Tigers’ Weekly Wrap-up – June 23-29, 2014

Things seem to be going from bad to worse for the Tigers. After finishing tied for the worst record during interleague play, they really needed a strong 3-game home stand against the fast-approaching Chunichi Dragons. Instead, they went winless, extending their winless streak to six games in the process.

In game 1, Messenger pitched fairly strongly (though not his best outing, it certainly was enough to deserve the win), going 9 innings and allowing just one earned run. (He threw a whopping 145 pitches!) Unfortunately, despite the Tigers taking a 2-1 lead in the top of the 10th, Seung-hwan Oh blew yet another save by giving up a home run to the Dragons’ Luna. The Tigers had a huge chance in the 12th, but with the bases loaded and one out they managed no runs, and the game ended in a tie. Highlights here.

From there, things went downhill this weekend. The offensive (pun intended) drought continued as the Tigers mustered just one run on Saturday. Then on Sunday, Atsushi Nohmi gave up 8 runs in the top of the first inning (mind you, just four of them were earned) and the Tigers only managed two runs as they conceded yet another game to the Dragons. It was a short week, but here are the results once more.

June 23 WeekThe entire division gained ground on the Tigers this week. In fact, as you can see, they have dropped yet another place in the standings. It might just be a temporary lull but they now sit outside the playoff picture for the first time this season. Here are the standings:

June 29 StandingsHere are this week’s stat lines for our foreigners:

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Gomez 3 14 1 5 1 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 .357 .357 .429 .786
Murton 3 13 1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .385 .385 .385 .769
Player GP GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Messenger 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9.0 6 1 1 0 2 9 1.00 0.89
Oh 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1.0 1 1 1 1 0 1 9.00 1.00

Call me a homer, but I really believe this is just a mid-season slump. Hopefully Nishioka will get more comfortable after just recently coming back from several months off. The addition of reliever Yoshinori Tateyama might help the struggling bullpen as well. Either way, there is no better time for them to get hot. This week features a three-game home series against the Swallows (with the first game being played in Kurashiki) and a three-game road series against the Bay Stars (with the first game taking place in Shizuoka). If they cannot win a bunch this week, it only gets tougher the week after. It’s time to get back on the winning side of .500! GO TIGERS!

Tigers’ Weekly Wrap-up – June 16-22, 2014

For the fifth straight week, the Tigers have posted three losses. This time, though, because they only played four games, they finished the week 1-3 and are now sitting at .500 on the year. Interleague play was not kind to the Tigers, who finished tied for last in the interleague standings with a 9-15 record. Fortunately, one of the other low finishers was the Hiroshima Carp. Unfortunately, the team with the top record in interleague play was the Yomiuri Giants, who finished 16-8.

Tuesday’s game against the Fighters featured a blown save by Oh, who has not been his usual reliable self in the past month or so. The blown 3-1 lead looked like it would result in either a loss or draw, but Murton’s 12th-inning double gave the Tigers their lone win this week. On Wednesday night, the Tigers faced a dominant pitcher in Shohei Otani. He allowed just a harmless single through 8 innings, struck out 11, and the Tigers finished with a mere three singles on the night. One resulted in a failed steal attempt, while another was followed by a double play.

So after nine straight scoreless innings on Wednesday, it was painful to see the Tigers repeat the feat the following game. The Rakuten Eagles’ starter, Norimoto, pitched a complete game shut-out as the Tigers lost 4-0 for the second straight night. Messenger struggled at times but was not helped by the defence behind him. There were a few Eagles hits that could have easily been called errors. The series (and interleague) finale was not much better, as the Tigers mustered a mere run. After Gomez’ RBI single, Murton singled and loaded the bases with one out. Unfortunately, Imanari grounded into a double play, ending the threat and the first momentum the Tigers had built up in three games. It was a disappointing week to say the least.

June 16 WeekThe Giants retained their hold on first place, despite a better week out of the Carp. As mentioned earlier, the Tigers are sitting at .500, and are now only a game ahead of the Chunichi Dragons. Here are the standings as of the end of play on June 22nd:

June 22 StandingsHere are this week’s stat lines for our foreigners:

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Gomez 4 14 1 5 1 0 0 1 1 5 0 0 .357 .400 .429 .829
Murton 4 15 0 6 2 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 .400 .471 .533 1.004
Player GP GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Messenger 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7.1 7 4 3 1 2 8 3.68 1.23
Oh 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1.0 2 2 2 0 1 2 18.00 3.00

The Tigers couldn’t be more relieved that the interleague portion of the schedule is over. It has been a miserable month of June to this point, and the upcoming four-day break couldn’t come at a better time. This week features a three-game homestand on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will host Chunichi, and need to re-extend their lead in the standings against the charging Dragons. Let’s hope the coming week puts an end to their losing ways. A 3-0 week would do wonders for their confidence and their place in the standings. GO TIGERS!

Tigers’ Weekly Wrap-up – June 9-15, 2014

Can you believe it? For the fourth straight week, the Tigers have won two and lost three! The week started off quite poorly, with the Tigers being shut out for an unfathomable 16 innings in a row. The three they posted against the Marines in game one were too little, too late. They bounced back to win the next game in a wild one. The teams exchanged blows back and forth, with the Tigers overcoming deficits of 3-0 and 7-5. Saturday’s game provided little fireworks outside of Murton’s first home run in exactly a month. At least the week ended on a strong note, with Messenger atoning for his loss earlier in the week, recording 13 strikeouts in 8 innings, and Gomez knocking in a run despite also posting a golden sombrero. Here is the calendar for the past week.

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The Giants went undefeated this past week, while the Carp did not win until Sunday. The Giants very quickly increased their divisional lead to 4.5 games. By falling another three games back of the Giants but gaining one on the Carp, the Tigers are now tied for second (though their win percentage is marginally lower than Hiroshima’s). The current standings look like this:

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Here are this week’s stat lines for our foreigners:

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Gomez 5 21 1 3 1 0 1 6 0 9 0 0 .143 .182 .333 .515
Murton 5 21 2 3 1 0 1 2 1 5 0 0 .143 .182 .333 .515
Player GP GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Messenger 2 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 13.0 13 6 6 1 5 18 4.15 1.38
Oh 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 1.00

The Tigers need to look out, as the Chunichi Dragons are slowly creeping up on them in the standings! This week features just four games: Tuesday and Wednesday at home against the Nippon Ham Fighters, and then Saturday and Sunday at home against the Rakuten Golden Eagles. While the Fighters have a pretty good interleague record, the Eagles are tied with the Tigers for second last (Hiroshima is bringing up the rear with a pitiful 4-15 record). This week is a great chance for our Tigers to build some momentum as they play 4 straight at home and get several days off. GO TIGERS!

Tigers Weekly Wrap-up – June 2-8, 2014

The Tigers have now gone 2-3 three weeks in a row. While it sounds bad on the surface (6-9 in their last 15), they have not lost any ground in the Central League standings, thanks to the Carp and Giants also putting up poor numbers. Honestly, the Tigers’ relief pitchers really let them down this week. Two of their three losses were blown in the final two innings of the game. The usually steady Oh put up some more crooked numbers on Tuesday, and then Fukuhara gave away the game in the 8th on Friday despite the Tigers leading 3-0 when he came in. Granted, he came into the game with two runners on board and only one out, but his walk and 3-run HR allowed did not help matters. The hitters also did not really post great numbers in the three losses, though they put up 23 runs in the Tigers’ two wins! Hopefully they can be a little more consistent in the week to come! Here is the calendar for the past week.

June 2 Week

The Giants had a good week, but the Carp did not. As a result, the Giants took over top spot. The Tigers did not move higher in the standings, but they are closer to first place than they were at the end of last week. The current standings look like this:

 

June 8 standings

Here are this week’s stat lines for our foreigners:

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Gomez 5 17 3 6 0 0 1 5 6 6 0 0 0.353 0.522 0.529 1.051
Murton 5 21 3 6 2 0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0.286 0.318 0.381 0.699
Player GP GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Messenger 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8.0 3 2 2 0 0 9 2.25 0.38
Oh 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1.2 2 2 2 0 1 0 10.78 1.80

This week starts with the series finisher against the Softbank Hawks at home. Tuesday is a travel day (or makeup day if Monday’s game is rained out), and then the Tigers hit the road against the Lotte Marines on Wednesday and Thursday. The week finishes up with a two-game series against the Seibu Lions on the road on the weekend. Interleague play has not gone well so far, but here’s to hoping this week the men in yellow and black can move up in the standings. GO TIGERS!

Tigers Weekly Wrap-up – May 26-June 1, 2014

For the second week in a row, the Tigers went 2-3. Monday’s game was rained out and played instead on Tuesday. Shintaro Fujinami pitched 8 strong innings, and the Tigers won 2-0. On Wednesday, the Tigers held a tenuous lead going into the 9th, and unfortunately lost it on some poor defence and a rare bad outing by Oh. Somehow on Thursday, they got taken to town in the middle innings, losing big. After a day off on Friday, the Tigers played two weekend games in Sapporo against the Fighters. They lost the first one when they could not capitalize on the multiple times they had runners in scoring position, but won the second game thanks to a quality pitching outing by Iwata. Here is the weekly results in calendar form:

May 26-June 1

As the Carp went 3-2 and the Giants went 4-1 on the week, the current standings now look like this:

June 1 standings

Here are this week’s stat lines for our foreigners:

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Gomez 5 20 2 4 2 0 1 5 1 8 0 0 .200 .238 .450 .688
Murton 5 18 0 5 0 0 0 3 3 6 0 0 .278 .381 .278 .659
Player GP GS W L SV BS HLD CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Messenger 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.0 8 3 2 0 1 7 2.57 1.29
Oh 3 0 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 3.0 3 3 0 0 2 5 0.00 1.67

The Tigers start this coming week on the road on Tuesday against the Rakuten Eagles. They will play two at home (Friday/Saturday) against the Orix Buffaloes and wrap up the week at home against the Softbank Hawks. GO TIGERS!