Thursday, February 26 - Speakers vs. Unhinged Wahoos
Game 1 - First batter of the season, Mookie Betts, nearly homers to begin the series and eventually scores an unearned run on Scott Van Slyke's RBI single. The new look Unhinged Wahoos strike on Devin Mesoraco's 4th inning 2-out Baltimore Special to take a 3-1 lead.
Andrelton Simmons immediately solos to begin the 5th as the Speakers climb to within a run. In the 7th, Simmons strikes again with Yoenis Cespedes on 2nd for a 4-3 lead. Anthony Rendon almost follows with a 2-run shot of his own yet neither Speaker scores.
With Leonys Martin on 2nd in the 8th, the Wahoo thunder (Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Abreu) pops up and whiffs, respectively. (They would get their revenge later in the series.) Jeremy Jeffress sets down the Wahoos in order in the 9th.
W - Chris Archer (1-0), L - Danny Duffy (0-1), S - Jeffress (1)
Game 2 - 2015 #1 pick Corey Kluber lives up to expectations by firing a neat 3-0 2-hitter to defeat Felix Hernandez. Encarnacion's 1st inning sac fly is all the support Kluber requires; however, Nolan Arenado and former Speaker Asdrubal Cabrera tack on 7th inning RBIs.
The Speakers roll one walk (denied) and 5 singles, and never touch 2nd base in Kluber's complete game gem.
W - Kluber (1-0), L - Hernandez (0-1)
Game 3 - Solo shots rule early as Mesoraco clocks his 2nd and Betts strokes 2 in consecutive innings. Jon Lester also walks Albert Pujols with the bases loaded to give the Speakers a 3-1 4th inning advantage.
With Encarnacion and Abreu on board in the 8th, Carlos Gomez hits the top of the wall to knot the game at 3-3. That's where we stay until the 14th inning!
With 2-away, Adam Eaton doubles and Martin triples him home with the Wahoos' game winner. Andrew Miller retires all 5 Speakers he faces to earn the victory, 4-3.
W - Miller (1-0), L - Yoervis Medina (0-1)
Game 4 - After being blanked for 10 innings, the Speakers blitz Adam Wainwright for 4 in the 1st, highlighted by Rendon's bases-loaded walk and Jason Heyward's 2-run double. With 2-outs and nobody on in the Wahoo 2nd, Jordan Zimmermann flubs a chopper and Pujols misplays a grounder. Cabrera makes the Speakers pay with a 3-run bomb.
Encarnacion and Abreu each go deep in the 3rd following Eaton's triple as the Wahoos quickly erase the deficit and take a 6-4 lead. The teams trade a single run the rest of the way as the Wahoos write OOTL history, 7-5.
W - Wainwright (1-0), L - Zimmermann (0-1)
Manager Mann's squad enjoys an official record over .500 for the very first time. Congratulations to the Unhinged Wahoos!
Tuesday, March 3 - Birds of Pray vs. Speakers
Game 1 (and then some) - Neither team's offense seems to care. Yasiel Puig nearly dents the scoreboard in the 5th, but Garrett Richards denies the home run attempt.
So after 9, each team is blanked on 4 hits. The Birds' Melky Cabrera finally becomes the first runner for either team to reach 3rd base in the bottom of the 15th.
JJ Hardy puts an end to the embarrassment with a 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the 23rd inning! After nearly 2.5 hours, league officials will investigate pace of play initiatives. (Maybe they should just teach each team how to hit.) The Speakers finish with just 7 hits, all in separate innings, while the Birds pound out only 10!
W - Zach Britton (1-0), L - Jeremy Jeffress (0-1)
Game 2 - The first four Birds reach against hard-luck loser Felix Hernandez, scoring the only run Miguel Gonzalez needs in his 8.2 IP of 5-hit shutout ball. Melky goes deep in the 8th for insurance, 2-0. The Speakers have yet to score this season with King Felix (2.81 ERA) on the mound.
W - Gonzalez (1-0), L - Hernandez (0-2)
Game 3 - The Birds strike in the top of the 1st as Chris Davis strokes a 2-run HR off Bud Norris. The Speakers snap their 36-inning scoreless streak on Anthony Rizzo's 2-out RBI single in the bottom half.
Melky Cabrera (2) homers again in the 3rd for a 3-1 Birds lead, but the Speakers scratch back to even the score through 9. Davis nearly homers again in the 10th, but settles for a 2-out RBI double followed by Nelson Cruz's RBI single.
The Speakers get one back, but fail with 2-outs and the tying run in scoring position for a 5-4 final. Two of the Speakers' runs are unearned, so they've scored two earned runs in 46 innings and drag a six-game losing streak into Game 4.
Game 4 - Davis yet again is denied a HR in the 1st, but scores Scooter Gennett with an RBI double. Danny Santana leads off the bottom half with a fly ball that just sneaks over the wall in left, thanks to Julio Teheran's -12 power.
Puig comes up clutch in the 3rd with a 2-out 2-run double to put the Speakers in foreign territory: a lead, and 3 runs scored in 3 innings! Of course, Davis crushes yet another HR to answer in the 4th.
The Speakers nurse that 3-2 lead until the 7th when Yoenis Cespedes guns down Alex Gordon as the potential tying run at the plate following Jose Altuve's single to end the inning.
Teheran (remember, -12) gifts Anthony Rendon in the bottom of the 8th for a 2-run margin to the 9th. Rendon carries an incredible .081 batting average (3-37, 12 Ks) into Game 9 later this week. Of course, the team average stands at a paltry .185.
Yoervis Medina retires the Birds in order in the 9th, but needs to turn back two hits to earn the save, 4-2.
W - Jordan Zimmermann (1-1), L - Teheran (0-1), S - Medina (1)
Tuesday, March 3 - Arrogant Bastards vs. Shooting Stars II
With last year's opening series sweep dealt by the Bastards still fresh in the mind of the Stars, eight players contribute to a victory and Lynn, Hughes and Ramos combine for the win.
Top of the second, Bastards get their only run on an error committed by Crisp as Longoria smacks a single and Crisp fumbles the throw. Stars also score in the bottom half of the second. Frazier doubles. Cervelli singles him home and Pedroia smacks a double to score the catcher.
Stars don't stop tagging it as Kemp blasts a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth. With two outs in the fifth, Crisp walks. Pagan gets a 31 hit-and-run single followed by Morneau's h/r single scoring Crisp. Kemp then hits a 1-1 number 5 HR only to realize his 3 run blast is a 7 against a 9 pitcher, so Pagan scores and Morneau holds up at second. Score now 5-1 Stars.
Pence scores in the 6th after walking and back to back singles by Cervelli and Pedroia. Pedroia scores in the 8th after a leadoff walk, a double by Crisp and a single by Pagan. Final 7 to 1.
Game 2 - Pitchers earn their keep as no runs score until the 8th. ABs get a lead off single followed by back to back walks and a sac.
Stars only hit a double in the 9th by Cuddyer with two outs.
Game 3 - Fister gives up 3 long balls and 4 runs and the Stars muster only 4 hits and score two runs, 1 unearned in the ninth. HRs by Stanton, Gonzalez, Trout.
Game 4 - Frazier hits a two run HR in the 4th, but the stars are hammered by the CHAMPS. 5 HRs in 3 innings and two multiple run scoring HRs kill any chance for a split.
ABs get dingers from Ozuna a two run shot in the 2nd. A two run shot in the 2nd by Martin GIFTED. Gonzalez hits a solo shot in the 3rd. Martin smacks a solo shot in the 4th. Stanton Smacks a solo shot in the 5th.
Team Owner goes nuts and starts throwing coconuts onto the field. What started so promising ended with a frustrated Stars team batting only .190 and being out homered 8 to 2.
Saturday, March 7 - Speakers vs. Asian Tsunamis
Game 1 - The Speakers 2nd inning unearned run is matched by a pair of 4th inning doubles by Miguel Cabrera and Jose Bautista. The 1-1 tie holds until the 7th when Jeurys Familia walks Bautista with the bases loaded.
Drew Pomeranz and friends hold the Speakers to four hits in the 2-1 Tsunamis win. Hard-luck loser Jesse Hahn allows just five. The Speakers have scored 18 runs in their first nine games.
W - Pomeranz (1-0), L - Hahn (0-1), S - Drew Storen (1)
Game 2 - Tsunamis pick up a scratch run in the 4th on Drew Stubbs' bunt single and 2-out RBI single by Kennys Vargas. In the 5th, the Speakers finally snap their 22-inning scoreless streak with Felix Hernandez on the mound. The Speakers erupt for six runs, which is more than they've scored in any game this season. RBI doubles by Howie Kendrick and Buster Posey surround a 2-run single by newcomer Danny Santana in the 11-batter frame.
The Speakers pound out 14 hits en route to a 7-2 win. The Tsunamis collect 11 safeties, but only Jimmy Rollins' HR adds to the scoreboard.
W - Hernandez (1-2), L - Jeff Samardzija (0-1)
Game 3 - The Tsunamis jump on Bud Norris for a 1st inning Corey Dickerson 2-run HR. They talley three more in the 2nd and continue to destroy Speakers pitching for an 11-2 final on 19 hits.
Dickerson adds another HR in the 6th, the same inning Yasmani Grandal goes deep. Starling Marte, Cabrera, Kyle Seager and Dee Gordon all record 3-hit days.
W - Johnny Cueto (1-0), L - Norris (0-2)
Game 4 - The Speakers score in three consecutive innings leading to a 6-0 Jordan Zimmermann CG 5-hit shutout. A 4-run 2nd includes a bases-loaded 2-run double by Andrelton Simmons followed by Jason Heyward's 2-run single. Stephen Vogt connects for his 1st OOTL HR in the 3rd.
W - Zimmermann (2-1), L - Phil Hughes (0-1)
Monday, March 9 - Lymebees vs. Speakers
Game 1 - Speakers get an Anthony Rizzo 3-run HR in the 1st and a Buster Posey 2-run shot in the 2nd, and then fail to score in 25 of the next 27 innings. This embarrassing drought allows the Lymebees to pull within a run in the 5th, highlighted by Kirk Nieuwenhuis' 2-run HR.
It also allows the Bees to stroke four hits, including two for extra bases, to walk off in the 9th. Christian Yelich and Robinson Cano doubles drive the final nails into the Speakers coffin, 6-5.
W - Kyle Crockett (1-0), L - Jeremy Jeffress (0-2)
Game 2 - The Lymebees close the door early, thanks to a 2-run double by Yelich and RBI single by Cano in the 2nd off formerly King Felix. Justin Upton's 8th inning HR closes the door on a 5-1 victory.
W - Sonny Gray (1-0), L - Hernandez (1-3)
Game 3 - Adam Lind's 2nd inning 3-run HR puts this one away. The Bees collect double-digit hits for the third consecutive game while the Speakers drop another easy 7-1 decision.
W - Gio Gonzalez (1-0), L - Bud Norris (0-2)
Game 4 - Upton's second HR of the series puts the Lymebees up 3-1 after 4. The Speakers string together 4 hits in the 5th to lead 4-3. Anthony Rendon's 2-out 2-run single provides the lead.
Stephen Vogt homers in the 6th for insurance, but the Bees kick up another 9th inning fuss. Rizzo fumbles a throw from short for Eric Hosmer to reach. After two ground outs, Nieuwenhuis pinch hits and rolls his third "0" in six plate appearances! However, it's just a single against Familia with a runner on 2nd. The Speakers wriggle out of the jam to shatter another 3-game losing streak, 5-3.
W - Jordan Zimmermann (3-1), L - Zack Wheeler (0-1), S - Familia (1)
Tuesday, March 10 - Birds of Pray vs. Arrogant Bastards
G-1 Carlos Carrasco scattered 6 hits in a complete game shutout, &
J. Altuve doubled in the only run in the 3rd to give Birds 1-0 win. Bastards
Scherzer went 7.1 & gave up 6 hits in the loss.
G-2 Bastards took a 2-0 lead in the 2nd on RBI singles by Longoria & Andrus. Birds tied it in the 5th on single by Lagares & SF by Markakis. Birds took the lead in the 7th on Solano solo HR, then got 2 insurance runs in the 8th when W. Davis issued a HBP & BB with the bases loaded. Birds win 5-2.
G-3 Bastards again take 2-0 lead in the 3rd on M.Trout 2r HR. Birds get 1 back on a Solano 5th inning double & tie game in the bottom of the 9th on a Markakis single. Game stayed tied until bottom 13 when Birds got 3 straight singles off of C.Allen, with J.Shafer getting the walk-off in 3-2 win.
G-4 Birds get single runs in the 4th & 5th (unearned), & Bastards get runs in the 8th (Holliday) & 9th (Utley) to tie @ 2-2. Bastards then got the winning run in the 10th on a B. Gardner solo for 3-2 win.
Birds have now played 4 extra inning games in 8 games, & recorded
3 shutouts. Mgr Steve was ejected in the 4th inning of game 1 on a disputed
double play hit into by D. Ortiz (Big Poopy) with 1 out & runners
on 1st & 2nd.
Monday, March 16 - The Plague vs. Birds of Pray
G-1 The first batter for The Plague reached on an error, then back to
back doubles by B. Hamilton & T. Hunter gave H. Alvarez all the support
he needed as he threw a 2-hit shutout in The Plague's 5-0 win. Montero
added a 2 run double for The Plague.
G-2 Birds scored 2 unearned runs in the 2nd. McCann homered to increase the lead to 4-2, and the Birds held on for a 4-3 win. Betances threw 2 innings for the save. The Plague got RBI triples from Goldschmidt (2 r) & Span (1 r). Teheran went 7 innings for the win.
G-3 Birds pounded out 14 hits to score 9 runs & beat the Plague 9-6. Hardy homered & doubled twice, driving in 3. Gordon & Bradley each had 2 RBIs. Brantley doubled twice, driving in 2 for The Plague. The Plague got homers from Span, Santana & Moustakas.
G-4 Y. Darvish threw a 1 hitter & The Plague got an RBI single in the 6th from M. Brantley for a 1-0 win & 2nd shutout of the series. Birds only hit was a Headley double in the 5th.
Birds drew no walks in the first 3 games.
Plague 6-6, Birds 8-4.
Thursday, March 19 - Lemonheads vs Birds of Pray
G-1 After scoring 34 runs in 12 games, the Bird bats finally came alive.
The Birds pounded out 11 runs on 17 hits to back T. Ross's 4-hitter in
an 11-0 win. R.Gennett was 4-6 with 3 RBIs & C. Davis 4-5 with 2 RBIs.
Ross walked 2 & struck out 11.
G-2 C. McHugh returned the favor for the Lemonheads with a 3-hit shutout. Heads got all the runs they needed in the 1st on RBIs from J. Loney (SF) & a N. Walker single. McHugh K'ed 13 & walked 3 in a 3-0 win.
G-3 Falling behind 1-0 in the 3rd on a C. Blackmon single, Birds tied it in the 7th on an unearned run. Heads got a lead off homer from K. Calhoun in the 8th for 2-1 lead, but Birds scored 2 in the 8th on a double by N. Cruz off Benoit. Birds win 3-2. Tanaka 8 IP, 0 BB, 6 Ks. Shoemaker 7 IP, 0 BB, 10 Ks and 0 earned runs.
G-4 Birds got a 3-run (gift) HR from JJ Hardy in the 1st & a solo (gift) HR by Davis in the 5th, both off of C. Young (-26), to lead the Birds to an 8-5 win. Heads got a 2-run HR from J.D. Martinez & and 2 RBIs from Loney.
Sunday, March 22 - Lemonheads vs. Lymebees
Game 1; Greinke vs Bumgarner; Lemonheads get a solo HR by Desmond in the 4th, 2 solo HRs by Martinez and Desmond in the 4th and a single run in 5th. Bees get 3 runs in the 3rd and 3 runs in the 4th to win 6-4.
Game 2; Liriano vs Gray; Gray pitches a complete game 3-hit shutout. The Bees score 2 runs in the 1st, 3 runs in the 5th, 2 runs in the 6th and one run in the 8th to win 8-0.
Game 3; Gonzalez vs Chen; Bees get a solo HR by Braun in the 3rd, a 3-run HR by Cano in the 4th followed by solo HRs by Castro and Ruiz and another solo HR by Castro in the 6th. Lemonheads get single runs in the 6th and 9th. Bees win 8-2.
Game 4; Wheeler vs ; Lemonheads get a run in the 2nd. Bees get 2 runs in the 3rd and 4 runs in the 4th. Lemonheads get 4 runs in the 5th and tie the game in the 7th. Bees get an unearned run in the top of the 10th. Lemonheads get a leadoff walk and, with 2 outs, pinch hitter Martinez hits a game winning 2-run HR off of Holland. Lemonheads win 8-7.
Lyme bees record at 9-7.
Sunday, March 22 - The Plague vs. Speakers
Game 1 - Yu Darvish blanks the hapless Speakers on four hits. The Plague,
meanwhile, strike for 3 in the 1st, 2 in the 4th and another pair in the
7th for a 7-0 shellacking.
W - Darvish, L - Chris Archer (1-1)
Game 2 - Anthony Rendon leads off the game with a solo HR to score the Speakers first run of the series. In the 2nd, Carlos Gonzalez doubles following a Yoenis Cespedes triple. Andrelton Simmons connects off Jose Fernandez in the 5th, his 3rd yet first HR since Opening Day. Albert Pujols homers in the 6th.
The Plague finally reach Felix Hernandez in the bottom of the 6th. Jason Kipnis doubles, Denard Span triples him home and Billy Hamilton lifts a sac fly to center. In the 9th, Simmons singles home Gonzalez (who had doubled) to close out a highly unexpected 6-2 Speakers win.
W - Hernandez (2-3), L - Fernandez
Game 3 - Danny Santana's 2-out RBI single breaks a scoreless tie in the bottom of the 5th. The Speakers hold that 1-0 lead until the inevitable 8th. With 1 out, Billy Hamilton walks (RP 28). After Hamilton swipes 2nd, Span doubles him home. With 2 outs, Torii Hunter singles home Span for a 2-1 win. The Plague moundsmen retire the final 11 Speakers consecutively.
W - Henderson Alvarez, L - Jesse Hahn (0-2)
Game 4 - Michael Brantley's double play ground ball scores Span for The Plague to take a 1-0 1st inning lead. A strikeout/passed ball helps the Speakers score 4 (3 unearned) in the 2nd inning. Jason Heyward's 1st HR, Gonzalez's double, Rendon's 2-run double and Yasiel Puig's RBI single provide extremely rare highlights.
The Speakers' much anticipated nightmare surfaces in the 5th as Jordan Zimmermann (+42) walks a pair. Hamilton naturally makes him pay with a 2-out 2-run double. Brantley rubs salt in the gaping wound with an RBI single to tie the score at 4-4.
Fast forward to the top of the 12th when Paul Goldschmidt hits a game-winning 2-run HR, 6-4. Following Heyward's 2-out bases empty double in the 3rd, the Speakers total three weak singles over the next 9 innings.
W - Aaron Sanchez, L - Jeremy Affeldt (0-1), S - Jonathon Papelbon
Sad refrain: The Speakers scored in only 2 of 30 innings of these 3 losses, totaling 2 ER of "offense", against 13, 12 & 10 starting pitchers. Through 1/5th of the season, the Speakers have been shut out 4 times, are 2-9 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs, and are 0-4 in extra innings. Our scouts are poised to research the first selection of the 2016 Rookie Draft.
Thursday, March 26 - Birds of Pray vs. Shooting Stars II
G-1 Scooter Gennett homered in the 1st, and the Birds got 2 in the 2nd
on RBIs from Headley & Markakis to take 3-0 lead. Stars tied the game
in the 3rd on an RBI from Frazier & a 2-run double by Pence. It remained
tied until the 11th when the Birds got a leadoff walk from Carlyle, a
stolen base, and an RBI double by Molina for a 4-3 win. Birds got 6 innings
of no-hit ball from their pen.
G-2 Birds got a 6th inning solo from M. Cabrera, & the Stars tied it in the 7th on a Pence solo. In the 11th, the Birds again turned a leadoff walk, by Chapman, into a run, when S. Gennett doubled for a 2-1 win. Birds' Worley 8 IP, 4 hits. Stars' Lynn, 10 IP, 5 hits. This was the Stars 3rd consecutive extra-inning loss.
G-3 Stars got 3 RBIs from Kemp, 3 RBIs from Peralta, including a homer, & a 4-5 game with a homer & 4 RBIs from Frazier in an 11-0 rout of the Birds. deGrom 9 innings, 2 hits.
G-4 Stars got a 2-run homer from Morneau in the 5th to take a 4-0 lead, & Fiers threw a 3-hitter to give the Stars a 4-1 win & series split.
Sunday, March 29 - Speakers vs. Shooting Stars II
The Christians and lions theme rolls on:
Game 1 - Mookie Betts singles to lead off the game. Buster Posey's home run becomes an RBI double, and then he's nailed at the plate after a deep fly out to Matt Kemp in right. Significant? Of course!
Coco Crisp coaxes a walk to lead off the 8th. After a pair of Stars ground out, Todd Frazier singles to tie the score at 1-1.
Since the Speakers only wait around for the opponent to score in extra frames, they go quietly (1-2-3) in the 10th. However, Angel Pagan walks with one out in the bottom half. Justin Morneau, who should immediately be enshrined in Cooperstown based on this series alone, smokes a 2-run HR for a 3-1 Stars' win.
W - Dallas Keuchel, L - Chris Archer (1-2)
Game 2 - Anthony Rizzo's solo (3) in the 2nd gives the Speakers another early lead. Rizzo's 4th inning single (with two outs and nobody on) stands as the Speakers' only other hit until the 9th.
Meanwhile, the Stars bunch three singles and a Morneau sac fly off Felix Hernandez in the 5th to tie. The second of those singles gets through Rizzo. Even the SABR-matricians have lost count as to how many "12" singles the Speakers' 1B4s have coughed up already this season.
Morneau's 2-out RBI single in the 7th should have been enough. However, the Speaker bats double their hit output in the 9th as Andrelton Simmons singles and Posey drives a game-winning 2-out 2-run HR (his 2nd) for a 3-2 lead.
Jeremy Affeldt walks Matt Carpenter with one out in the bottom half. Pinch-runner Brock Holt steals 2nd and 3rd, but is tagged out on a whiffed suicide squeeze. Morneau then grounds out to short to end it.
W - Hernandez (3-3), L - Doug Fister, S - Affeldt (1)
Game 3 - Anthony Rendon's error scores Pagan for a 1st inning Stars' lead. Morneau's RBI double scores Crisp in the 3rd to make it 2-0.
In the bottom half, Rizzo singles home Howie Kendrick following a double to cut the lead in half. Kolten Wong's 2-out RBI single scores Scott Van Slyke in the 4th for a 2-2 tie.
Van Slyke (3-4, 2B, HR, RBI, 2-R) homers in the 6th for a 3-2 Speaker advantage. The Speakers' offense then decides that scoring 3-runs is too much work, so they take the rest of the game off.
Crisp waltzes home with the tying run in the 8th after his triple and Pagan's fly out to left. Hunter Pence homers to start the 9th for the game-winner, since the Speakers traditionally go 1-2-3 in the bottom half.
W - Shawn Tolleson, L - Jordan Zimmermann (3-2), S - Zach Putnam
Game 4 - The Stars drub Bud Norris for 4 in the 1st, 2 more in the 2nd and 14 runs/18 hits overall. Following the 14-4 slaughter, Norris commented, "I feel more beat up than last year's intruder at the Stars' offices. Can't recall when I've had this much fun." I'm sure his 8.10 ERA is an indication. Not to mention a dozen HRs allowed in 5 starts.
Morneau (4-4, 2-HR, 4-RBI, 3-R, BB, sac fly) leads the way while Frazier plates 5, including a 1st inning bases loaded triple before Norris records a single out. Todd also homers in the 8th going back-to-back with Pence. Dioner Navarro also homers for good measure.
Piling on insult, Rendon is ejected in the 2nd following a called third strike, forcing Manny Machado to take the field, already down 6-0. He tried to tell the manager about his sore knee, but was refuted.
W - Lance Lynn, L - Norris (0-3)
Crisp's series: 6-18, 4-0s rolled, D, 2-T, 2-BB. Speakers hitters combined
had less than 6 hits in two of the games.
Morneau: 10-17, 5-0s rolled, D, 3-HR, 9-RBI, 5-R, 2-BB).
Sunday, March 29 - Speakers vs. Lemonheads
The Speakers hobble to Eliott Drive to continue the day's torture. Fortunately, the GM is greeted by friends, a seat on the sunshine-filled deck and a much-needed brown, frothy beverage. After some soothing high-ABV suds, we're in the perfect mindset for another disappointing series.
Game 1 - Buster Posey (3) solos in the bottom of the 1st, but Chris Archer says, "We can fix that." He immediately walks Cole Calhoun to start the 2nd and surrenders an RBI double to Brayan Pena to relinquish the lead before recording an out.
For good measure, Archer gives away three singles and a walk in the 3rd (a 2-run single by Pena) for a 3-1 Heads' lead. The Speakers continue their MO by recording two meaningless singles over the next three innings.
With 2-outs and no baserunners in the 8th, Erick Aybar triples for the Lemonheads. Naturally, James Loney comes through with a 2-out RBI single for a 4-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the 9th, Loney's miscue at 1st leads to a pair of runs, but the Speakers strand the tying run at 3rd for a (yawn) 4-3 final. The Speakers are now 3-12 in 1- or 2-run games.
W - Zack Greinke, L - Archer (1-3), S - Fernando Abad
Game 2 - Felix Hernandez serves up a 2nd-inning HR to Calhoun. Ian Desmond's error in the bottom half leads to Howie Kendrick's RBI single for a 1-1 tie.
Loney doubles with 2-away in the Lemonheads' 3rd. JD "Little Edgar" Martinez strokes a 2-run HR for a quick 3-1 lead.
The Speakers record one single over the next ten batters, but then the GM sips another frothy beverage. Anthony Rendon doubles to lead off the bottom of the 6th. Posey homers for the second time in the series to re-tie the score at 3-3.
Kendrick singles to lead off the Speakers' half of the 7th to end Francisco Liriano's day. Jordan Waldon walks two of the next three hitters. Rendon skies one to right to score Kendrick, giving the Speakers their first lead in 26 innings.
Felix inexplicably holds the one-run advantage through the next two innings for a 4-3 win, breaking a dismal 1-6 record over the last seven games.
W - Hernandez (4-3), L - Liriano
Game 3 - The Lemonheads haven't had much to cheer about in 2015 either, and that trend continues in this contest. Wei-Yin takes one on the "Chen" in a lopsided 11-3 loss.
The Speakers pound 17 hits, but still manage a pair of 2nd-column singles, our specialty. Scott Van Slyke (2) and Yasiel Puig (1) each homer. Rendon (3-5, R), Anthony Rizzo (3-4, D, RBI, R, BB) and Posey (3-5, D, RBI, R) break out in a big way.
W - Jordan Zimmermann (4-2), L - Chen
Game 4 - Yan Gomes' double and Loney's sac fly get the Lemonheads started in the 2nd. In the 3rd, a leadoff walk to Neil Walker and Rajai Davis' single start a threat. With 2-outs, those runners remain at 1st and 2nd, but Martinez comes through with a clutch 2-run triple. Gomes celebrates by cranking a 2-run HR for a 4-run inning, reducing Alex Wood.
Meanwhile, the Speakers produce a pair of weak singles through the first four innings. Yoenis Cespedes, who's hitting a paltry .163, homers (2) to start the 5th. Puig and Rizzo drive back-to-back doubles to close the gap to 5-2.
Kendrick walks to start the Speakers' 6th. With 2-outs, Cespedes takes Chris Young for another ride (3), resulting in a 5-4 score.
Puig's leadoff walk in the 7th chases Young in favor of Darren O'Day. With one out, Rendon connects for his 3rd HR of the season, putting the Speakers up 6-5.
This time, the Lemonheads' offense sputters. After their 4-run 3rd, Heads' bats tally three singles and never get a runner past 1st base.
W - Wood (1-0), L - Young, S - Jeurys Familia (3)
Coming in to this series, the Speakers lost every series except a split with the Tsunamis. We obviously need to drink more beer.
Thursday, April 2 - Devil Dogs vs. Speakers
Game 1 - James Paxton gets a surprise start when Stephen Strasburg requires a bit more rest from his first outing. Paxton twirls a 4-hit shutout against the Speakers, who have now been shut out five times in 29 games.
Chris Archer matches Paxton until the bottom of the 7th. With two outs and no base runners, Jacoby Ellsbury legs out an infield single and steals second. Former Speaker David Wright bounces a single through the infield for the game-winner. Brandon Phillips adds the exclamation point with an RBI double for a 2-0 final and the Dogs' first win of the season!
W - Paxton (1-0), L - Archer (1-3)
Game 2 - Ellsbury's 1st inning sac fly puts the Dogs ahead again. However, Strasburg's additional rest doesn't help. The Speakers put together a trio of doubles in the 2nd for a 2-1 lead.
In the 3rd, Strasburg faces a dozen Speakers yet still can't finish the inning. After 6 hits, 3 walks and an Anthony Rizzo HBP, Strasburg departs with this tragic line: 2.2 IP, 10 H, 10 ER, 4 BB, 2 K.
Against the Dog pen, Rizzo later homers (4) as does Yoenis Cespedes (4) and Yasiel Puig (2). Felix Hernandez finally enjoys some offensive support in the 14-4 win.
W - Felix (5-3), L - Strasburg (0-2)
Game 3 - The Devil Dogs strike for 3 in the 2nd on Sal Perez's gift 3-run HR off Bud Norris (8.10 ERA coming in to this start). Albert Pujols' RBI single in the bottom half makes it 3-1 after 2.
Even though the Dogs collect 9 hits over the next 5 innings, they fail to score, thanks in part to a Cespedes 7-2 double play with the bases juiced in the top of the 7th.
After the stretch, the Speakers use that momentum at the plate. Manny Machado singles to start the inning against James Shields. Pujols (3-4, HR-2, 3-RBI, R) homers to tie at 3-3, but the Speakers aren't finished. After Cespedes whiffs, Andrelton Simmons and Jason Heyward club back-to-back doubles. With 2-outs, Buster Posey singles home Heyward, and then Rizzo hits a 2-run HR, his 5th, to complete a 6-run inning.
The Speakers bat around for the second time in two days resulting in a 7-3 win. This despite Norris scattering a dozen hits and a gift HR through 6.1 shaky innings of work. The Dogs strand 11, but it seems like even more, on 13 hits.
W - Jeremy Jeffress (1-2), L - Shields (0-2)
Game 4 - Yovani Gallardo and Alex Wood begin with each turning in a quality start. Simmons' RBI single follows Carlos Gonzalez's 2-out double in the 2nd.
Wood coughs up that early lead as Hanley Ramirez homers to start the Dogs' 3rd. Josh Hamilton solos in the 6th for a 2-1 Devil Dogs' lead.
Howie Kendrick coaxes a walk to begin the bottom half. Stephen Vogt (2-4, T, RBI) triples him home for a 2-2 tie.
The Speakers feel as though they should be leading due to Vogt getting caught in a rundown at 3rd in the 4th, a bases loaded Pujols GIDP to end the 5th, and Sal Perez picking Vogt off 3rd after the no-out triple in the 6th.
The Dogs get only a Chris Carter (2-4, K) 2-out single in the 9th after Hamilton's HR. The Speakers don't fare much better against the Dog pen through regulation. However, Anthony Rendon doubles to start the bottom of the 10th. Rizzo's 6th HR, his 3rd of the series, walks off with a 4-2 win, the Speakers' first extra-innings victory of the season (1-5).
W - Jeurys Familia (1-0), L - Al Alburquerque
Monday, April 6 - Birds of Pray vs. Eliminators
The Birds traveled to "The Arch" to begin a 4-game series with
the Eliminators. The Birds out-hit & out-scored the Eliminators, and
lost 3 games.
G-1 V. Martinez hit a 2-run HR in the 1st for all the runs C. Sale would need. Sale shut down the Birds on 2 hits for a 3-0 win. J. Bruce added a solo.
G-2 V. Martinez homered, doubled & drove in 2 runs & J. Donaldson added a solo as the Eliminators beat the Birds 6-2. Ventura 6.2 IP, 5 hits 1 run. Birds got a solo from Y. Molina.
G-3 J. Lucroy hit a 2-run 5th inning HR for the Eliminators. The Birds got a solo in the 6th from M. Prado & Eliminators sent the Birds to their 5th straight loss with a 2-1 win. Elims Smyly 6 IP, 3 hits, 1 run. Birds' Worley 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs.
G-4 Birds sent 11 batters to the plate in the 2nd scoring 6 & added 4 more in the 4th to end their losing streak & pound the Eliminators 10-1. B. McCann homered & singled to drive in 4, & the Birds got back-to-back RBI triples from J. Lagares & J. Altuve. C.Carrasco 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 run.
Eliminators hit 5 HRs in the first 3 games.
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