What a bummer of an Opening Day. For all the beautiful pomp and circumstance that fills Opening Day in St. Louis, the opener seemed like anything but a fresh start. Instead it was more of the sloppy brain-dead baseball that we became accustomed to in the second half of last year.
- Chris Carpenter looked sharp. Very sharp. I was a little surprised that he threw 98 pitches on Opening Day, but seven innings with 2 runs and 2 walks while striking out four was a great start to his season. I think the second run should have been unearned. How could Schumaker not have been charged with an error when he dropped the ball at second trying to tag Ludwick? He had him out by ten feet if he just holds onto the ball.
- Matt Holliday was ripping the ball all day, and it was encouraging to see a couple of hits from both Colby and Lance Berkman to start the season.
- Trever Miller came into a tight spot and retired the lefty hitter he needed to. It will be key for him to come in all year and get lefty hitters out.
- Schumaker's dropped ball at second base, leading to the Padre's second run. Like I said, Yadi threw Ludwick out by a good ten feet, and Schumaker can't hold that ball??
- Holliday getting picked off at second. He may have been ripping the ball all day, but come on..... he can NOT get picked off at second in that spot. First and second, no outs......another rally killer
- Jon Jay and Ryan Theriot being unable to complete a routine relay throw from outfield to infield, leading to Chase Headly scampering home with the winning run while Theriot threw high and away to the plate.
The above three represent the kind of sloppy baseball we saw in August and September last year. The Cards gave this game away as much as the Padres won it. Now comes news that Holliday is undergoing appendectomy surgery today. Not sure how long he will be out, but it will likely be an opportunity to get Jay and Craig some ABs.
As far as the infield defense is concerned, yesterday was not a good start for Skip and Theriot. I've said on his site several times that the middle infield defense is my biggest concern heading into the season. While I don't want to panic over one game, I wouldn't mind at all seeing more of Tyler Greene and Daniel Descalso in the middle infield as the season progresses.
Hopefully Saturday and Jake Westbrook will bring better results.