After my trip to St. Louis for another exciting (but dissappointing) Opening Day, and being on an airplane during last night’s game, I was pretty excited to watch my first Cardinal telecast tonight. More on my trip in a minute.
The Cards were hoping to get a solid performance from tonight’s starter Todd Wellemeyer en route to a win over Pittsburgh, and at least, an opening series tie. Instead, the Colonel was roughed up for 5 runs on 12 hits. He also walked a pair, and needed 93 pitches to get through 5 innings.
Even though he didn’t particularly have a good spring, I’m not yet concerned about Wellemeyer. After all, his 9.00 ERA is the same as National League Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.
Unfortunately for Cards fans, Brad Thompson’s relief appearance wasn’t a whole lot better. He served up a two-run homer to Nate McLouth in the sixth. As Dan and Al noted during the broadcast, Thompson seems to be giving up a lot more fly balls lately, which is pretty alarming for a sinkerballer.
At least Trever Miller and Ryan Franklin were able to keep the final two frames scoreless.
Not much can be said for the St. Louis offense either. They scattered 7 hits in the contest, but also left 7 men on base. 7-4 was the final score. Here’s the complete box score.
Something I did find interesting was Tony La Russa’s lineup, which had it’s third different third baseman in as many games. Tonight’s starter, hometown rookie David Freese picked up a pair of hits, including a double of the right field wall. I look for him to get more starts than the other two (or three) candidates. Colby Rasmus got the start in left field and was in the lead-off spot. Although he didn’t get a hit, it was nice to see him draw a couple of walks and give a few Matt Capps’ fastballs a ride. Chris Duncan was the outfielder on the pine, leaving Rick Ankiel as the only outfielder to start each game.
The series finale is tomorrow afternoon. Chris Carpenter gets the start for the Redbirds after skipping his previous turn in the rotation. The Pirates will counter with Ross Ohlendorf. Hopefully Carp can restore some sanity in Cardinal Nation with a win.
Finally, for those interested, my annual trip to the Lou for season opener was a blast. I did all the usual things: Drinks with friends at Fast Eddie’s on Sunday. Downtown outside of Al Hrabosky’s at 8:30 Monday morning for tailgating. Skipped over to Paddy O’s for more beers a couple of hours before the game. Watched the caravan of Clydesdales and Fords from left field. And of course saw a hell of a baseball game.
Afterwards is a bit fuzzy, but I know it included a lot more beers back at the bars. I’ll get a link to the pictures up as soon as I finish uploading them.