivered his biggest hit of the season with a line drive single to right field to score the winning run. With the win, the Smokies improved to 20-32 on the season and won their fourth game in a row.

The Smokies return to action at Smokies Park on Wednesday night for game three against the visiting Carolina Mudcats. Tennessee will send right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija (3-4, 6.14) to the mound to square off against Mudcats right-hander Daniel Barone (0-0, 0.00).

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Previewing the Sweet – Part II

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Scouting Today’s Starting Pitchers

Ryan Dempster nearly notched his second complete game in three starts in his last outing. He went eight-plus innings against the White Sox, giving up one run on 10 hits for the win. The right-hander improved to 9-0 at home, and pitching on the South Side will be as close to home as he can get. Dempster has 10 quality starts this season, and is making the transition from closer to starter look very smooth. His game plan? Attack the hitters, and let his defense do the work.

Jose Contreras got lit up by the Cubs in the fourth inning Sunday. After allowing just one Cubs run to that point, Contreras got touched up for eight more via three home runs, four singles and a walk. It was Contreras’ third-straight loss and by far the worst start of the season for the right-hander. His ERA has risen more than a point since his last win, which came on June 5 against Kansas City. In five career starts against the Cubs, Contreras is 1-3 with a 6.39 ERA.

  • Contreras brings an impressive arsenal highlighted by a hot dancing fastball and a wicked splitter. All his pitches have excellent movement.
  • The great movement on his pitches can be a downside, in that he too often loses command and the strike-zone. Gets rattled, and then gets hit hard.
  • Streaky mid-to-late rotation starter.
  • 0-2, 10.80 in last 10 IP
  • Pitch Usage – Fastball (56%), Other (18%), Slider (16%), Changeup (6%), Curveball (4%)
All Scouting Info taken from,, and

News & Notes

  • Kevin Kreier pitched 6.0 scoreless innings
  • Ryan Flaherty hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Ryan Keedy was 3-for-3
  • Luis Bautista hit 2 extra-base hits
  • Micah Hoffpauir hit 2 extra-base hits



Organizational Roundup

(AAA) – Iowa Cubs – Lost vs. Albuquerque (6-9)

(AA) – Tennessee Smokies – Won vs. West Tenn (11-5)

(High A) – Daytona Cubs – No Game

(A) – Peoria Chiefs – Won vs. Burlington (10-3)

(SS) – Boise Hawks – Won vs. Everett (10-1)

(RK) – Arizona Cubs – Lost vs. Brewers (7-11)

(RK) – Dominican Summer League Cubs – Lost vs. Reds (3-6)

View the full organizational report courtesy of First Inning here.

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I'm Done With Jason Marquis

Friday, June 27th, 2008

First Star – Aubrey Huff (.215)

Second Star – Radhames Liz (.148)

Third Star – Kevin Millar (.079)

Turd of the Game – Jason Marquis (-.331)


I take it back. I take back all of the nice things I said about Jason Marquis. Shame on me for even thinking that he had turned things around and figured it out. Shame on you for listening and, God forbid, believing any of that nonsense I spat out. I feel so ashamed. I want to crawl under a rock and die. Well, maybe not that bad, but I do feel stupid for even suggesting it. I’m done with Jason Marquis. The problem then becomes what do we do with him. Let’s be honest, when we look at the options.

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Trade Him – Good luck with that. The time to trade him is when his stock is at the highest, but at the same time, is it out of the question to think there would be some, albeit mild, interest in him for the stretch run? Granted we probably wouldn’t get the type of returns on him that we’d like, but at this time the heck with the cheese, let me out of the trap. With that being said, who would want him?

  • New York Yankees – With Wang going down and the fact that they’re trying out guys like Sidney Ponson, it’s not out of the question to think they would be willing to take a gamble on him.
  • Minnesota Twins – They’ve been hotter than hell itself lately, winning night straight. Quick, name their rotation. You can’t. It’s Francisco Liriano and who? Boof Bonser? Seriously? Why not Marquis?
  • Florida Marlins – No one could have imagined that they would be where they are. I know this one seems far fetched, but they wanted Jacque Jones last year so why not? They come into today’s action with an ERA over 5.00 for the starting rotation. They could use the help.

Place Him on Waivers – This one is a little extreme, but if it comes down to the fact that you need to replace him the rotation it may come down to that. What’s going to happen when Zambrano comes back? There’s not a need to stick with Marquis over a younger, higher ceiling player in Sean Marshall. That seems to indicate to me that we’ve got to start shopping Marquis actively before Zambrano comes back or be forced to move on Marshall. I’d really like to see Marshall make his last start or two memorable and give Hendry something to think about.

Outright Release / Demotion to AAA – This one isn’t feasible, but an option. He’s out of minor league options, so he would not only have to clear waivers, but also accept a demotion as well. I think we’ve seen in Jason’s past that he’s not about that option so that would lead to his outright release. If it comes down to clearing dead weight, it may need to come down to that. I just have a hard time seeing the Cubs eat the contract money left on his deal. Essentially they would need to eat about $12 million. That’s not happening.

If we don’t trade Marquis, even for peanuts, I really think we’re stuck with him and need to do something to get him to be successful. I’m not sure what that is, but something needs to be done.

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