The Cardinals have started the season. Stop right there: no matter what comes next in this post, getting to type that first sentence makes us really, really giddy.
But then, there's also the fact that the mighty Cards seem to be on the brink of completing their collapse that began last season and we hope will lead to the long climb back up next season. But there are some reasons to be optimistic: first, the Birdos did finish spring training with a string of nice performances. Second, Kyle Lohse actually threw pretty well last night. And third, we still play in the NL Central, and it's still the worst division in baseball.
But last night the visiting Colorado Rockies frustrated our dreams to at least have a winning record for a day. Those dreams were even more vivid after St. Louis appeared to be in control of Sunday night's season opener only to have the game rained out. So Monday's do-over came along, and Yadier Molina produced the Cardinals' only run with a solo homerun in the 5th. Troy Glaus--who, for those keeping score at home, is not Scott Rolen--made a critical throwing error to allow the tying run to score in the top of the 8th. Then Randy Flores had the unenviable task of coming in from the bullpen with no one out and the bases juiced in a tie ballgame. Randy then proceeded to strike out the first two batters he faced, then walk in the eventual winning run on some brutally close calls by the home plate ump.
That's the nasty thing about Ball: Flores faced 4 guys, got 3 of them out, but still gave up the winning run. At least it wasn't charged to him.
Let the long summer begin.