Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Pair of Shutouts (Games 1 & 2 vs DET)

The Traverse City Tigers are trying to get things back in order, as the Detroit Stars look to get back into this race, as they trail the Tigers by 10.5 games, while in 3rd place.
Knepper kept Stars quiet in Game 1.

Game 1

Bob Knepper (8-4, 2.96 ERA) for T.C. vs. Detroit's Melido Perez (8-5, 2.88 ERA) -- pretty even matchup on the mound.

Top of the 1st
Bob Knepper walks Vince Coleman to lead off the inning. Coleman would steal second for his 23rd steal of the season. Brett Butler flies to center for the first out. Coleman tries to steal third, but Hassey would get him this time, two away. George Bell flies out for the final out.

Bottom of the 1st
Tim Raines gets walked by Perez, and shows Coleman he can also steal second as well, despite a fine throw by Bruce Benedict. Perez walks Mookie Wilson, runners on 1st & 2nd. Dave Winfield hits it right to Franco, flips to Uribe for one, over to first, double play, Raines moves over to third. Joe Carter hits a routine grounder to Julio Franco, but he can't find the handle, Raines scores from third, Carter is safe, Carter rounds first, Franco quickly to Perez covering first & they nail him, but T.C. strikes first, E-4.

Bottom of the 2nd
Leadoff walk to Johnny Ray. Rafael Ramirez hits a one-out double, Ray decides to round third and go for home on Tracy Jone's arm, and is thrown out! Aggressive baserunning by the Tigers. O'Malley grounds out for final out of the inning.

Bottom of the 3rd
Back-to-back singles by Ron Hassey & Tim Raines to lead off the inning. With runners on 1st & 2nd, Mookie Wilson lays down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up a base. Dave Winfield collects a two-run broken-bat single, with a fly that dropped in shallow right. Traverse City 3, Detroit 0

Bottom of the 4th
Pete O'Brien leads off with a solo HR just over Brett Butler's glove at right-center wall, making it 4-0.

Top of the 6th
Tigers are playing it safe after Knepper appeared stiff in the 5th, they bring in Eric King to get the final out of the inning in Julio Franco. 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Bob Knepper, 3 hits allowed, 1 walk & 1 K for the day.

Bottom of the 7th
One-out single by Ron Hassey. Tigers pinch-run Felix Fermin in for Hassey. Raines bops one to right, in front of Butler, Fermin makes it to third safely. Runners on the corners for Mookie Wilson, the pitch, Raines is off for second and Rick Cerone throws it over Jose Uribe's head, Fermin will score, Raines moves to third. Cerone's streak of 45 games without a miscue are over. The Stars bring in southpaw Craig Lefferts, as Mookie will not bat from the right side; Lefferts enters with 2.21 ERA in 28 appearances this season. Lefferts walks Wilson, runners on the corners with one out. Lefferts would get Winfield to pop up, and Carter to fly out for the third out. Traverse City tacks on a little insurance, making it 5-0 Tigers!

Top of the 8th
Bob Boone comes in to catch, a defensive upgrade at second base with newly acquired Marty Barrett, as Brian Holton pitches the 8th for the Tigers, he enters with a stingy 1.82 ERA. Holton finishes it 1-2-3.

Bottom of the 8th
Tigers hit back-to-back singles with Pete O'Brien & Rafael Ramirez, with one out. Molitor hits one to Uribe, and he throws it off-center, safe all-around, mark that as a E-6 on Uribe. But Bobby Thigpen settles down & strike out Bob Boone, while Tim Raines flies to right for the final out. Traverse City still leads 5-0.

Top of the 9th
Tigers bring in Doug Jones to keep him fresh, he comes in for a non-save situation with his 1.60 ERA attached to his arm. Doug Jones walks the lead-off man in George Bell, but retires the side, as the Tigers shutout the Stars

FINAL SCORE: Traverse City 5, Detroit 0

Game 2

Charlie Hough apparently was still tired from his previous game, and possibly some jet-lag as he joins his new team the Tigers, that means Jose Rijo will pitch & hope the Tigers can take the lead early. He brings an 8-4 record with a 3.02 ERA & will face off against the Stars' Danny Jackson who has been spectacular with a 10-4 record & 2.08 ERA!

Top of the 1st
With Lou Whitaker on first & two outs, Dave Parker hits a no-doubter as it left the bat quick & into the right field stands! Detroit 2, Traverse City 0

Bottom of the 1st
Mookie Wilson hits a long one-out double to center. Danny Jackson loses his battle to Dave Winfield, as he walks him, setting up a possible double play. Jackson would strike out Joe Carter & Paul Molitor before letting the Tigers get comfortable.

Bottom of the 3rd
Marty Barrett leads off the inning with his first hit as a Tiger, a single to right. Tim Raines follows up with a single that drops in front of Parker, Barrett decides to stay at second, even though Parker's arm is not what it used to be. Mookie grounds out for the first out as he advances to the runners. Dave Winfield comes up, and goes down swinging, 4 K's early for Jackson.

Stars' Jackson lowers his ERA below 2.00.
Top of the 4th
One-out double for Dave Parker, his second hit of the game. Franco grounds it to the mound, only play at first, one out, Parker advances to 3rd. Jose Uribe, hot smash to Barrett, nice dive comes up and throws it past Pete O'Brien at first & Parker will score, E-4 on Barrett. Rijo walks Jim Presley, bringup Rick Cerone. Rijo rocks & fires, and strikes out Cerone. Detroit 3, Traverse City 0

Top of the 5th
Vince Coleman leads off with a liner over Ramirez's head for a single. Brett Butler strikes out for out number one. Lou Whitaker draws a walk. Runners on 1st & 2nd, for John Kruk as he laces a single to left-center, Coleman rounds third, heading home, the throw to the plate is cut off as Whitaker goes for third, the play at third & he's safe! Runners on first & third for Dave Parker who has a Home Run & double for the night -- The Tigers decide to make a change to John Candelaria for hopefully a double play. They get their wish, and get out of the inning. Detroit 4, Traverse City 0

Top of the 7th
New reliever Dave Leiper (coming in for Eric King) for T.C. gets into a jam. With 2 outs, Butler scores from first on a throwing error by Paul Molitor, Whitaker safe at first. Kruk hits a double to score in Whitaker.
Detroit 6, Traverse City 0

The Tigers would not be able to take this one. Danny Jackson (now 11-4) pitched a 5-hit shutout, with 7 K's & 2 walks allowed, lowering his ERA to 1.96! Jose Rijo falls to 8-5.

FINAL SCORE: Detroit 6, Traverse City 0

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