I saw my first live Cardinal game this year on Monday as my best friend and I took in the Cardinals vs. Royals on Memorial Day. My friend (who lives in KC and is a Royals fan) treated me to a very early birthday present (my birthday is in the middle of the playoffs in October) and off we went to the K. We sat on the third base side, a section or two to the left of the Cardinals’ dugout. Our section was an interesting mixture of Cardinals and Royals fans. My friend to my left, fellow Cardinal fans on my right.
We arrived rather early, as the game was announced as delayed an hour while we were in route to the stadium. We found our seats, wiped them off with towels and sat down to wait. It was still rather cool and blustery, but the weather conditions improved as the day went on. I was wearing my #50 Wainwright white jersey, my STL earrings and my 2011 World Series replica ring. I wasn’t wearing a hat, which I later came to regret, as the sun came out during the game and the top of my head sunburned. I also had my digital camera, and a notebook of scoring sheets to keep score. I did take some pictures, but I haven’t yet uploaded them off my camera.
Once the game started, things got exciting, A leadoff single by Matt Carpenter followed by a two run bomb into the left field fountain area by Yadier Molina had the Cards fans in my section on their feet. Molina had a day at the plate that game, which later turned in to chants of “Ya-dee” from my section. I don’t think the Royals fans were amused. Later in the game when Molina was intentionally walked, I yelled some terminology concerning the lack of bravery on the part of the pitcher which the Cardinal fan next to me found amusing.
Wainwright battled bravely however, and I had never been more proud of my favorite Cardinal player. Despite some early innings struggles, Waino found his groove in the 5th inning and was his usual terrific self afterward, even returning to pitch the 8th, despite already being at 100 pitches. He gave up a lot of hits, but the vast majority were bloop hits and seeing eye singles. He struck out 5, walked no one, and essentially shut the Royals down after giving up those 3 runs early. That is how an elite pitcher performs when he doesn’t have his best stuff.
I had a great time, and so did my friend (even though her team lost). What looked like bad weather conditions early became a beautiful day for baseball. The K is a lovely stadium, the Royals and their fans were good hosts, and we saw some very good baseball played. The pre-game ceremonies with the military vets was very moving and well done by the Royals. After the game, my friend and I went back to her place, freshened up and had a nice dinner in Westport. A gentleman at the table next to us noticed my World Series ring and asked to see it. He was impressed. He then admitted to being a Cubs fan. I expressed my condolences. After dinner, I got in my car and drove home. All in all, a marvelous day.
So that was my day at the K. Yesterday, news was released that uber prospect Michael Wacha was being called up on Thursday to make the start for injured pitcher John Gast. While most of Cardinal Nation cheered, I, on the other hand, did not. I have to be honest and say this is not a move I personally approve of. I wrote a post the other day about how Wacha’s numbers at Memphis were a little hinky. I said I believed more time at Memphis was warranted before a call up. Well he isn’t getting it and more’s the pity. While it was advertised as necessary, I don’t agree that it was. The explanation by Mozeliak was that it was the most “seamless” decision. Well I prefer a little more seam, as in start Kelly or Maness or do a bullpen start but don’t interrupt Wacha’s development for what may turn in to a short term gig. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. Having said all that, now that it is imminent, I sincerely hope Wacha’s debut is a good and positive one.