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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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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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Tigers 9 White Sox 6

Posted by sharris2929 on May 29, 2012

In their first game of Over the Hill League action last Saturday, the Tigers looked like a beaten team through three and a half innings.  Going into the bottom of the 4th, the White Sox had opened up a 6-0 lead, and the Tigers had nothing going for them at all.  The offense had been sluggish.  The defense had been leaky.  Starter Scott Harris was less than impressive on the mound. 

But in the blink of an eye, everything changed in the bottom of the fourth.

The Tigers offense finally showed its teeth, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring 6 runs to tie the game up.  The White Sox had the collective air taken out of them as the momentum shifted fully to the home side.  The Sox never scored again as Dennis McGarel (1-0) pitched 3 great innings in relief to garner the win, and the Tigers added 3 more runs to seal the win, 9-6. 

The fourth inning rally started on 3 consecutive singles by Jeff Nelson, Curt Lechner, and Keith Wood, bringing Dave Purkey to the plate with the bases loaded.  Purk promptly unloaded them with a double to the gap, cutting the lead to 6-3.  Anthony Perez, Scott Harris, and Dan Titus added RBI’s later in the inning to tie the score.  Titus also drove in 2 more runs in the 6th to put the game away for good. 

Even though it took a while for the Tigers offense to get going, it ended up being a very balanced attack.  Titus lead the way with his 3 RBI, going 2-2 and reaching base 3 times.  Purkey added 2 walks to go along with his 2 run double.  Harris, Lechner, and Perez also added 2 hits each. 

As per tradition, let’s take a look at the positives and the negatives from this Tigers outing:

The Positives:

  • A great comeback for the Tigers, showing that they possess the same never say die attitude in 2012 that they had in 2011.
  • Everyone contributed offensively, as the big 6 run rally went through almost the entire batting order.
  • Dennis McGarel was terrific in relief earning his first win of the season.

The Negatives:

  • The Tigers showed a little rust on defense.  After being among the best defensive teams in the league last season, they looked a little lost at times with the leather. 
  • Although the defense did him no favors, Harris was not at his best on the mound. 

A win is a win, and a win like this can help build some momentum going forward.  We’ll see if it helps the Tigers take on the Brewers on Tuesday.

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Game Preview: Cubs vs. Tigers

Posted by sharris2929 on October 6, 2011

Cubs(4) Vs. Tigers(2)

 Over the Hill League Playoffs

Thursday, October 6th,

7 pm

The Tigers started the postseason with a stunning and disappointing loss to the Red Sox.  Since then the Tigers have put together two of their best performances of the season, winning two games and outscoring their opponents 27-7.  During the regular season, the Tigers put together a streak of performances like this en route to a 9 game winning streak and a dramatic ascension to first place.  If this run continues, it’ll end with the Tigers at the top of the mountain winning the tournament.

That journey continues tonight as the Tigers take on the Cubs at 7 pm. 

The Cubs punched their ticket to move on in the tourney with a win over the Red Sox on Sunday, knocking the Red Sox out of the tourney.  The game had plenty of drama.  The Cubs led by 4 in the 7th, but the Sox stormed all the way back to tie it up.  The game stayed deadlocked until the 9th, when the Cubs won on a walk off bases loaded walk.  It probably wasn’t the way they drew it up, but they’ll take it. 

Following that game, the Tigers took the field at the Sportsplex and put an epic beating on the White Sox, winning 16-6 behind a tremendously balanced offensive performance, and a dominant mount trip by Dave Purkey. 

Both teams are aware of what’s at stake in this contest, as the winner will move on to play the Brewers on Sunday night.  The Brew Crew found themselves in the losers’ bracket following a 4-2 loss to the Outlaws on Tuesday night.  The Outlaws now sit alone in the winners’ bracket, awaiting the winner of the game on Sunday that both the Tigers and Cubs hope to be a part of.

These two teams met twice during the regular season, with the Tigers coming away on top in each contest.  The Tigers won an early season meeting on June 26th 9-7.  Then on August 19th, the Tigers outclassed the Cubs 8-3 for their 9th straight win. 

None of those games matter now.  Any advantage either team might have on paper is meaningless, as the Tigers found out early on in the playoffs  What matters is when the dust settles tonight on the Sportsplex, which team has put the most runs on the scoreboard.

Come on down to the Sportsplex tonight to see if the Tigers can continue their dramatic playoff run and do just that.

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Tigers 16 White Sox 6

Posted by sharris2929 on October 3, 2011

Last week, the Tigers gave a reminder of how dominant this team can be when they are firing on all cylinders.  Last night, they proved that it wasn’t a fluke, and that this team means business in the playoffs.  Great pitching plus great hitting plus great defense equals great results, and the Tigers truly put together a dominant performance in all phases of the game to end the White Sox season, winning 16-6.

Dave Purkey picked up his second straight playoff win on the mound, going 4 dominant innings.  He gave up 2 early runs in the first, and the White Sox were threatening for more, loading the bases with 0 outs.  But Purkey toughened up and struck out the side to end the inning. 

The Tigers put up one in the first and two in the second, giving Purk a 3-2 lead.  In innings 2 through 4 he was untouchable, giving up just one hit and striking out 5 more.  In his four innings of work, Purkey finished with only 2 hits allowed and 8 strikeouts. 

When Purkeys’ night of work was done, the offense decided to take the pressure off him, and the offense sprung to life.  The Tigers put up 8 runs in the 4th, giving them an 11-2 lead that would carry them through to victory.  The offense didn’t rest though, adding 5 more runs to cruise.

The offense was all over the White Sox pitching, getting good pitches to hit early in the count and making the Sox pay.  Purkey was the offensive star of the game as well, going 3-3 with two RBI.  Dave Hayse, Joe Anaya, and Scott Harris also had multiple RBI games.  Big contributions were also made by Mike “Mufftober” Kunert, esteemed coach Jeff Nelson, Tim Mullally, Mike Alleva, and Curt Lechner. 

The Positives

  • Purkey had it in control on the mound and at the plate.  Great to see Dave put together two dominant efforts in a row.  When Dave pitches like this, the other team doesn’t have much hope. 
  • A terrific defensive performance by the Tigers.  With a few Tigers unable to play, there were guys out of their normal positions.  Harris worked all 7 innings behind the dish and even threw a runner out stealing at second.  Dan Titus played short and made all the plays.  Jeff Nelson filled in at first base early in the game and had no problems. 
  • As stated above, the offense was stellar once again.  When a game summary includes 9 separate players who made key contributions, you know something special went down.
  • A big hurrah to the Tigers for not letting up, and showing a great killer instinct.  There have been many times when the Tigers built a lead but got complacent and let that lead fall away.  Not last night.  The Tigers never let their foot off the gas, and broke the will of the White Sox. 

The Negatives

  • It was really cold out.

What’s Next

The Tigers advance to take on the Cubs on Thursday at 7 pm.  The Cubs advanced with a victory over the Red Sox in dramatic fashion, winning in 9 innings on a bases loaded walk.

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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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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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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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White Sox 9 Tigers 6

Posted by sharris2929 on September 7, 2011

The Tigers got off to a really positive start Tuesday  night at the Steelyard.  They put up 3 quick runs in the top of the first, possibly signalling a return to form for this once-potent offense.  But before they could even get excited about it, the White Sox had answered with 4 more in the bottom of the first, giving them a lead they would never relinquish en route to a 9-6 victory.

For those use to seeing the Tigers play, this was not the type of display they’d grown accustomed to.  The offense was flat.  The defense was shaky.  The pitching was a little off.  This was not first place baseball, and the consequence of that was a fall from first place.  The Tigers now find themselves a game behind the Brewers for first place, with virtually no chance of winning the first round playoff bye.

Dan Titus and Scott Harris each had two hits and an RBI.  Dennis McGarel, Curt Lechner, Dave Hayes, and Mike Estrada also drove in runs for the Tigers.  Harris took the loss on the mound, falling to 6-2 on the year.

The Positives

  • The Tigers had a great experience, getting to play in the luxurious Steelyard.  An infield with true hops, a pitchers mound with secure footing, and a batter’s box without a huge dip are things the Tigers really enjoyed.

The Negatives

  • Offense:  stale.
  • Defense:  porous.
  • Pitching:  erratic.
  • Baserunning:  problematic.

What’s Next

Thursday night, the Tigers take on the Red Sox in their final game of the regular season.

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