Category Archives: 2017 First Period

Speakers vs. Lemonheads

In late May, the Lemonheads try to avenge last year’s 2-8 disastrous head-to-head record against the Speakers, including an 0-4 start in the 2016 1st period.

Game 1 – The Lemonheads start innocently enough, scoring an unearned run in the 3rd. Then the flood gates open.

Six straight ‘Heads reach in the 4th leading to a 5-spot (4 ER). They one-up that barrage in the 7th. The first 4 batters reach. After 2 whiffs, the next 5 go single (0), single (7), single (4), 3-run HR, double!

When the dust settles, the Lemonheads make a 14-2 statement. Only Ian Kinsler’s 7th inning 2-run triple prevents another Speakers’ shutout. Former Speaker Daniel Murphy and Charlie Blackmon each stroke 3 hits, including a homer.

W – Drew Pomeranz; L – Carlos Martinez (4-2)

Game 2 – The hitting shoes transfer to the other dugout as the Speakers pound out 13 hits in a 9-3 final. Bases-loaded triples are wild for both sides. Nelson Cruz clears the bases with 2 outs in the 5th. Carlos Gonzalez answers in the 6th with a sacs loaded 3-base hit of his own.

Mookie Betts (4-5, RBI, 3-R), Anthony Rizzo (3-4, 2-D, RBI, 3-R, BB), and CarGo (4-5, T, HR, 6-RBI, R) lead the offense. The Speakers score against all 3 Lemonheads pitchers.

W – Jake Arrieta (5-1); L – Jake Odorizzi

Game 3 – Gonzalez needed a double for the cycle yesterday. He gaps a 1st inning RBI variety 2-base hit in the 1st inning today. Rizzo deposits a 3-run homer in the 5th for a commanding 5-0 lead. 2 more runs in the 7th make it 7-0.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hellickson has not allowed a base runner through 6. After the stretch, lead off hitter Blackmon grounds to short. Murphy steps in, argues about Strike One, and then ruins the perfect game, no-hitter and shutout with one swing!

That would be the only Lemonheads’ base runner in the 7-1 final. Hellickson pitches a gem (9 IP, 1-H, 1-ER, 0-BB, 11-K).

W – Hellickson (4-3); L – Dan Straily

Game 4 – Murphy homers again in the 1st off David Price. Machado matches that solo (5) in the 4th. CarGo smacks a solo (3) in the 6th for a 2-1 Speakers’ lead.

That slim margin holds until the pen for the Lemonheads falters in the 9th. After Will Smith walks Rizzo to start the inning, Joaquin Benoit gets Kris Bryant to fly to left. Then Benoit serves up a 2-run homer to Roughned Odor (4). Kinsler follows with a double and Javy Baez connects (1) to make it 6-1.

After the 1st inning homer, Price allows a walk to Murphy and 2-out Adam Duvall single in the 4th; and, a 2-out double to Cruz in the 6th. The Lemonheads go quietly the rest of the way (10 in a row) for a 6-1 final.

W – Price (1-2); L – Ian Kennedy; S – Jeremy Jeffress (3)

The Plague vs. Speakers

Last year’s championship contenders continued their rivalry in mid-May.

Game 1 – Each team uses 3 pitchers in the final inning to decide this close contest. Kris Bryant gets the Speakers on the board early with a 1st inning RBI ground out and a 3rd inning 2-run HR (his first of the season!). During both innings, Mookie Betts (3-4, 3-D, 3-R) scores.

The Plague score candlesticks in the 4th and 6th on ground ball RBIs by Francisco Lindor and Paul Goldschmidt. The Speakers answer in the 6th as Carlos Gonzalez legs out a lead off double. Bryant grounds to 2nd and Anthony Rizzo lifts a sac fly to center for a 4-2 lead.

In the bottom of the 8th, Betts doubles with 1 out to chase starter Tanner Roark. Lefty Kyle Ryan faces pinch hitter Yoenis Cespedes. Cespy singles home Betts. After Bryant lines out to 3rd, Rizzo doubles home Cespedes (turned back HR) to chase Ryan.

With a 6-2 lead, Carlos Martinez starts the 9th, but quickly finds himself pitching from the stretch. Lindor singles. Goldy grounds out. Max Kepler gets those 2 runs back with a 2-run home run.

Pinch hitter Alcides Escobar reaches 2nd on a Rizzo error. Jeremy Jeffress comes in and walks Alex Bregman, which puts the tying run on base. Billy Hamilton hits a fly ball to center (a turned back hit). Escobar tags and takes 3rd.

Enter Joe Blanton to face Carlos Santana representing the go-ahead run. Blanton gets Santana to chase strike 3 to end the game, 6-4.

W – C. Martinez (3-1); L – Roark; S – Blanton (2)

Game 2 – Aaron Sanchez is the star of the game, hurling a CG, 5-0 victory, and allowing just 4 singles.

The Plague score in the 2nd on Matt Wieters’ 2-out 2-run double. Jason Kipnis connects with a 2-run blast in the 3rd. Bregman triples home Wieters with the exclamation point in the 4th.

This marks Jake Arrieta’s first clunker of the year (11 H, 5 ER, HR). The shutout marks the 5th of the season (in 22 games) suffered by the Speakers, who never touch 3rd base.

W – A. Sanchez; L – Arrieta (4-1)

Game 3 – Another Speakers’ scoreless streak climbs to 18 innings as Marco Estrada pitches another 4-hit CG shutout. If you’re counting, that’s 6 times the Speakers have been blanked in 23 games.

Early RBI singles by Goldschmidt and Lindor are all that’s needed for The Plague to pocket a 2-0 win. Jeremy Hellickson scatters 8 hits and allows just 1 ER in the tough luck loss.

W – Estrada; L – Hellickson (3-3)

Game 4 – In a carbon copy of Game 3’s 1st inning, a Speaker error and Goldy RBI single give The Plague the early lead. Joe Ross battles to keep the margin to 1 run, (which would have been enough the past two days).

Manny Machado finally snaps the Speakers’ 21-innings without scoring, blasting a 4th inning 2-run HR, his first of the season. After Wieters ties it up with a sac fly in the bottom half, the Speakers rope 3 doubles to score another pair in the 5th.

Santana homers to start the bottom half. The 4-3 nail biter goes quickly in the late innings. Only the Speakers offer a 9th inning threat: 2nd and 3rd with 1 out. Two pop ups leave the 1-run margin.

Blanton pitches a 1-2-3 9th to secure the 4-3 win and the series split.

W – Ross (1-1); L – Jose Fernandez; S – Blanton (3)

Lymebees vs. Speakers

This match-up took place pre-Senators game back in April.

Game 1 – The Bees start early as Robby Cano leads off the 2nd with a ringing single (8). Willson Contreras follows with a big fly off Joe Ross for a 2-0 lead.

The Speakers get ’em back in the 4th, thanks to a pair of Cano errors, a walk and 2-run single by Andrelton Simmons. Madison Bumgarner sees his way through the rest of the inning as well as 1st-and-3rd threats in the 5th and 7th.

2-out back-to-back doubles by Simmons (3-4, D, 2-RBI, R) and Buster Posey in the 8th score the go-ahead run. Speakers enjoy their first lead, 3-2.

A 1-2-3 9th seals the win. The Lymebees only muster 3 hits, the last of which is a lead off single by Eric Hosmer back in the 3rd inning.

W – Brad Hand (1-0); L – Mauricio Cabrera; S – Roberto Osuna (3)

Game 2 – Devon Travis doubles with 1 out in the 2nd. After Ryan Braun pops up to Simmons, Marwin Gonzalez singles to center. Mookie Betts charges and throws a strike to Posey to nail Travis at the plate.

The game remains 0-0 until the 5th. With 2 outs, Simmons doubles. Posey rips a clutch RBI single (7) to put the Speakers up 1-0.

Jake Arrieta is cruising, but walks the first two Bees to start the 6th. He then strikes out the side (Cano-Contreras-Travis) to quell the threat.

Betts begins the 8th with a double. Kris Bryant singles him in (5) for a much-needed insurance run.

The Bees go quietly in the 9th again, and fail to register a hit (again) after the 3rd inning. Arrieta twirls a CG 4-hitter, 2-0.

W – Arrieta (4-0); L – Kyle Hendricks

Game 3 – Ian Snell and 3 relievers hold the Speakers to 3 hits, all in different innings. The only needed offense takes place in the 1st as Luis Valbuena leads off with a single. Christian Yelich bats next and lofts a homer. The Bees load the bases against Jeremy Hellickson, but fail to score any more.

Valbuena parks one in the 2nd to finish the scoring at 3-0. Yelich adds a 2-out double in the 7th, but is stranded.

W – Luke Gregerson; L – Hellickson (3-2); S – Derek Law

Game 4 – Ryan Braun (2-5, HR, RBI, 2-R) wreaks havoc from the lead off spot to lead the Bees to their second straight shutout, 7-0. Sandy Leon goes 3-4 batting behind Braun, collecting singles with a 9, 7 and hit-and-run 31.

Adrian Beltre (3-run HR) and Gregory Polanco go back-to-back in the 5th to seal this laugher. The Speakers are shut out for the 4th time in 20 games.

W – Lance McCullers; L – David Price (0-1)

Arrogant Bastards vs. Speakers

Way back on March 19th, the ABs and Speakers clashed on Carol Drive.

Game 1 – Mookie Betts homers twice (3, 4) and knocks an RBI double in his first three trips to the plate. That’s all Carlos Martinez needs (7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB) to pick up a 5-1 win.

Martinez turns away Evan Longoria’s homer in the 2nd and strands the bases loaded in the 5th. Roughned Odor chips in 3 singles (one on a hit-and-run 5 for an RBI).

W – C. Martinez (2-0); L – Danny Salazar

Game 2 – The ABs only manage 5 hits, but Kenta Maeda holds serve (8 IP, 5 H, 10 K). A scoreless tie reaches the 10th inning.

Joe Blanton strikes out Kevin Pillar to begin the bottom half. Tyler Saladino bunts for a hit. Addison Russell singles (9) to put the winning run at 2nd. Mike Trout pops to short.

With 2 away, Blanton loses Brett Gardner to load the bases. Stephen Piscotty attempts to walk, but Blanton denies him (+21). Piscotty then rolls another 14 for a walk off walk!

Bastards win 1-0. No Speaker makes it to 3rd base through 10 innings.

W – Brad Brach; L – Blanton (0-2)

Game 3 – With 2 on and 1 out in the 3rd, the Speakers break their scoreless streak. Kris Bryant’s 2-run triple gives the home team the early advantage.

Anthony Rendon walks with 2 outs in the 4th. Buster Posey reaches on Trout’s miscue in center, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd. Max Scherzer plunks Betts to load the bases; and then, he uncorks a run-scoring wild pitch. Speakers lead 3-0.

Jeremy Hellickson keeps the ABs at bay, except one innings gets away from the veteran. Russell doubles with 1 out in the 5th. Joe Panik pops to short for the 2nd out, but Trout’s 2nd hit of the series (11) scores Russell.

A rattled Hellickson balks and proceeds to walk Gardner and David Ortiz. Bases jammed. Giancarlo Stanton tries to walk for an RBI, but Hellickson (+26) turns it away and finally gets a 4-6 fielder’s choice to end the tense situation.

Bryant doubles to lead off the 7th. Carlos Gonzalez grounds out, moving Bryant to 3rd. Manny Machado lifts a fly ball to Stanton. Bryant breaks for the plate, but Stanton’s throw is on the money for a 9-2 double play!

Elvis Andrus starts the 9th with the ABs’ only other hit, a bunt single against Jeremy Jeffress. Evan Gattis promptly grounds into a tailor-made double play to erase the threat. Adrian Gonzalez grounds to short to bring down the curtain on a 3-1 Speakers’ win.

W – Hellickson (3-0, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 10 K); L – Scherzer; S – Jeffress (1)

Game 4 – Ervin Santana and Joe Ross lock horns for 4 scoreless innings. Longoria starts the ABs’ 5th with a double that injures Bryant in right field.

With 1 out, Russell doubles in Longoria. With 2 away, Panik singles home Russell. 2-0 ABs.

Another pair of extra base hits start the ABs’ 6th. Gonzalez doubles and Stanton triples him home. Longoria singles (5) in Stanton for a commanding 4-0 lead.

The Speakers have chances against Santana, but can only manage back-to-back doubles (Rizzo and Machado) to start the bottom of the 6th. They would leave 6 RISP and go 2-13 in those situations.

ABs take the finale to salvage a split, 4-1.

W – Santana; L – Ross (0-1); S – Kenley Jansen

Speakers vs. Unhinged Wahoos

At the end of May, the Speakers wrapped up their 1st period against the formidable Wahoos.

Game 1 – The Wahoos become Unhinged in the 2nd, turning a lead off walk and three consecutive singles into the first 2 runs of the game. Carlos Gomez and Brandon Crawford collect RBIs.

Roughned Odor answers in the bottom half with a 2-run triple following a lead off walk and Ian Kinsler single. Buster Posey’s clutch 2-out single plates Odor for an early 3-2 lead.

The Wahoos go back to work in the 3rd as Starling Marte singles in Jose Altuve with 2 away. Solos by Crawford and Altuve in the 4th put Mann’s Wahoos ahead, 5-3.

Posey singles again to start the bottom of the 5th. Mookie Betts takes Stephen Strasburg deep (7) to knot the game at 5-5. But the Speakers aren’t done. Doubles by Anthony Rizzo and Manny Machado surround a Kris Bryant HBP. Kinsler adds a sac fly to complete a 4-run inning and 7-5 lead.

Edwin Encarnacion’s sac fly in the 6th brings home Sparky Eaton in the 6th to close the margin to 7-6. However, the Wahoos fail to reach base against the Speaker pen, which retires 11 straight.

W – Bartolo Colon (1-1); L – Strasburg (0-5); S – Roberto Osuna (5)

Game 2 – Daniel Norris and Carlos Martinez clash in an old fashioned pitchers’ duel. Kinsler doubles with 1 out in the Speakers’ 4th. Javier Baez singles him home to break a scoreless tie.

In the very next half-inning, Bryant whiffs on a grounder to 1st allowing Marte to reach 2nd. Martinez gets the next 2 batters, but Roberto Perez coaxes a walk to turn over the lineup. That gives Eaton a chance to become the hero. Sparky laces a 2-run double to put the Wahoos ahead, 2-1.

The Speakers never reach 2nd base again as Norris and the Wahoos’ relief crew put the game away. Martinez is the tough luck loser, allowing only 3 hits and 2 unearned runs.

W – Norris (1-0); L – C. Martinez (4-3); S – Alex Colome (9)

Game 3 – Jeremy Hellickson and former Speaker Justin Verlander put on another pitching show. Encarnacion’s solo in the 1st allows the Wahoos to start fast.

Meanwhile, Verlander only allows one Speaker as far as 2nd base until the 8th. Cruising with 2 away, Verlander hangs a pitch to Carlos Gonzalez who strokes a double. Rizzo grounds to short, but Crawford can’t find the handle as CarGo streaks home to tie at 1-1.

That marks the first Speakers run in 13 innings. Verlander calmly picks off Rizzo to end the frame.

With 2 outs in the top of the 9th, Kinsler takes Verlander for a ride. His 3rd HR of the season gives the Speakers a 2-1 advantage.

Jeremy Jeffress strikes out the dangerous Nolan Arenado to start the bottom of the 9th. Wil Myers singles (10) to bring the winning run to the plate. With Myers in motion, Marte hits a seed into Machado’s glove. Manny throws to 1st to easily double off Myers and end the game, 2-1.

W – Jeffress (2-0); L – Verlander (3-3)

Game 4 – More pitching domination, this time featuring David Price and Corey Kluber. The Speakers jump out to the early lead today as Betts walks to begin the proceedings. Gonzalez singles. Bryant flies to right as Betts tags and slides safely into 3rd. Rizzo’s grounder to Myers results in a 3-6 fielder’s choice RBI.

In the top of the 4th, Gomez butchers a line drive to left resulting in Kinsler circling the bases. For these offenses, a 2-0 lead seems like a 12-0 cinch.

Arenado finally gets his bat going by slugging a solo shot in the bottom of the 4th. Two harmless singles and one walk, all in separate innings, are all the Wahoos can manage the remainder of the game.

When the 2-1 score becomes final, only Arenado has touched 2nd base during his home run trot. The last 10 Wahoos go down in order.

W – Price (2-2); L – Kluber (1-4); S – Osuna (6)