2011: A Chiefs Odyssey – Kevin’s Number 10.
Funny you should mention Garrett Mock’s Jeff Frazier impersonation, JB, as it happened just a day before the next event on this list. (And for the record, I think Frazier would be none too pleased.)
#10 Swept Away
Sometimes, the weather does crazy things. There are tornadoes and thunderstorms and earthquakes and sometimes even hurricanes. Yes, hurricanes. We had one of those hurricanes this year – a particularly nasty one named Irene. And just before the weekend of August 27 and 28, Irene was ready to unleash a nasty barrage of wind and rain on the East Coast. This led to plenty of East Coast teams postponing, or, in the words of Pawtucket Red Sox broadcaster Steve Hyder, “pre-poning” their games. The Mets and Yankees did so. The Phillies and Red Sox followed suit. So did the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. But in the eye of the storm, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs of Allentown, Pennsylvania, stood pat, resilient in the face of Mother Nature.
And it wasn’t until the Chiefs were two hours into a three-hour plus bus ride on Sunday the 28th that the team found out – wait for it – that Sunday’s game had been, yes, postponed. The power outages and fallen trees in the area had restricted travel, and as the old saying goes, “safety first.” Of course, as you can imagine, the Chiefs were none too pleased about traveling on a bus on into a hurricane on what would otherwise have been a day off at home. So Syracuse, ten games under .500, took its frustrations out on the ball field.
While the Chiefs had nothing to play before in terms of a postseason spot, the IronPigs certainly did. Lehigh Valley led Gwinnett in the wild card by 1.5 games going into a Monday doubleheader between the Chiefs and IronPigs. The worst case scenario for the swine? Losing both games and having Gwinnett win one. The G-Braves held up their end of the bargain with a 2-1 win over Durham. And the Chiefs followed suit in impressive fashion.
In Game One, Tommy Milone closed out his season in the same place it began, and with similar results. Milone didn’t allow a base runner until the fifth, and was backed by some early offense from Roger Bernadina.
Matt Antonelli would slam a two-run bomb in the fifth inning, putting Syracuse on top 4-0. Milone then escaped a bases-loaded jam, and Atahualpa Severino did the rest with two shutout innings, securing a Syracuse Game One victory. Lehigh Valley’s lead, after Gwinnett finished off a win, was just a perilous half-game.
It got worse for the IronPigs in the nightcap. Bernadina led off the game with a lazy fly to left field, where Domonic Brown jogged in, stopped, camped underneath the baseball, and…oh…dropped it. After a Steve Lombardozzi single, Bass tried to pick off Lombardozzi and…oh…threw it away. The Chiefs led 1-0 on the second error of the inning. With two outs, an RBI single from Tug Hulett and two-run double from Corey Brown put Syracuse ahead 4-0.
The score would stay right there. Right-hander Brad Peacock tossed five sterling shutout innings, allowing just five hits and one walk while striking out seven, and the Chiefs claimed their second 4-0 victory of the day. Syracuse – with nothing to play for – had swept the IronPigs and knocked Lehigh Valley into a tie for the wild card.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, the doubleheader also marked the final pitching performances in Syracuse for both Milone and Peacock. They’ve since each earned their first major league wins with the Nationals.
Jason, take us to Revolution #9…