“Opening day baseball” are the three words that really get Cardinals fans going in early spring. After long awaited lockout finally came to a close, we were rewarded with another beautiful opening day ceremony. As someone who looks forward to this tradition every year, it felt like ages since we have had a full capacity opening day. The Clydesdales, the red jacket, and the parade all set the table for the tear jerking tribute video for Pujols, Molina, and Wainwright. If you put all of these things together, you would get a “pretty good atmosphere as always”, or at least that is Albert Pujols described it in his post game interview tonight. But enough of the ceremony and let’s get to what every fan loves doing the most, overreacting.
If you have been on twitter in the past few years and followed the Cardinals’ posts, you’ve probably have seen some pretty outrageous takes. Some are optimistic, some are pessimistic, but very few of them would be considered reasonable. (This is why we all love twitter.) Following that trend, here are some overreactions I’d like to throw out that, like the Avi-less twitter reply guys, should not be taken seriously.
Dylan Carlson is the best leadoff hitter since David Eckstein and shouldn’t be anywhere else in the lineup. Scoring two runs today and hitting the ball with pop, he is what we all wanted Tommy Edman to be last year. We can ignore the left/righty split of Tommy Edman and just keep him at the bottom of the lineup to let him do something cool every once in awhile. It will be hard to move him from the leadoff spot to three hole though, once he becomes the better version of Mike Trout we all know he will transition into.
Goldschmidt has declined since spring training and is too scared at the plate. Having walked four times and only hit the ball once, he is obviously taking the same approaches at the plate we saw from Matt Carpenter last year. His defense is still elite, so we can leave in the lineup just for that Nolan back hand to Goldy scoop we were blessed enough to see. Honestly though, I rue the day I won’t get to see that play from those two anymore.
Speaking of Nolan Arenado, he had a very mehh day today. Did he play great defensively? Sure. Did he have two RBI in the same inning he did last opening day? Yes…. But this is just the average version of Nolan Arenado that we should expect this season.
Okay….. I know I’m going to ruffle some feathers here, and I hate what I’m about to say as much as everyone else. Albert Pujols looked older than he did in 2011 and went 0-5. I still loved every minute of his beautiful face on my T.V.
Tyler O’Neill is just outfielder/ Canadian version of ’06 Pujols. His first two swinging strikes of the ball game were just a few inches from connecting and going 500+ft. He is constantly proving every baseball dad wrong instantly after they tell their son “that’s what happens when you try to kill the ball every time” then immediately watching Tyler plant a seed in the outfield grass.
Wainwright threw what MLB twitter called “vintage.” As everyone who actually watched him last year, that was not vintage. That is just PRIME Adam Wainwright doing exactly what he did last year. He is going to play 4 more full years averaging 5 complete games and 200 innings pitched each year doing so. He continually made me say “wow he looks so hittable” while simultaneously being very unhittable. We also got to see a “strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out” double play, which brings us all back to watching “Yadier Molina throw down compilation” riding the bus to an away game to pump us up! No? Just me?
Our bullpen looks solid and will carry out that way until the end of the season. Helsey finished off the game, all while looking like Trevor Rosenthal. With the fixed bullpen issues of last year, and the improvement of on our offense, my prediction for the 2022 season is lackluster 161-1, with a gentlemen sweep of the Astros in the World Series.