Cards Win First Grapefruit Game


The Cardinals opened their Grapefruit League play with a win over the New York Mets today by the score of 7-0.  After yesterday’s beating of St. Louis University, the Cards are now 2-0 in the early going.

I was at the opener for the second straight year.  It’s a fun time to be a Cardinal fan.  A fresh season brings new hope.  Although the Redbirds aren’t predicted to contend for the division title, I can never discard a team in the spring, especially one managed by Tony La Russa.

It was cold in Jupiter today.  With the temperature only getting into the mid sixties, I had a hard time holding onto my beer.  I got to watch the end of the Cards’ batting practice and all of the Mets’.  Anthony Reyes took the mound for the first pitch at 1:05. Knowing how much is riding on a productive Reyes, I was anxious to see how he’d do today.  He did great. Reyes went 3 innings, allowing two hits, and striking out one.  He escaped trouble in the first when Mets’ third baseman David Wright drilled a ball to deep center, but was robbed of extra bases by Rick Ankiel’s acrobatic catch at the track.  Reyes walks away from today’s game with something good to build on.  He needs to continue to boost his confidence throughout the spring, and today was certainly a step in the right direction.

The defense to start the game for La Russa could closely resemble the one we’ll see on opening day.  Yadier Molina was the only regular who didn’t start.  Backup catcher Jason Larue took his place, hitting ninth.  Old timer Juan Gonzalez was penciled in as the DH, and went 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

The most exciting part of the day was when Colby Rasmus came into the game.  Rasmus reached base in all four of his plate appearances in yesterday’s game.  He entered today’s game as a pinch runner for Albert Pujols in the fifth.  He doubled in his first at-bat, and walked the next time up.  Rasmus has now reached base in all six of his appearances.  He’ll be with the big club sometime in ’08, but if this keeps up you’d have to think he’ll be heading for St. Louis when the team breaks camp at the end of March.

A few other notes from today’s game:

  • Troy Glaus had a nice barehanded play but the throw wasn’t in time – three people around me simultaneously said, “Rolen would have made that play.”
  • Skip Schumaker was 3 for 4 with a stolen base.
  • Hugo Castellanos pitched well but I wouldn’t mind seeing the radar gun on him – looks very slow.
  • Girls that drink beer are more attractive than ones that don’t.
  • Mets fans were pleasant.

Aside from the cold, it was a great day at the ballpark.  Feel free to check out some of my pictures.  For all the stats from today’s game, check out the box score.  Tomorrow the Cardinals will head to Port St. Lucie to play the Mets again.  The starting pitchers will be Adam Wainwright and Johan Santana.  Go Cards!