Opening day has come and went for the St. Louis Cardinals losing to the New York Mets 9-4. Game 1 of 162 is usually not considered a problem , but Cardinals fans watching the game had to feel as if they were seeing a lot of similarities to the team of 2017.
Card’s starter Carlos Martinez, whose emotions can sometimes impede his ability came out finding issues throwing strikes. Martinez lasting just 4.1 innings, walking 6 Mets while throwing 90 pitches. The Cardinals chose not to resign innings eater Lance Lynn or add a veteran starter in the offseason. They will need their ace to be the leader emotionally and physically as the season progresses.
Matt Bowman- Still Tired?
The bullpen got off to a shaky start as Matt Bowman came in and gave up 3 runs over just 1/3 of an inning. Bowman is Mike Matheny’s work horse. Matheny was ridiculed all last season for over working Bowman. Despite Bowman’s second half struggles, he is still one of Mikes “guys”. He will be relied upon in big situations this year no matter how many pieces Cardinals management brings in.
The Cardinals struck out 15 times Thursday afternoon. Met’s ace Noah Syndergaard was able to fan 10 of those 14 over his 6 innings pitched. The Cardinals have power up and down the lineup but they at lack the ability to make contact way to much. While I would love to credit opening day jitters and a dominate pitcher on the mound this team is full of veteran hitters that have to make adjustments as the game gets into the later innings. You know Paul Dejong and Kolten Wong tend to have issues with strikeouts but having 9 strikeouts in a game from the top four in your lineup cannot be a trend that continues.
Jose Martinez Defense
It’s not good. I will cover that more in the positives.
I told you I would get to Jose. Martinez was the bright spot at the plate for the Cardinals going 3 for 4 with a home run and 2 RBI’s. His bat has to be in the lineup everyday, the man has proven himself as an impact bat. The negative of Martinez is that while he can hit he is not a stellar defender. His throwing error in the first allowed the first run of the season to score. He also forces the Cardinals to move Matt Carpenter to 3rd which takes arguably your best infielder defender Jedd Gyroko out of the lineup. This will be a problem all season long for the Cardinals. Do you sacrifice offense for defense? That usually is not the way it works.
The rookie is electric. Certain pitchers have the ability to cause everyone to stop what they are doing to watch when they are in the game. Trevor Rosenthal was one of those guys when he first came up and now Hicks looks to be the next. With the signing of Greg Holland, there is talk either Hicks or Mike Mayers will be sent down. Unless Mike Matheny was not watching this kid throw today, the choice is very simple. Hicks needs to stay!
Game one was not what fans were looking for. This team still has way more talent then last year. My message to St. Louis fan is please don’t panic over game one.
The Cardinals will have a chance to even the score between these two teams Saturday at Citi Field when Michael Wacha (Cardinals) looks to out dual Jacob Degrom (Mets). First Pitch at 12:10PM.