Twelve years ago, it was an ordinary Tuesday night at the ballpark.
On June 18, 2002, the Anaheim Angels played in St. Louis, facing the Cardinals for the first time ever. More than 39,000 people gathered at Busch Stadium, which was a toasty 88 degrees at game time. No surprise at the temperature — it was St. Louis in June.
No one knew the significance of this night, this game, right then.
No one knew what the date would come to mean for Cardinals fans or in Cardinals history.
It was simply a baseball game on a Tuesday night.
Darryl Kile returned to the pitchers mound for the top of the eighth inning, working on a shutout.
Both were season firsts for him, going that deep into a game and holding the opponent scoreless. Twice he’d pitched seven innings, both times allowing an earned run, in what had thus far been an up-and-down year.
He didn’t win a game until April 24, then lost three straight. Since mid-May things had been better, three consecutive wins until he hit a bump in the road in his most recent start: five earned runs in only 4 1/3 innings, his shortest outing of the year. His record was 4-4, his ERA 3.97.
Now, in this game, more improvement. Continue reading