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Archive for September, 2011

Game Preview: White Sox vs. Tigers

Posted by sharris2929 on September 29, 2011

Red Sox(5) Vs. Tigers(2)

 Over the Hill League Playoffs

Thursday, September 29th

7 pm

A pair of friendly rivals will lock horns tonight in the Over the Hill league playoffs, as the Tigers will take on the White Sox at 7 pm.  What’s on the line?  The chance to live another day, as the winner advances another step closer to a title, and the loser goes home. 

The Tigers come off an impressive 11-1 win on Sunday over the Cardinals, who were the first team eliminated in the tournament.  The Tigers offense bounced back impressively after slumping noticeably over the previous few weeks.  Dave Purkey and Mike Alleva combined to totally shut down the Cardinals offense, allowing only 1 run in the win.  It was one of the better performances of the year by the Tigers, and certainly their best since early August.

The White Sox won their opening round playoff game, defeating the Cubs 4-2.  That matched them up against the regular season champion Brewers, who beat them 7-3 back on September 20th.  The Sox have been idle since then, making them the more rested team.

The Tigers and White Sox met 3 times in the regular season, with the Tigers winning 2 of the 3 matchups.   In their first meeting, the Tigers won an exciting 12-11 contest in walkoff fashion back in July.  Their second meeting again required late inning heroics, as again the Tigers won a walkoff affair 3-2.  The White Sox salvaged the final season meeting, beating the Tigers 9-6 on September 6th at the Steelyard. 

So who has the edge tonight?  Let’s break this one down:

  • Regular Season Record:  White Sox:  8-10.  Tigers:  13-5.  Advantage:  Tigers
  • Home team record in head to head matchups:  3-0.  Tigers are the home team tonight.  Advantage:  Tigers
  • The Tigers have many more mustaches than the White Sox, especially given the increased number of mustache wearers at Sunday’s game.  Advantage:  Tigers
  • Health:  the Tigers come in to today’s game with several key injuries.  Dan Titus is still nursing a broken thumb, and Joe Anaya is still very limited with his calf tear.  The White Sox will presumably be the healthier team, especially coming off of a 9 day layoff.  Advantage:  White Sox
  • Momentum:   The Tigers are coming off of a statement win, while the White Sox lost to the league’s best team.  Advantage:  Tigers

Our advanced metrics indicate a clear cut Tiger victory, but that’s why we play the game on the field.  The White Sox are a very dangerous team, and if the Tigers don’t come out and play their best game, their season could be coming to an abrupt halt.

Come on down to the Sportsplex at 7 pm tonight to see how it goes down.





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Another Updated Bracket

Posted by sharris2929 on September 28, 2011

Last night’s game was rained out, so here is the newly updated tournament bracket.  Our next game is still Thursday at 7 pm.  Click the link below to see the bracket.


Updated Bracket

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Playoff Schedule

Posted by sharris2929 on September 27, 2011

updated bracket

Click the link above to see the updated tournament bracket. 

As you can see, the road to the title can get quite busy for the Tigers this week.  As long as we keep winning, we keep playing.  If we play the way we played on Sunday, we should have quite a few games in the next two weeks.  Here our are scheduled and potential upcoming games:

Thursday, September 29th, 7 pm:  vs. White Sox

Saturday, October 1st, 10 am:  vs. winner of Cubs vs. Red Sox

Sunday, October 2nd, 7 pm:  vs. loser of Brewers vs. Outlaws

Tuesday, October 4th, 7 pm:  vs. winner of Brewers vs. Outlaws

Thursday, October 6th, 7 pm:  vs. winner of Brewers vs. Outlaws


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Tigers 11 Cardinals 1

Posted by sharris2929 on September 26, 2011

Now this is the Tigers team we remember!

The offense got it going, the pitching was spectacular, and the defense got the job done.  When the Tigers put it all together like this, a result like yesterday’s 11-1 triumph over the Cardinals is exactly what’s expected. 

The big story was the fantastic pitching performance by Dave Purkey.  It was undoubtedly his best performance of the year, holding the Cardinals scoreless on just 2 hits in his 4 innings of work, striking out six.  He blew his fastball past the Cardinals all afternoon, and they were unable to get anything going.  Mike Alleva picked up the save, pitching 3 tough innings of relief, surrendering just one lone run. 

With the Cardinals held to one run, the pressure was off the offense.  But with the pressure off, the Tigers bats relaxed and pounded in 11 runs.  Big hit came up and down the lineup.  Ryan “The Clutch Dutchman” Lytle returned to the lineup and went 3-3 with 4 RBI.  It was an otherwise balanced offensive attack, with seemingly everyone in the line up joining in. 

The Positives

  • Purkey and Alleva took the bats out of the collective hands of the Cardinals.  Their offense was completely taken out of the game, and they were never even close to getting anything going.  Probably the best pitching of the year start to finish in a game for the Tigers. 
  • Hits hits hits.  Runs runs runs.  Agressive, smart baserunning.  An absolute team effort offensively. 
  • Spectacular defense, too.  Dave Hayse made an amazing sliding catch in foul territory, and the infield turned another double play.  Hard for a team to score when they can’t hit the pitching and the defense doesn’t give them any free ones. 
  • All around Tiger-like performance.  A true return to form for a team that’s been missing a spark for a while.

The Negatives

  • I can’t think of any. 

What’s Next

The Tigers take on the White Sox on Thursday night at 7 pm, hoping for another performance just like this.


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Game Preview: Cardinals vs. Tigers

Posted by sharris2929 on September 25, 2011

Cardinals vs. Tigers

Sunday, September 25th

4:00 pm

Following a first round upset loss to the Cardinals. the Tigers find themselves with their backs against the wall on Sunday afternoon as they take on the Cardinals.  The winner moves on in the losers’ bracket, while the loser finds themselves looking ahead to 2012.

Dave Purkey takes the hill for the Tigers today, looking to continue off the strong performance he had in his last start.  Purkey allowed just 2 runs in 4 innings against the Red Sox back on September 15th. 

The Tigers need to somehow find a way to regain their mojo they had during the regular season, in which they put together a 9 game win streak en route to a strong second place finish.  The Tigers of the past few games don’t really resemble that team, as their offense and defense have taken a turn south.  If they don’t show strong improvement in those areas, the Tigers might be left wondering what might have been.

The Tigers again will be without Dan Titus behind the plate, as his broken thumb will keep him from behind the plate.  He will still be able to play the field and bat, however.  Scott Harris and Dave Hayse will fill in behind the plate.  The Tigers should be bolstered by the return of Juan Sanchez, Mike Estrada, Ryan Lytle, and Mike Alleva, who all missed yesterday’s game.

The Tigers and Cardinals met three times during the regular season, with the Tigers winning by the scores of 3-2, 12-7, and 6-0.


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Red Sox 9 Tigers 5

Posted by sharris2929 on September 25, 2011

The postseason finally began for the Tigers on Saturday.  But judging by the way they played, someone might have forgotten to tell them that. 

The Tigers came out flat, and the Red Sox jumped out to an early 6-1 lead off of Tigers starter Scott Harris.  Harris was hurt early by poor defense, but the Red Sox hit him hard too. 

In the late innings, when the Tigers usually respond to being down and stage a furious comeback, the Red Sox held them at bay and added to their lead.  When the dust settled, the Red Sox walked away with the 9-5 win and advance on to take on the Outlaws.  The Tigers move to the losers’ bracket to take on the Cardinals.

It was an unusal Tigers lineup, to say the least.  Due to a flag football injury, Dan Titus was unable to catch.  Dave Hayse started behind the plate and did a great job filling in.  Harris finished out the last three innings behind the dish.  The Tigers were also missing usual contributors Juan Sanchez, Mike Estrada, Ryan Lytle, and Mike Alleva. 

The Positives

  • Not too many to think of here.  Titus still managed to be a force at the plate, driving in a key run late. 

The Negatives

  • If the Tigers want to make noise in the losers’ bracket, the offense needs to come back to life.  As they have been the past few weeks, the formerly fearsome Tigers’ hitters have been quiet.
  • The defense was inconsistent.
  • Several baserunning errors cost the Tigers some additional run scoring opportunities
  • Harris was hit hard by a team he’d already shut down earlier this season.  His location and command were nowhere to be found.

What’s Next

The Tigers face the Cardinals at 4 pm today with the season on the line. 





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Game Preview–Red Sox vs. Tigers

Posted by sharris2929 on September 24, 2011

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Revised Playoff Schedule

Posted by sharris2929 on September 19, 2011

Courtesy of our own Dan “Moneyball” Titus, here is the league playoff schedule, revised with yesterday’s rainouts. 


Tournament Bracket – OTH

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Game Preview: Red Sox vs. Tigers

Posted by sharris2929 on September 17, 2011

Red Sox(7) Vs. Tigers(2)

Round 1, Over the Hill League Playoffs

Sunday, September 18th

7 pm

The regular season has finally come to an end.  Let the playoffs begin.

The Tigers put together an impressive season, showing an 8 win improvement going 13-5 after a 5-13 campaign last season.  Esteemed coach Jeff Nelson and team general manager Dan “Moneyball” Titus completed a major overhaul of the roster.  Early on in the season after the Tigers smashed the Outlaws 18-7, Titus said to Nelson after the game, “This is the team we put together.”

It’s a team that put together a 9 game winning streak in the middle of the season to really send a message to the rest of the team.  This is not the Tigers team that the Over the Hill League had grown accustomed to over the past few seasons.

But that 13-5 regular season record doesn’t matter.  What happens from here on out is what really matters.

Tomorrow night the Tigers look to prove that the regular season was no fluke, as they take on the Red Sox in the opening round of the playoffs.  These two teams are very familiar with each other, having met three times during the regular season, most recently just this past Thursday.  The Tigers were victorious on Thursday night, taking a come from behind victory 10-8 in extra innings.  The Tigers also prevailed in the other two meetings this season.

Scott Harris will take the mound for the Tigers in the opening game.  Harris has put together a 6-2 record this season, but his last start against the White Sox on September 6th was less than stellar.  Harris won his only start against the Red Sox this year.

The Tigers look to build some momentum off the win on Thursday, which saw a nice explosion from the top of the lineup, led by Juan Sanchez and Dan Titus.  Sanchez had a double and two singles, while Titus launched his 4th and 5th homers of the year to key the victory.  Ryan Lytle also added the fatal blow in the 8th, a two run double to give the Tigers the lead.

Anything can happen in the playoffs, but the Tigers look to continue their dominance over the Red Sox tomorrow night at the Sportsplex.  Come on down at 7 pm tomorrow and catch some post season action.  Check back here at the Tiger Den for some more playoff analysis.

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Tigers 10 Red Sox 8

Posted by sharris2929 on September 16, 2011

The game that had been rained out four times finally went down last night. And for the first six innings, the Tigers were probably hoping that Mother Nature had put a stop to this one too. But some late inning heroics and a hint of the old powerful Tiger offense were just enough, and the Tigers toppled the Red Sox 10-8 in extra innings to finish the regular season and lock up second place.

Dave Purkey started and had one of his best performances of the year. He gave up just two runs in four innings, and left the game with a 3-2 lead. Dan Titus had sparked the early offense with a two run homer. The Tigers extended the lead to 4-2 after a Joe Anaya RBI single before handing the lead off to Mike Estrada.

Estrada struggled in his first inning of work, giving up five runs to give the Sox a 7-4 lead. The Tiger offense stalled again, but lit back up in the sixth. Titus added his second two run homer of the game to make the score 7-6. Jeff Nelson tied it up with an RBI ground out. Estrada regained his usual form and held the Sox scoreless through the sixth and seventh, taking the game to extras.

The Tigers sent the top of the order to the plate in the eighth inning, and they came though as usual. Juan Sanchez and Anthony Perez each singled and moved up to second and third on a passed ball. After Titus was somehow kept in the ballpark, the Sox chose to intentionally walk Scott Harris to load the bases for Ryan Lytle. Lytle decided to show that walking someone to get to him is never a good idea.

After falling behind in the count 1-2, Lytle smoked a two run double to left to plate the go ahead runs. The Tigers tacked on another insurance run to go up 10-7. The Sox managed to cut the lead to 10-8 in the bottom of the inning, but Estrada held tight and finished off the Sox with a ame ending K.

The Positives
–Dan “Moneyball” Titus showed why he is one of the true stars of Crown Point baseball. His second two homer game of the year was absolutely essential to this win. If Titus continues is assault in the playoffs, no team should pitch to him.

–The top of the lineup shined as usual. Sanchez, Perez, Titus, and Harris combined to reach base 12 times in 16 plate appearances. And Lytle came through in the clutch just like he always does.

–Dave Purkey was on top of his game. When he is pitching ahead in the count, no pitcher in the league is tougher, period.

–Mike Estrada started out rough, but held the Sox offense to just one run over the final three frames to earn the win.

The Negatives
–The Tigers made a few mistakes on the base paths that prevented an even bigger offensive output.

All in all, it was a great win and a nice end to the regular season. The Tigers finish the regular season at 13-5, locking up second place. The Playoff run begins on Sunday night, as the Tigers will take on these same Red Sox at 7 pm in first round action.*

*unless the Cardinals defeat the Brewers tonight, in which case the Tigers would tie for first place. In that event, a coin flip would determine tournament seeding. Should that coin flip go in the Tigers favor, they would receive a first round tournament bye.

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