O Frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! He chortled in his joy. I don’t know if Lewis Carroll was a baseball fan, but if he were, he may have written Jabberwocky during Opening Week. (If there was such a thing in 1872, but let’s not burden my literary allusion with facts). In any event, that moment that every baseball fan pines for, Opening Day, occurred this week. It is Monday, and therefore time for Redbird Rants’ weekly wrap up of the week’s games. I drew a short week, just five games, but it was five games full of offensive excitement. Let’s wrap it up.
Monday April 2, 2012, Exhibition Game—-St. Louis Cardinals 3 Springfield Cardinals 2
This game was played in Springfield, MO and featured Trevor Rosenthal taking the mound for the major league squad, as none of the current rotation were sent to Springfield. The game was sedate until the 6th inning, when St. Louis got on the board with a single by Vance Albitz, pinch hitting for David Freese, a single by Matt Carpenter, and a ground out by Tony Cruz, scoring Albitz. A sacrifice fly by Erik Komatsu followed, scoring Carpenter. St. Louis 2 Springfield 0. In the 7th, St. Louis added a third run on a solo home run by Ronny Gil. In the bottom of that inning, Springfield scored two with a walk to Kolten Wong, who was brought home on a triple by Oscar Taveras. Taveras then scored on a ground out by Xavier Scruggs. No more runs were scored by either squad and the game ended in the final score of St. Louis 3 Springfield 2. The game featured 4 perfectly pitched innings by St. Louis starter Rosenthal.
Opening Day, Wednesday April 4, 2012—-Cardinals 4 Marlins 1
This was a one game series with the Miami Marlins, to open their brand new stadium. Kyle Lohse was on the mound and he pitched a gem, taking That Thing That Shall Never Be Talked About Until I’ts Over (no-hitter) into the 7th inning. The Redbirds got on the board in the 1st inning when Carlos Beltran ripped a single to right field. Lance Berkman then doubled to left field, moving Beltran to third. World Series MVP David Freese then plated both Beltran and Berkman on a single to left field. Cardinals 2 Marlins 0. In the 2nd, Daniel Descalso gets on base with a walk and then is moved on over to second by a sacrifice bunt by starting pitcher Lohse. Rafael Furcal follows with a single to center field, scoring Descalso. Cardinals 3 Marlins 0. In the 7th, no runs were scored, but the inning was notable for the ruining of Lohse’s no hitter by former Met party pooper Jose Reyes, who started off the inning with a single to right field. In the 8th, David Freese got on base with an infield single to the shortstop, the aforementioned party pooper. (That’ll teach ya). Yadier Molina doubled deliciously to left field, and Freese subsequently scored on a ground out by Daniel Descalso. The Fish scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the 8th on a single by Twitter sensation Logan Morrison, who was then eliminated on second via the force out and replaced by Omar Infante, who was doubled home by catcher John Buck. Cardinals 4 Marlins 1. The game ended on that score in the 9th
Friday April 6, 2012—Cardinals 11 Brewers 5
Opening day for NL Central rival Brewers, playing sans Prince Fielder. Brew Crew struck first in the 1st scoring two runs off Cardinals’ starter Jaime Garcia. Single by Rickie Weeks, followed by a triple from center fielder Carlos Gomez. Gomez subsequently scored on a ground out by Aramis Ramirez. Brewers 2 Cardinals 0. The Cardinals then embarked on an 8 inning Grand Tour of the bases, starting in the 2nd with a home run by Yadier Molina. The Cardinals then scored 4 more in the 3rd with back to back homers by Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday and a two run jack by, you guessed it, David Freese. Cardinals 5 Brewers 2. One more run was scored by the Redbirds in the 4th on a single followed by a stolen base by Rafael Furcal, and an RBI single to center by, you guessed it again, David Freese. The Cardinals fell down on the job in the 5th by not scoring (the slackers) but scored again in the 6th on a single by Furcal, who stretched his luck and was thrown out at second, a single by Beltran, and a double by Lance Berkman. 7-2 Redbirds. In the 7th, Chief Justice Jon Jay singled to center and advanced to second on an error. Jay advanced to third on a ground out to first by Descalso and scored on an infield single by Shane Robinson. Beltran, Holliday and Freese took a breather and went quietly in the 8th. Then in the 9th, the bottom of the order got in on the fun. Molina doubled to left, Descalso walked and Matt Carpenter hit a bases clearing double to center. Matt Carpenter came home on another double by Furcal. Three more runs were scored making it 11-2 Cardinals. In the bottom of the 9th, the Brewers made a too little too late attempt to rally on a three run homer by pinch hitter George Kottaras. Final score Cardinals 11 Brewers 5. Jaime Garcia gets his first win of the season.
Saturday April 7, 2012—Cardinals 0 Brewers 6
The 2012 debut of Adam Wainwright was marred by a shutout loss to the Brewers. The Cardinal offense, apparently tuckered out by the previous day’s free for all, didn’t give their pitcher any run support (which greatly offended this Wainwright fan by the way). Wainwright pitched well, going 5 2/3 innings, marred only by a solo home run by Corey Hart in the second inning. Wainwright entered the 6th with only a 1-0 deficit but his throwing error on a routine bunt by cud…..er…..tobacco chewing Nyjer Morgan, left two men on base. Morgan was then eliminated on a double play grounder by Ryan Braun. But Wainwright then gave up an RBI double to Aramiz Ramirez, scoring Rickie Weeks, and was lifted after 88 pitches for relief pitcher Victor Marte. Marte then proceeded to give up a two run homer to pinch hitter Carlos Gomez leaving the score at the end of the 6th at 4-0 Brewers. The Brewers scored two more in the 8th on a solo home run by Rickie Weeks off Fernando Salas, a double by Ryan Braun and another double by Carlos Gomez. Boooooooo. Brewer pitcher and big mouth Zack Greinke got the win. Okay, he pitched very well, doesn’t mean I have to like him.
Sunday April 8, 2012—-Cardinals 9 Brewers 3
In the rubber game of the series, starting pitcher Lance Lynn pitched a brilliant game, imitating injured Chris Carpenter almost to a tee, except for there weren’t enough swear words. Redbirds scored in the 1st inning with lead off hitter Rafael “Happy Flight” Furcal sending a single to right field. Matt Holliday brought Furcal home with a double to center field. Cardinals 1 Brewers 0. In the 4th inning, starting center fielder Shane Robinson gets on base on a single to left field. Pitcher Lance Lynn then blistered a single to right field (take that, DH lovers) moving Robinson to second. Rafael Furcal followed that with an RBI single to left field. Cardinals 2 Brewers 0. In the 5th, the Cardinals scored another run on a walk by Holliday, and two singles by Beltran and Freese. In the bottom of the 5th, Lynn threw a mistake pitch to Corey Hart (who is starting to annoy me) who sent it into the left field stands. Following a barely audible expletive by Lynn (keep working on it) he proceeded to strike out four batters in a row (atta boy). Two more runs by the Cardinals came in in the 7th on a single by Holliday and a two run homer by Beltran, 5-1 Redbirds. The 8th inning saw another run by the Cardinals when Furcal doubled to left field and Tyler Greene brought him safely to the plate with a single to left. The Brewers answered in the bottom of the 8th with a single by pinch hitter Norichika Aoki and a double by Alex Gonzales off relief pitcher Mitchell Boggs, scoring Aoki. In the 9th, Brewers closer John Axford walked both Matt Carpenter and Erik Komatsu, and was yanked for 6’8″ pitcher Kameron Loe. 5’9″ center fielder Shane Robinson went BOOM on a Loe pitch to left field for 3 more runs, proving once again that good things come in small packages. 9-2 Redbirds. In the bottom of the 9th, Ryan Braun hit a solo home run after two unsuccessful attempts to the warning track earlier in the game, but by then who cares cause the game was already over anyway. Final score Cardinals 9 Brewers 3. Cardinals take the series in Milwaukee and move on to tackle the Reds in Cincinnati.