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. Morneau: 10-17, 5-0s rolled, D, 3-HR, 9-RBI, 5-R, 2-BB). Speakers hitters combined had less than 6 hits in two of the games.