The sea of red filled Busch Stadium once again as a new season in Busch Stadium began. The atmosphere was electric. Hall of Famers of Redbirds past graced the field. Mark McGwire made his return — he received a hero’s welcome. And of course, the hero of this generation starred when the umpire said, “Play Ball!”
Yes, Albert Pujols opened the season in St. Louis just like he did on the road last Monday — with a bang. Baseball’s Machine hit a home run and drove in four runs to lead the Cardinals to a comfortable win in the home opener. He is off to a great start even for a player of his caliber. With the homer, he now has five on the year to go with a league leading 14 RBIs. Playing Robin to Pujols’ Batman today was Ryan Ludwick. He went 4 for 4 with a triple.
With all of the heroes in Busch today, it’s hard to believe there was more. Adam Wainwright was super on the mound to get his second win. He pitched eight shutout innings and fanned seven to keep the hapless Astros down. Houston drops to 0-7 on the year. A week into the 162 game slate and it already feels like a marathon for the ‘Stros.
Mark McGwire had to feel good after receiving a thunderous ovation in the pre-game introductions. The support and love for Mac is incredible and he has been far from a distraction since that first week at Spring Training. Any attention after this will be for his work as the Cards hitting coach. Judging by the team’s start, he could be getting quite a few phone calls to ask for some secrets. The Cardinals lineup led by Pujols has been explosive in the first week. Matt Holliday has come through, Ludwick has had his moments, Colby Rasmus is rising up the star charts, and everyone else is hitting, too.
Add to that Chris Carpenter and Wainwright, and you’ve got the recipe for success.
There are no secret ingredients or special kickers to this recipe.
Everyone knows No. 5 packs the pop that makes the Redbirds a dangerous group.