The Clydesdales. The red jackets. The birds on the bat. It was Opening Day weekend in St. Louis. And it was great.
It was quite an emotional Opening Day for the St. Louis Cardinals.
The organization honored Albert Pujols’ return to St. Louis, showed appreciation to the man who spent his entire career with the Cardinals in Yadier Molina, and appreciated one of the legendary arms the organization has seen in Adam Wainwright.
Busch Stadium was primed for a spectacular Opening Day weekend.
Thursday: Cardinals 9, Pirates 0
Tyler O’Neill started things off with a single to second base, allowing Dylan Carlson to score. In the second inning, O’Neill launched a home run to left, scoring Harrison Bader and Paul Goldschmidt. In the sixth inning, Carlson hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Bader.
In the eighth inning, an umpire review confirmed a home run from Tommy Edman to left field. It was nice to hear the umpire confirm what they were reviewing and announce their results. O’Neill then hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Carlson. Nolan Arenado hit a home run to left field, scoring Goldschmidt. All of the runs in the eighth inning were scored off Aaron Fletcher.
Paul Goldschmidt took four walks in the game, scoring two runs.
The Cardinals were off on Friday but a few guys stuck around Downtown St. Louis to watch the Blues take on the Minnesota Wild.
The Blues won in overtime over the Wild, 4-3.
Saturday: Cardinals 6, Pirates 2
Miles Mikolas struggled on the mound but Nolan Arenado shined in a 4-for-4, three-RBI day.
Mikolas pitched 3.2 innings Saturday, giving up six hits two walks, and two earned runs. He was able to strike out one. Kodi Whitley earned the win for the Cardinals going 1.1 innings and only walking two. Nick Wittgren pitched two-thirds on an inning, earning a hold. He gave up a hit but also struck out one. T.J. McFarland pitched an inning, also earning a hold. He gave up two hits, but also struck out one.
Ryan Helsey looked great pitching an inning and a third. He struck out three. He topped out with a 100.9 mph pitch.
Giovanny Gallegos pitched the ninth, walking one and striking out one.
Arenado started things off in the first inning with a double to left field to score Dylan Carlson. In the third inning, Arenado singled on a fly to right field, scoring Paul Goldschmidt. Paul DeJong hit his first home run of the season on a fly to right-center to score Arenado. The homer traveled 377-feet with an exit velocity of 103.8 mph.
In the fifth inning, Corey Dickerson single on a grounder to center field, scoring Arenado.
In the sixth inning, Arenado hit his third double of the season on a fly to right field, scoring Goldschmidt.
Bench coach Skip Schumaker ended up with his first victory managing the Cardinals. Marmol was out with illness.
Sunday: Cardinals 4, Pirates 9
This game was rough. The Cardinals got off to a decent start and then Steven Matz had a disastrous third inning, and the Cards never recovered.
Tyler O’Neill hit a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Dylan Carlson in the first inning. With Paul Goldschmidt on base, Nolan Arenado hit his second home run of the season on a liner to left field. The blast traveled 377-feet with an exit velocity of 107.1 mph.
After looking good in the first and second inning, Matz had an awful third inning as the Pirates took advantage with aggressive, first pitch hitting. With Roberto Perez, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Bryan Reynolds on base, Michael Chavis hit a grand slam to left field. The blast traveled 386-feet with an exit velocity of 102.4 mph.
The Cards scored again in the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly to center by Carlson. Harrison Bader scored on the play.
Matz threw three innings, giving up nine hits, one walk, and seven earned runs. He was able to strike out five. According to Jeff Jones of the Belleville News-Democrat, Matz developed a blister in the third inning, which prevented him from following through on his pitches.
Jake Woodford pitched three innings, giving up two hits and one walk. He struck out three.
Andre Pallante made his major league debut, going one inning, giving up two hits, one walk, and a run. Aaron Brooks pitched the final two innings, giving up two hits and one earned run while striking out two.
Due to inclement weather, the game was postponed to June 14 for a day-night doubleheader.
The Cardinals will host the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Let’s discuss the stand-out players from this opening series.