The 2023 season got underway this weekend with some fireworks and surprises.
While it got frustrating at times, the Cardinals' 2023 season got underway. One thing is certain; it's great to have Cardinal baseball back.
The Cardinals lost Thursday 10-9, they won on Saturday 4-1, and on Sunday, the Cardinals won 9-4.
Miles Mikolas got roughed up in his first start of the season Thursday. He threw 3.1 innings, giving up ten hits, and five runs, but did strike out six batters. Zack Thompson relieved Mikolas, going 1.2 innings, giving up one hit while striking out three batters. Drew VerHagen pitched two-thirds of an inning, giving up one hit but striking out a batter. Andre Pallante pitched 1.1 innings, giving up two hits, a walk, and a run.
Jordan Hicks pitched an inning, giving up three hits, a walk, and two runs while striking out a batter. Hicks also allowed a 102.3 mph pitch to go a bit wild, nailing Willson Contreras in the area of his kneecap. Contreras had to be helped off the field as he was in much pain. X-rays were clear of damage. He didn't play Saturday but was available on Sunday. Hicks was credited with a blown save.
Ryan Helsley closed out the game, going into the ninth inning. He gave up two hits, a walk, and two runs. He received the loss as well as a blown save.
The offense had a great game, which we'll discuss later.
On Saturday, Jack Flaherty got his first start of the season. He was hyped for it too.
Flaherty gave up no hits through five innings of work with four strikeouts. In theory, this sounds like a great outing. But, please note Flaherty also gave up seven walks. While the no-hit baseball is an excellent trend, he can not allow so many walks. That can not happen again! Otherwise, it was great to see him compete again. While he had some frustrating moments, it was definitely a good start for him and shows that he can regain his composure and get back on track.
VerHagen pitched an inning of relief, striking out two batters. Pallante pitched an inning of work, giving up a hit. Hicks pitched one-third of an inning, giving up three walks and a run. Hicks has a 20.25 ERA after the appearance. Hicks may need a reset because he has not started the season on the best path. Hicks has a lot of talent, but watching him be so ineffective is frustrating.
Helsley was able to close out the game and get his first save of the season. He worked 1.2 innings, giving up two hits while striking out two.
On Sunday, the Cardinals won 9-4 earning a series victory over the Blue Jays. Jordan Montgomery pitched a gutsy five innings for the Cardinals. He gave up six hits, a walk, and three runs. He did strike out three batters.
Chris Stratton pitched 1.2 innings, giving up three hits while striking out one. He gave up a bloop run. Packy Naughton pitched the final 2.1 innings, giving up one hit while striking out two.
Next up for the Cardinals is a three-game set against the Atlanta Braves starting Monday. Now let's discuss the offense and some of the highlights of Opening Day weekend.