Blogs By FansC70 At The Bat
Sponsor
Cardinals_WideSkyscraper.jpg

Baseball Schedule is your best source for the latest St Louis Cardinals Schedule information as well as keeping up with division rivals including Cubs Schedule, Reds Schedule, Brewers Schedule and Astros Schedule.

Bet on the Cardinals with Sports Interaction's MLB betting lines


Slots Galore Casino Tournaments

Get your tickets from Bubba! Cheap St. Louis Cardinals Tickets and more, including tickets for the next MLB All-Star Game. Bubba's got Boston Red Sox Tickets and New York Yankees Tickets

Subscribe
RSS Feed

Archives

Players

Categories


Alliance tickets has an extensive inventory of St. Louis Cardinals Tickets , Colorado Rockies Tickets, San Francisco Giants Tickets and Seattle MarinersTickets.

With all of the St Louis tickets out there, Cardinals tickets and Rams tickets make for great presents. GoTickets.com can fill all of your sports tickets needs, just check out our testimonials

Here's Where The Fun Begins

Posted on April 1, 2013 at 6:44 AM
Filed Under: Arizona Diamondbacks | St. Louis Cardinals
We've waited all winter for this.  We've dealt with injuries, trades, and questionable signings to get to this moment.  We've debated ideas and made predictions.  Ever since Matt Holliday popped out to Marco Scutaro last October, we've looked for this day.  And now, now it's here.

Opening Day 2013.

A full season stretches out before us.  162 games of possibility.  Will we see a no-hitter?  Will someone have a three-homer game?  Can Pete Kozma continue his magic run?  How exciting will the young pitchers be?  We don't know and that's why we watch.

It all starts tonight in Arizona.  I've argued before that baseball should respect the tradition of certain crown jewel teams and always have them open the season at home.  St. Louis, Cincinnati, the Yankees, Boston, those are teams and communities that fully embrace all that baseball is and all that Opening Day means.  Cincinnati does usually get the home opener, but in another kick to the teeth of tradition, this year they open with the Angels.  That's right, interleague play, one of the banes of modern baseball, will be held in the most storied of Opening Day traditions.  There's a lot wrong with that.

Today is not about recriminations or pointing out what baseball should be doing.  Today is about what baseball is.  It's about casting off the winter (for good, hopefully) and looking forward to short sleeves and sunny days.  It's about hope, even for teams that are usually hopeless.  The rational parts of some fans (thankfully, not Cardinal ones) might doubt that their team has much of a chance, that they can't win.  The heart believes on Opening Day, however.  Opening Day is not about logic.  It's about love.

The soundtrack of our lives returns this evening.  Mike Shannon and John Rooney on the radio.  Dan McLaughlin, Al Hrabosky, and Rick Horton broadcasting on television.  Whatever your personal opinions of these guys, you can't deny that it's good to have them back.  Even if it's to complain about them.

While Han Solo and others in the Star Wars universe might have said it with a bit of snark or irony, baseball fans wholeheartedly can speak this phrase today.  Here IS where the fun begins.

The Cards made a few things official this weekend.  The first is that there will be no juggling of the rotation this week.  With the off-day, there was the possibility that Wainwright would go on normal rest and Shelby Miller's turn would be skipped, but instead they'll start the rookie against the defending World Champs in San Francisco.  Tara and I discussed this last night on Gateway To Baseball Heaven and I think that it shows a bit of confidence in the rookie.  Granted, the Giants' offense isn't their major strength and their ballpark is conducive to pitching, but Miller did give up a couple of runs to them last October.  I think this means they aren't likely to coddle Miller during the year, forcing him to sink or swim and believing he'll do the latter.  It's going to be fun to find out.  Miller had a final tuneup after everyone else left Florida, striking out seven minor leaguers in 4.2 innings.  Sounds like he's ready to go!

We also know the lineup for tonight's game.  Over the weekend, Mike Matheny said that lineup slots aren't set in stone, that he'll juggle them some depending on performance and slumps.  (Tony La Russa just called and said, "That's it? Amateur.")  This is what we'll see for the first time this evening.

Matt Holliday, LF
Pete Kozma, SS

If the middle infielders are as strong as we saw in Jupiter, there could be a lot of runs scored not just tonight, but many nights.  That's a pretty strong lineup and it doesn't even have David Freese in there.  Should be able to win some games that way!

As regular readers know, the regular season brings a couple of things to this blog.  After every game I name a Hero and a Goat, and the running tally will be on the right sidebar.  (Might have to scroll a ways down to see it.)  Some games either of those tags isn't quite fair, but it's a way of noting who had the best game and who had the worst or who did or didn't come through at the right moment.  Plus the top Goat every year has either been traded or, in the case of Rafael Furcal, been injured and unable to play the next year.  So there's a little weight to that, even if it is coincidental.

The second is the tables from Baseball-Reference's Play Index.  Most games I like to show what the Cardinal starter has done against the current hitters of the opposition and vice versa.  Today, let's see what Waino had done against those that might be in the Diamondbacks' lineup:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP
Miguel Montero 13 11 4 0 0 1 1 2 2 .364 .462 .636 1.098 0 0 0 0
Martin Prado 11 10 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .300 .364 .300 .664 0 0 0 0
Jason Kubel 7 7 3 1 0 0 1 0 1 .429 .429 .571 1.000 0 0 0 0
Eric Hinske 6 6 2 0 0 0 2 0 3 .333 .333 .333 .667 0 0 0 0
Gerardo Parra 6 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 .167 .167 .167 .333 0 0 0 0
Aaron Hill 5 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .200 .200 .200 .400 0 0 0 0
Wil Nieves 5 4 1 1 0 0 0 1 2 .250 .400 .500 .900 0 0 0 0
Paul Goldschmidt 3 3 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 .333 .333 1.333 1.667 0 0 0 0
Cliff Pennington 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0
Josh Wilson 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0
Total 62 58 16 2 0 2 5 4 12 .276 .323 .414 .736 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/1/2013.

Miguel Montero's a pretty good hitting catcher and he's had Wainwright's number.  All in all, there's some D-Backs that have done pretty good against the Cardinal ace in limited exposure.  He'll have not only harness his emotions but also make some adjustments to harness those hitters as well.

Ian Kennedy goes for Arizona, getting the nod to start their season.  Kennedy has some rough numbers in his career against the Cards, but against the current incarnation of them, he's been able to hold his own:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP
Carlos Beltran 23 20 6 1 1 2 6 3 5 .300 .391 .750 1.141 0 0 0 0
Matt Holliday 11 8 3 1 0 1 3 2 1 .375 .545 .875 1.420 0 0 0 1
Jon Jay 8 6 2 0 1 1 1 1 1 .333 .500 1.167 1.667 0 0 1 1
Ty Wigginton 7 7 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .286 .286 .429 .714 0 0 0 0
Allen Craig 6 5 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 .400 .500 .600 1.100 0 0 0 0
Yadier Molina 6 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0
Daniel Descalso 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000 .200 .000 .200 0 0 0 0
Jake Westbrook 5 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 1 .250 .400 .500 .900 0 0 0 0
Joe Kelly 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0
Shane Robinson 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0
Total 74 63 16 5 2 4 11 9 10 .254 .365 .587 .952 0 0 1 2
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/1/2013.

It'd be great to see Holliday and Beltran both get off to a hot start this evening.  I also feel fairly safe in suggesting that if Wigginton sees Kennedy tonight, it probably means Kennedy's throwing a complete game win.  Nothing good can come of that matchup for the Cardinals.

Remember, the April Egraphs contest is still open until first pitch tonight.  Make your picks and win a free Egraph of your choosing!  Only six entries at the moment, so your odds are pretty strong if you still want to get into the mix.

There are good things and bad things about the Cardinals not going until this evening.  It doesn't quite seem like Opening Day if it's not in the middle of the afternoon, with sunshine and blue skies.  Opening Day should be, well, a day game.

That said, it does mean that if you are around a TV or a place where you can watch MLB.tv, you can see a ton of good pitching today in the leadup to the main event tonight.  CC Sabathia goes for the Yankees.  Stephen Strasburg for the Nationals.  Jered Weaver and Johnny Cueto match up in that Angels/Reds tilt.  Matt Cain and the Giants take on Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers.  King Felix Hernandez goes for the Mariners (though that's at the same time as the Cards game).  If you love pitching, this is the day for you.

What am I saying?  If you love baseball, this is the day for you.  The journey of this season stretches before us.  It's time to take that first step.  Happy Opening Day everyone!


Leave a comment




1 Comments

1 Comment | Leave a comment

user-pic

In mid-season form already, Daniel. Nice.

Too bad MLB has chosen to start Opening Day out West in the evening so the game is played at 10:10. MLB cares nothing about the young fans.

And yeah, I hate the interleague every day thing too.

Leave a comment





Cardinals_MediumRectangle.jpg

UCB_11_trans_dark_sm.png

Search

 

You can also hear Conversations With C70, along with other great podcasts, at Baseball Podcasts.net.

BallHyped Best Sports Blogs Book
This blog was featured in the Best Sports Blogs of 2010 Book! (As well as the 2012 version!)
Pick up the limited print edition
Free Best Sports Blogs ebook 



United Cardinal Bloggers

FRIENDS OF THE UCB


Some Guy Named Robb--The Music of Conversations With C70 (coming soon!)

Check out the UCB Network over at LockerDome!
lockerdome-share_63x63.png
  


Other Cardinal Blogs

Recommended Cardinal Forum

Other Cardinal Sites

General Baseball Blogs/Sites

Get a Cardinal theme for your browser!

Cardinals banner.jpeg


Heroes
Carlos Beltran (6)
Yadier Molina (5)
Matt Holliday (4)
Jon Jay (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Pete Kozma (3)
Shelby Miller (3)
Adam Wainwright (3)
Allen Craig (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Tyler Lyons (2)
Edward Mujica (2)
Jake Westbrook (2)
David Freese (1)
Joe Kelly (1)
Seth Maness (1)
Trevor Rosenthal (1)
Michael Wacha (1)
Ty Wigginton (1)

2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
2008 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (25)

Goats
Jon Jay (6)
David Freese (5)
Mitchell Boggs (4)
Joe Kelly (4)
Pete Kozma (4)
Matt Carpenter (3)
Allen Craig (3)
Daniel Descalso (3)
Jaime Garcia (3)
Yadier Molina (3)
Matt Adams (2)
Carlos Beltran (2)
Matt Carpenter (2)
Matt Holliday (2)
Lance Lynn (2)
Seth Maness (1)
Shane Robinson (1)
Fernando Salas (1)
Adam Wainwright (1)
Jake Westbrook (1)

2012 Top Goat: Rafael Furcal (11)
2011 Top Goat: Ryan Theriot (12)
2010 Top Goat: Brendan Ryan (14)
2009 Top Goats: Rick Ankiel and Todd Wellemeyer (13)
2008 Top Goat: Troy Glaus (13)

Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


Looking for St. Louis Cardinals Tickets?  TicketCity is your source for New York Yankees Tickets and World Series Tickets.

Looking for Cardinals tickets? Stop by OnlineSeats. We’ve got Blues seats and even Rams games. Go to the coasts as well and catch a Celtics game or get Dodgers tickets.

Referrals