A new season means a clean slate to create a championship season.
While the first two series of the season do not show exactly how a team is going to do this season, it’s a great opportunity to get off on the right foot in front of excited baseball fans.
The St. Louis Cardinals have arguably been the most dominating and consistent team in baseball in the past 10 years. Since 2004, they have four National League Pennants, Two World Series Titles, multiple layoff appearances, and have been a constant threat league wide. After losing to the Red Sox for the second time, they come into this season with a sense of unfinished business.
The Cards opened their season in Cincinnati against division foe the Reds. With Cincinnati starting this season with a new manager in Bryan Price, they too, wish to make a good mark on 2014. The Cardinals looked to Adam Wainwright as their starter, and the Reds gave the nod to Johnny Cueto. Both pitchers pitched a solid game, with Wainwright pitching nine strikeouts and Cueto pitching 8, but it was Cueto that gave up a homerun to St. Louis’ Yadier Molina that would decide the game at 1-0 Cardinals to a sold out crowd. This was the first time the Reds were shut out on Opening Day since 1953.
Game 2 was a chance for the Reds to redeem themselves after a close loss, but it would have to wait after a nearly three-hour rain delay. Tony Cingrani for Cincinnati and Michael Wacha for St. Louis took the mound that day in an equally as intense pitching performance. It wasn’t until the bottom of the 9th inning that the Reds got their number on the board and closed the game with a Chris Heisey walk-off single, making the series tied at one a piece.
While Game 3 was as close at the two prior, it did not take as long to get numbers on the board for both teams. St. Louis’ Lance Lynn gave up three runs in the bottom of the first inning with Jay Bruce homerun bringing in Joey Votto to score as well, and then a Todd Fraizer solo shot, leaving the Cardinals down 0-3 in one inning. However, the Cardinals battled back against Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey. Bailey gave up a two run homer to Jhonny Peralta, bringing the game within one again. In the top of the 5th, Matt Holliday doubles to bring in Kolten Wong, tying the game and ending the night for Homer Bailey. The Cardinals sealed the deal in a huge 7th inning by bringing in 3 runs, and while the Reds battled back with 3 runs in their 7th inning at bat, the Cardinals leave Opening Series taking 2 games out of 3.
Before the Cardinals can open the season in front of their home crowd, they take a trip to the Steel City to play against the Pirates. The Pirates had just come off of a historical season by making it to the dance for the first time in 21 years. Their playoff run was short lived by being eliminated in the NLDS by whom other than, The St. Louis Cardinals.
Game 1 took place on a beautiful Friday night in Pittsburgh, and if you ask the fans in attendance at that game, the scoreboard definitely made the night even better. The Pirates demolished their division rival 12-2 behind solid pitching from Gerrit Cole and two home runs by Pedro Alvarez. Matt Carpenter’s two run homer would be the only runs scored for the National League Champions.
After and embarrassing opening game, the Cardinals looked to regroup and walk into PNC Park with their A game, which they did. They Cardinals took Game 2 from the Bucs with a score of 6-1, which started off in a three run 1st inning to start the game. The Pirates attempted to fight back in the bottom of the 3rd, but the Cardinals sealed the deal with homers from Yadier Molina and Jhonny Peralta.
Game 3 brought a warm sunny afternoon in Pittsburgh, and what the Cardinals hoped to be another 2 game victorious series. In a close game, the Pirates would take the series 2-1, despite solid pitching from Adam Wainwright and Edinson Volquez Neil Walker doubled to drive in Andrew McCutchen in the 4th, putting the Pirates on the board. Jon Jay answered for St. Louis with a 6th inning RBI triple, putting the Cards on the board, but Tony Sanchez’s RBI double in the seventh put it away for the Pirates.
After a less than satisfactory Opening Week for the Cardinals, they finally return home to Busch Stadium to their loyal fans dressed in red.