Nothing will make up for the San Francisco Giants beating the St. Louis Cardinals in the final three games of last year’s National League Championship Series.
However, chasing Matt Cain from today’s game with a nine-run fourth inning and beating the Giants 14-3 on the day they received their World Series rings? It definitely helps ease that pain a bit, especially after yesterday’s 6-3 victory.
And, after all the (justified) angst following last Wednesday’s 16-inning loss to the Diamondbacks, the Cardinals ended their road trip 3-3. Isn’t going .500 on the road the way to a successful season?
With a great victory like today’s, seems like the perfect opportunity for the first “Good, Better, Best” of 2013.
- Adam Wainwright bouncing back from Monday night in Arizona with a very good performance. He went seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. (More on a couple of those coming up …) He’s yet to walk a batter this season and lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 3.46.
- Every Cardinals starter except Wainwright had a hit today — and that includes Ty Wigginton, who actually had two and an RBI.
- The Cards had a couple of extra base hits today, unlike yesterday when they 11 singles. Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams doubled (more on the latter coming up too) and Jon Jay had a triple.
- Not only was there plenty of hitting and runs scored, it was timely hitting. There were eight two-out RBI from the Cardinals today.
- Marc Rzepczynski pitched a scoreless inning, his fourth of the season. He was perfect today and has only allowed one hit this year.
- Carpenter made his first start at second and did fine.
- Tony Cruz got into the game, catching the ninth inning while Yadi played first base.
- Wait, Ryan Jackson appeared in the game too. He pinch-hit for Wainwright and went hitless in two at-bats.
- Joe Kelly pitched an inning, allowed an earned run on three hits — and lowered his ERA. It’s now 9.82 and was 10.13. So that’s good.
- Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple. Wainwright then went to work, as Marco Scutaro was called out on strikes and Pablo Sandoval struck out before Buster Posey grounded out to end the inning and the scoring threat. Waino’s curve is back and was looking mighty nice today.
- Speaking of Rzep, he got to bat — for the first time ever. Well, sure, he struck out. But any time a relief pitcher bats, it merits a mention.
- Matt Adams was three for four and drove in two runs on the previously mentioned double — it was a ground-rule double, actually, bouncing into the center field seats 400+ feet from home. Adams is now hitting .600. His on-base percentage is also .600 and he’s slugging .700.
- Any nine-run inning is guaranteed to be the best part of the game. And here’s a look at all nine scoring, in a video just under two minutes long.
So now the Cardinals are flying home for tomorrow afternoon’s home opener as they start a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. If you’re going, check out this post from earlier today for the complete schedule of events.
Finally, since he has some free time now, here’s a look at how Chris Carpenter spent his Sunday afternoon.
Yep, with Clydesdales — delivering tickets for tomorrow’s game to the winners of a Budweiser sweepstakes. When I first saw something about the contest last week, I thought it was an early April Fool’s Day joke. The joke is on me, as it obviously was very real. Read more and check out photos from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch here. I particularly like the caption to photo 14.
Christine Coleman is the lead St. Louis Cardinals reporter for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates.