Yesterday was the Cardinals’ home opener, and as always, expectations ran high. It poured down rain Monday morning, but by 10 AM, the rain had stopped. The sun did its best to break through the clouds, but it unfortunately didn’t succeed. The overcast weather, however, didn’t keep the citizens of Cardinals Nation from flooding into downtown St. Louis to all the pep rally locations, even if they didn’t have tickets to the game (like me). Opening Day is an unofficial St. Louis civic holiday. The boys are back in town and all is well with the world.
There were long lines to get into Busch Stadium yesterday due to the new metal detectors that were installed in the off-season. There was plenty of advance notice about the new metal detectors – maybe folks should have gotten moving to the stadium sooner. The on-field pre-game festivities began promptly at 2:30, whether you were in your seat or not. Various civic personalities were introduced. The beloved Clydesdales made their annual trip around the warning track. Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Tony LaRussa, Lou Brock, Whitey Herzog, and Red Schoendiest were introduced. Then the St. Louis Cardinals Museum and Hall of Famers Willie McGee, Mike Shannon, and Jim Edmonds that were there were introduced. Why do I always tear up during the introduction of the Hall of Famers? Is it just me? Or am I just a sentimental female? I tear up as well during the Cooperstown Hall of Fame ceremonies when they introduce the players. I can’t blame it on the hormones anymore – I’m too old. 😦
All the current players then made their way around the warning track to home plate. They all greeted the Hall of Famers (except for Jason Heyward, who forgot) and took their place along the first base line. Lance Lynn showed a lot of class and respect for the Hall of Famers by removing his cap when he shook their hands. That man’s mama raised him right.
An American bald eagle was released and he flew around the stadium for a good 5 minutes. I didn’t think he would ever go back to his handler. The poor bird probably enjoyed his temporary freedom. I understand he got a mouse for a treat. He was probably hungry after all that flying around.
Then came the beautiful video tribute for Oscar Tavares, and a moment of silence for Oscar, his girlfriend Edila and Post-Dispatch sports writer Bryan Burwell, who passed away last winter. The Cardinals did a classy thing and left a spot and a press pass in the press box for Bryan. Lynn was seen putting his arm around Carlos Martinez’ shoulders during the Oscar tribute, a gesture of support and empathy.
The National Anthem was performed awesomely by Retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer First Class Generald Wilson. What a voice! It gave me goosebumps.
The Opening Day ceremonies went off without a hitch (with the exception of Heyward’s faux pas), but the game itself was not without its problems. The Brewers scored a run in the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Wainwright’s pitching was inconsistent, and it could be that there was too long of a time between starts for him, due to the days off on Tuesday and Thursday last week. Wainwright had to pitch a longer game yesterday, because Matheny used 5 bullpen pitchers in Sunday’s game. Kolten Wong’s defense was sloppy – he made two errors, and brave Kolten tried to take the brunt of the loss upon himself but there were other factors that led to yesterday’s loss.
The Cardinals got within one run, but they lost the game, 5-4. Tradition met today, but today was sadly lacking. I know we’re only 6 games into the season, but the lack of offense, continuing over from last season, is concerning. Lance Lynn pitches tomorrow evening and I will be attending my first game of the season. I hope to bring home a win.
My next post will be after the annual blogger event next Sunday evening. See you then! Thanks for reading!