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)