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.