Opening Day 2024 was one of the worst in Cardinals history

The first game of 2024 was not pretty, but how does it rank in the history of the Redbirds on Opening Day?

St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

We have heard the importance of the Cardinals to leave 2023 in the past, but unfortunately for them, the first game of the 2024 season looked like more of the same. It's hard to think of a worse possible outcome for the Cardinals to kick off the new season.

You could make the argument that the beginning of this season was to be expected for multiple reasons. The Los Angeles Dodgers are projected to easily surpass 100 wins again in 2024 and are likely favorites to win the World Series, meanwhile, the Cardinals are likely going to be in a dogfight to win a division that appears to be very weak.

On top of that the Cardinals are without their ace in Sonny Gray, and three players who were supposed to cover a lot of innings in the outfield this season, Lars Nootbaar, Tommy Edman, and Dylan Carlson. The odds were certainly against the Cardinals in their first game of 2024, and it ended with a result that everyone around the team was hoping to avoid. But where does this Opening Day compare to other Opening Days in Cardinal history?

The Cardinals have lost consecutive Opening Days for the first time since 2018-2019.

Opening Day in 2023 was at least competitive, but the Redbirds fell short to the Blue Jays last season at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals are now 76-66-1 all-time on Opening Day which is the 16th-best among 30 teams.

1 run on offense was the fewest for an Opening Day game since 2016.

The Cardinals bats were stymied all game by Dodgers pitcher Tyler Glasnow. While Dodger hitters were squaring up Miles Mikolas even when behind in the count, it was the opposite for St.Louis hitters as we saw a plethora of awkward swings and uncomfortable at-bats as Glasnow only allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That one run was the first time the Cards were limited to just one on Opening Day since they were shut down by Francisco Liriano of the Pittsburgh Pirates back in 2016 (their one run in that game was scored off of Mark Melancon).

Along with just one run, the Cardinals were limited to only 3 hits, all 3 hits awarded to Goldschmidt, as only two other players were able to reach base during the game (Willson Contreras on a walk, and Victor Scott II on an error). Those three hits were the fewest on Opening Day for the Cardinals since all the way back in 1986 when they only recorded 2 hits against Rick Sutcliffe and the Cubs in 1986, the only difference was the Cards still won that game 2-1.

After shutting out the Pirates on Opening Day in 2022, the Cardinals have now allowed 17 runs in the past two Opening Days.

We all know pitching has been a major concern in St.Louis for the past few seasons and the pitching has been disappointing in the last two Opening Days. In their defense they have faced the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman, just to name a few, but it's hard to win games when on average you allow 8.5 runs a game, which the Cardinals have now done in the past 2 Opening Days. The Cardinals have now allowed at least 7 runs in consecutive Opening Days, something they haven't done since they allowed 9 runs in 2003 and 8 runs in 2004 respectively, both against the Brewers.

There were a few bright spots however, of course the 3 hit game for Paul Goldschmidt after a rough spring, Matthew Liberatore looked good in his one inning of work out of the bullpen, and Victor Scott showed how dangerous he can be on the bases in his MLB debut. When Scott stole second base on Opening Day, he became the first Cardinal player since 1900 to successfully steal a base in his MLB debut on Opening Day. He has the potential to become one of the most entertaining players in the league with his game-changing speed.

161 to go. Lets hope those go better than game 1 did.