2010, Is That You?

That game seemed vaguely familiar.

Very good starting pitching, inconsistent offense with 12 hits and only 3 runs, spotty defense … 2010, are you back again? It certainly seemed like it, only with a few new faces in the lineup and some old friends doing things we don’t expect. Like going 0 for 5 and grounding into three double plays.

Yes, Opening Day against the Padres was a bad one for the Ryans. Franklin gave up a home run to Cameron Maybin with two out in the top of the ninth. And Theriot had an error in the 11th, as he mishandled a throw from Jon Jay and made a bad throw to Yadi that allowed the winning run to score. Hugely disappointing from both of them.

But Franklin is Franklin. He’s not going to suddenly turn into Mariano Rivera or Brian Wilson, because he’s never been a lights-out, fire-balling pitcher. And Theriot — well, after reading approximately 1,278 tweets about how Brendan Ryan would have made that play and countless giddy tweets from Cubs fans, I’m not going to bash him today. He shook Stan the Man’s hand and was hugged by Red Schoendienst during the pre-game, so he’s officially a Cardinal. He doesn’t need any bashing … today anyway. At least he got a hit.

Which is more than can be said for Albert. After 10 seasons, seeing Albert do something historic isn’t really surprising anymore. Yet it is when it’s historically bad. As I heard on MLB Network last night and Matthew Leach mentions on Cardinals.com, hitting into three double-plays on Opening Day is something that no one has done since double-plays have been kept as a stat. Yay, Albert?

At least everyone else who started (minus Chris Carpenter) had a hit. Matt Holliday had a great game, with an at-the-time go-ahead homer in the eighth. Lance Berkman had two singles and showed some impressive speed motoring around the bases to score from second on a single by Yadi in the fourth. Colby Rasmus hit a triple in his first at-bat. Overall, though, 12 hits. Three runs. Deja vu, with some different names and numbers out there.

The Good

  • Chris Carpenter: 7 innings pitched, 2 hits, 2 runs (the second one really should have been unearned), 4 strikeouts
  • Matt Holliday’s hitting
  • Trever Miller: tie game, bases loaded, two outs, gets Brad Hawpe to fly out to center


The Bad

  • Miguel Batista: The pitcher/poet might have fared better had he sat in the dugout and composed his feelings on his first Opening Day experience riding in a pickup truck. The end result certainly would have been more entertaining.
  • Bryan Augenstein: Ouch. Not a good debut either.
  • Skip Schumaker: He also grounded into a double-play, plus dropped a throw from Yadi at second. More deja vu …


The Ugly

  • Albert’s 0 for 5 and three double plays.
  • The fourth Opening Day loss in five years.
  • Fox Sports Midwest’s botched coverage of the pre-game ceremonies. Nope, we really didn’t want to see all of Albert’s introduction or anything after that, like Berkman being introduced. We prefer Dan McLaughlin babbling and a bunch of commercials. But at least we got to see Stan the Man. That was anything but ugly.

And as if the Cardinals loss wasn’t disappointing and reminiscent of last year, the Reds had to make our day a little bit worse with their bottom-of-the-ninth comeback win over the Brewers. It’s a new season — why does it still feel so much like the last one?

Christine Coleman is the lead writer for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or e-mail aaronmilesfastball@gmail.com. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.

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