The Good, Better And Best Of A Winning Home Opener

Umbrellas and raindrops were key parts of yesterday’s home opener but, thankfully, the rain wasn’t enough to delay the game. And the St. Louis Cardinals offense apparently likes being home, as the Cards scored five runs on nine hits to triumph over the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 in damp and drizzly home opening game.

Seven Cardinals had hits in the game — Peter Bourjos had two! — and Yadier Molina showed once again how much he loves driving in runs against the Reds with a three-run first inning double. While Trevor Rosenthal had an uncharacteristic ninth inning, it wasn’t as wild as past home opener adventures in recent years and the Cards won their first opening game at Busch since 2010. Maybe Trevor just wanted to keep us interested …

And while the photo below shows a little bit of that gray and rainy atmosphere, the bunting was out and the Opening Day logo was on the scoreboard and the field — therefore, it was a beautiful day at Busch Stadium.

Here’s a look at the good, better and best of the festivities and the game, and special thanks to Laura for the photos she provided.

home opener

Photo: Laura

The Good

TLR

Photo: Laura

Leading off the parade of Hall of Famers was the newest of them all, former manager Tony La Russa wearing his red blazer for the first time. He looked good, and did a nice job greeting his fellow Hall of Famers, Mike Matheny, the coaches and the players as the first one in the home plate receiving line. He and Ozzie Smith even had a polite moment as they shook each others’ hands. And, as Dan McLaughlin and Ricky Horton pointed out on television and which I also noticed when watching, TLR even steered Pat Neshek in the right direction when he was going to walk behind everyone.

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At Least Lance Lynn Didn’t Have His One Bad Inning …

It’s a positive that Lance Lynn didn’t have his infamous one bad inning last night, right?

And, to hear him tell it, he only threw three bad pitches all night. (Yep, really.)

lance lynn

Yeah, Lance, we know the feeling …

Not that any of this provides consolation, as the Cardinals lost 6-2 to the Reds and have now lost six of their last eight games — including three of four in Cincinnati. They are now 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Pirates and 1 1/2 games ahead of the third-place Reds.

The loss meant there wasn’t any momentum from Wednesday night’s thrilling 16-inning win — just like there wasn’t any momentum after those exciting 14-inning and 12-inning wins over the Pirates in mid-August. The Cardinals have lost the next game all three times. Plus, as we all remember from Earl Weaver, momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher. So, when that man’s name is Lance Lynn, Cardinals fans are pretty much bracing themselves for how bad things could go this time.

Not that everyone wants to dislike him and dread his appearances — I certainly don’t.

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Now Come The 17 Biggest Cardinals Games in the History of the World!

It’s deja vu all over again, isn’t it? Several consecutive crucial series for the St. Louis Cardinals against the National League’s top teams, just like three or so weeks ago. And it all starts tonight.

3d humanoid character with a exclamation markCan’t you just hear the dramatic music and visualize the slow-motion montages on Fox Sports Midwest?

Of course, no one wants deja vu to the outcome of that 11-games-in-10-days disaster against the Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds when the Cards only won three games — with two coming against the Reds, the team behind them in the standings.

When this 17-game stretch — four games with the Braves, seven with the Reds and six with the Pirates — ends on Sept. 8, we could have a much better idea of how the National League Central race will play out.

Or we could not.

That, however, is no fun to contemplate.

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