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Archive for June, 2012

Outlaws 10 Tigers 5

Posted by sharris2929 on June 22, 2012

As 7 pm rolled near last night, the Tigers were watching the parking lot, hoping to see a familiar car pull up.  As the umps called out, “Take the field!”, it still hadn’t happened. 

So the Tigers, ridiculously undermanned with just 8 players, took the field to take on the undefeated, first place Outlaws. 

Can you guess how that turned out?

The Outlaws did what good teams will do, taking advantage of the situation en route to a 10-5 victory, their 6th straight to begin the season. 

Despite the limitations, the Tigers got off to a promising start.  Scott Harris worked out of a bases loaded jam in the first to leave the Outlaws scoreless.  In the home half of the first, Anthony Perez lead off with a screaming double to left center.  Harris followed with a single, but Perez was held at third.  Dan Titus hit a sac fly, and just like that the Tigers had a 1-0 lead. 

But that one run was all the Tigers would fare off of Outlaw starter Gordon Sharkey.  He would mow through the Tigers order the next three innings before handing the game over to his bullpen with a comfy lead.

The Outlaws bats awoke in the second and third, taking advantage of the 8 players on the field for the Tigers as well as some other spotty defense.  They also banged out quite a few hits and made good of their opportunities with runners in scoring position.  Harris pitched three innings for the Tigers, and was relieved in the 4th by Dave Purkey.

Dan Titus made it more interesting in the 5th, bashing a 3 run bomb to left center (his 2nd of the year) to cut the lead to 9-5.  The Outlaws would tack on another run in the 6th to make it 10-5. 

It wasn’t a good performance for the Tigers by any means, but putting up a reasonable battle against the league’s best with a very limited lineup was a valiant effort.  It’ll be a much different game when these two teams play at full strength.

 

The Positives

  • Dan Titus drove in 4 of the 5 runs, including a three run bomb. 
  • Before the game Curt Lechner guaranteed that he would steal second and third base…AND HE DID IT!
  • Scott Harris went 2-3, continuing his hot streak at the plate.  He now has 13 hits in his last 16 at bats.

The Negatives

  • Only 8 Tigers showed up at game time.

What’s Next

The Tigers return to action on Sunday at 4pm against the Red Sox.

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Game Preview: Outlaws vs. Tigers

Posted by sharris2929 on June 21, 2012

Thursday, June 21st

7:00 pm

Outlaws vs. Tigers

A good amount of friendly trash talk has been exchanged between the Tigers and the Outlaws this year.  Several players from both teams are former teammates, and some good-natured ribbing has occurred in the early part of the season.

That will all come to a head tonight as the Tigers will take on the undefeated Outlaws with first place in the league on the line.  These two teams met only twice last year, with each team taking home a win. 

Both teams are coming off of wins against the Cubs.  The Outlaws took a 5-2 decision against the Cubs last Thursday, while the Tigers beat them 4-1 on Sunday night.  That gave the Tigers their 4th straight win of the season. 

But if you want to talk momentum, you have to give the edge to the Outlaws.  They stormed through the playoffs to a league championship last year, and have kept it going this year, winning their first 5 in dominant fashion, outscoring their opponents 49-12 along the way.  They haven’t given up more than 2 runs in any game since their first game of the season.  They have given up the fewest runs in the league by far, and have only been outscored by one team:  The Tigers.

The Tigers have put up 62 runs so far this season, but have allowed 43.  In their last game, the Tigers used tremendous pitching outings from Dennis McGarel and Dave Purkey, as well as picture perfect defense, to hold the Cubs to just 1 run.  Going against a team like the Outlaws, the Tigers will need to match that performance tonight. 

With the current make up of the league, this game is the marquee matchup, and fans should be in for a real treat.  Can the stingy Outlaws pitching staff contain the explosive Tigers lineup?  Can the Tigers hold down the equally powerful Outlaws order?  Come on down to the Sportsplex at 7 pm tonight to find out.

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Tigers 4 Cubs 1

Posted by sharris2929 on June 18, 2012

Over the previous two games, the Tigers used an overwhelming offensive output to bully their way to victories over the Cardinals and the Brewers despite shaking pitching and defense.  On Sunday night, it was just the opposite.

The Tigers played error-free defense to back terrific pitching performances by Dennis McGarel and Dave Purkey, winning a thriller 4-1 over the pesky Cubs.   

The Cubs took the lead in the 2nd on back to back doubles off McGarel, but that turned out to be the only run they would manage all game.  The Tigers tied it up in the 3rd on an RBI fielder’s choice by Ryan Lytle, and the game would remain knotted up until the Tigers’ turn in the top of the 7th. 

With runners on second and third, Lytle struck again, lofting a single just inside the right field foul line to score both runs, making the score 3-1.  Curt Lechner added an insurance run with an RBI single later in the inning.  Purkey finished off a hitless bottom of the 7th to secure his first win of the season. 

Both McGarel and Purkey were excellent on the mound, stifling a gritty Cubs lineup.  McGarel went the first 4 innings and only allowed the second inning tally.  Purkey was dominant in the final three frames, walking just one while striking out 4. 

The Positives:

  • Flawless, error-free baseball is a beautiful thing, and the Tigers played it for a full 7 innings on Sunday night.  Every grounder was fielded cleanly.  Every throw was perfect.  The outfield got to every fly ball.  Dan Titus even gunned out a runner stealing.  Four star, blue ribbon, grade A perfection from this defense. 
  • McGarel and Purkey were both terrific on the mound.  Two walks total and only one run allowed?  The Tigers will take that every time out.
  • Ryan Lytle reminded everyone that he is among the most clutch hitters in the league, driving home the game winning runs in the 7th inning, and 3 of the 4 Tigers runs overall.  In a lineup where a bunch of guys are off to hot starts, Lytle heating up could take this team to another level. 

The Negatives

  • Not much to complain about in a win like this.  Sure, it’s nice to pound out double-digit runs every game, but a squeaker like this can be very satisfying as well.

What’s Next

It’s showdown time, folks.  The Tigers take on the undefeated first place Outlaws on Thursday night.  Check back here at the Tiger Den for analysis leading up to that game.

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Tigers 21 Brewers 13

Posted by sharris2929 on June 14, 2012

When the Tigers played the Cardinals last Saturday, it was safe to say that the team had broken out of its hitting slump that had plagued the first few games of the season.  After Tuesday’s big performance against the Brewers, that slump is ancient now ancient history.  The Tigers put a league high 21 runs on the board this season, taking care of the Brewers 21-13 and avenging their only loss of the season thus far. 

You could summarize the Tigers’ offensive performance and just say that the entire lineup was responsible for the offensive explosion, and that would be true.  But let’s take the time to get into the details and some of the more gaudy performances that were put up.  Jeff Nelson continued his torrid start, driving in 4 more runs for a total of 10 RBI in the past 2 games.  Dan Titus went 3-3 with 2 RBI and 4 runs scored.  Dennis McGarel went 2-2 with 3 RBI.  Scott Harris went 3-4 with 2 doubles and  2 RBI.  Juan Sanchez scored 3 times and drove in a run.  Tim Mullally and Curt Lechner each added 2 RBI.  Dave Hayse added a 2 run triple in the first inning.

The top five hitters in the lineup (Sanchez, Harris, Titus, McGarel, and Nelson) combined to go 12-15 with 12 RBI and 13 runs scored!

And for all that offensive output, this game was much, much closer than the final score indicates.  The Brewers were in this game until almost the very end. 

Anthony Perez started and pitched a scoreless first, but some shaky defense allowed the brewers back in it, leading to a 10-9 score after just three innings.

Dave Purkey pitched the final 4 innings to earn his first win of the season.  This was Purkey’s first outing since injuring his hamstring back on June 3rd against this same Brewers team after just a third of an inning. 

The Positives:

  • The offense

The Negatives

  • Everything else.  This was a sloppy game for the Tigers.  A 21 run explosion makes everyone happy, but this team shouldn’t be allowing anyone to score 13 runs.  The defense and pitching will have to improve to keep this team rolling.

What’s Next

The Tigers return to action this Sunday at 7 pm to take on the Cubs.  Let’s hope they saved a few runs for that game.

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Tigers 17 Cardinals 9

Posted by sharris2929 on June 12, 2012

In winning 2 of their first 3 games, the Tigers played quite well, but lacked the offensive fire power that they simply overwhelmed teams with last year. 

On Saturday, the fire power came back in a big way.

In the 4th inning the Tigers batted around and put up 8 runs, highlighted by a grand slam by Jeff Nelson (off of former Tiger and current nemesis Tom Sipiol).  Nelson led the potent offense, driving in 6 total runs on the day.  Scott Harris went 5-5 and drove in 4 runs of his own.  Tiger newcomer Steve Alessia added a long homer to dead center field, his first of the season.  Other Tigers with multi-hit games included Juan Sanchez, Dan Titus, Dennis McGarel, Keith Wood, Ryan Lytle, and Joe Anaya.  It was a full-fledged onslaught, with the Tigers battering the ball up and down the lineup. 

Dennis McGarel (2-0) started for the Tigers, and picked up his second win of the season.  Harris went the final 3 to pick up the save.  Both were victimized by single big innings by the Cardinals, who showed that they are a very improved team offensively. 

The Tigers improved to 3-1, and with an offensive output like that, you’d have to think a lot more wins are on the way.

The Positives

  • Unrelenting offensive output was the name of the game, harkening back to the Tigers of 2011
  • The defense was very solid throughout the game.  McGarel and Harris threw plenty of ground balls, and the defense took advantage. 
  • Nelson’s grand slam off of Sepiol was the feel good moment of the game.

The Negatives

  • Not too much to report here.  McGarel and Harris were the benefactors of supreme run support, making their jobs very easier.  They each had one rough inning, but otherwise held the Cardinals to just 3 runs. 
  • Harris continues to be plagued with shoulder soreness in his pitching arm. 

What’s Next

The Tigers won’t have to wait long to keep their momentum going, meeting the Brewers on Tuesday, June 12th at 7 pm.

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Game Preview–Tigers vs. Cardinals

Posted by sharris2929 on June 8, 2012

Saturday, June 9th

1:00 pm

Tigers vs. Cardinals

It’ll be a battle of 2-1 teams looking to move to 3-1 as the Tigers lock horns with the Cardinals Saturday afternoon at 1 pm.  Players should be prepared for a hot one, as the mercury is expected to creep up around the 90 degree mark at gametime. 

This marks the first meeting of these two teams on the season.  Last year, the Tigers swept three games from the Cardinals.  However, the 2012 Cards are bearing little resemblance to their predecessors.  They have picked up impressive wins against the Brewers and the Red Sox this year already, and are looking to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with this year.

The Tigers are sitting at 2-1, but they haven’t played much like a team destined for greatness.  There have been flashes of last year’s success, but a total team effort has been lacking in each game.  There was a 5 week period last summer where the Tigers lost zero games and were dominant in most every area of the game.  The Tigers know they can get to that point again, it’s just a matter of getting started. 

A good win against a resurgent Cardinals team would be a great place to start.

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Tigers 6 Cubs 5

Posted by sharris2929 on June 4, 2012

The Tigers returned to their winning ways on Sunday afternoon, taking a 6-5 nail biter over the Cubs.  The Tigers used a combination of strong pitching and timely hitting to improve their record to 2-1 on the 2012 campaign. 

Scott Harris (1-0) started and picked up the win for the Tigers, despite experiencing shoulder soreness throughout the game.  Harris went 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits, striking out 5 and walking 2.  Dennis McGarel went the final 3 innings to pick up his first save of the season.

The Tigers struck early, putting up 3 runs in the first on an RBI single by McGarel and a 2 run single by Jeff Nelson.  The Tigers would never trail the entire game, but the Cubs did make it interesting later on.  With the Tigers leading 4-2, the Cubs put up an unearned run to cut the lead to 1.  But in the fifth, leadoff hitter extraordinaire Juan Sanchez belted a two run homer to put the Tigers up 6-3.  It was Juan’s 1st homer as a member of the Tigers. 

The Cubs got a rally going in the 7th as well, scoring 2 to bring the score to 6-5.  But with the game tying run on second, McGarel induced a game ending ground out to Joe Anaya to put the Cubs to rest.

The Positives:

  • Harris and McGarel put together a strong 7 innings on the mound.  Both pitchers hit their spots and kept hitters off balance, stifling a potent offensive club.
  • The offense got some big hits, including Juan’s two run homer that proved to be the game winner, and Jeff Nelson’s double off the fence in left. 

The Negatives

  • The offense has yet to click this season for the Tigers.  If you watched this team last year you know they are capable of putting up massive run totals each and every game.  They haven’t done that yet this season.  They will soon.
  • The defense was better…but still not great.  But in this case, the Tigers won in spite of their defense, which is much better than losing because of it.

What’s Next:

The Tigers take on the Cardinals on Saturday at 1 pm.

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Brewers 9 Tigers 5

Posted by sharris2929 on June 4, 2012

In a game that started ugly and got worse from there, the Tigers were handed their first loss of the season by the Brewers, falling by a score of 9 to 5 back on Tuesday May 29th. 

Dave Purkey made his first start of the season on the hill, but came out of the game after retiring just one batter after straining his hamstring on an awkward landing on the mound.  A rough start on defense for the Tigers allowed the Brewers to open up a 3-0 lead by that point in the first.  Scott Harris replaced Purkey and got the final two outs of the first to stop the bleeding. 

The Brewers mounted a rally in the second inning, aided by an assortment of bloop hits, favourable umpire calls, and some more shaky defense by the Tigers.  When the dust settled, the Brewers lead 7-2.  The Tigers would get it as close as 7-5, but the Brewers tacked on 2 more runs in the six to make the final 9-5.

This game could have just as easily been a 5-2 win for the Tigers.  The Brewers rarely hit the ball hard and were given countless extra outs.  4 runs came in on two defensive miscues alone.  It was an ugly came all around.

The Positives:

  • Dan Titus smacked his first homerun of the year.  It was a solo shot and a no doubter, as the Brewers left field barely gave it a look before giving up on it.  Titus had 5 last year and didn’t hit any until midway though the season.  So an early start for Titus is bad news for the rest of the league.
  • Scott Harris and Mike Alleva pitched effectively in relief of the injured Dave Purkey.  Harris came in the first with two on and only one out, and got a strikeout and a ground out to get out of the inning with no runs allowed.  He also retired the last 7 batters he faced. 
  • Jeff Nelson, Juan Sanchez, and Joe Anaya also flashed some power, all doubling to right center field.

The Negatives:

  • Dave Purkey’s injury will be an ongoing concern for the Tigers.  Dave is among the best pitchers in the league when healthy, and the Tigers need him to match his performance from last year. 
  • Defense.  Booted grounders, bad throws, mis-judged fly balls. Ugly stuff from the Tigers.  Defense was a big strength last year, so hopefully the Tigers are getting the ugly out of their system now.
  • The offense has not started to click yet.  5 runs is far too few for a team with this much offensive talent.

What’s Next:

The Tigers will return to action on Sunday, taking on the Cubs at 4:00 pm.

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