Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Game Note:This was the First game in a Cardinals uniform for Mike Matheny and Jim Edmonds.
Managers: Don Baylor vs. Tony LaRussa
Starters: Kevin Tapani vs. Darryl Kile
Field Condition: Unknown.
Start Time Weather: 60° F, Wind 17mph out to Centerfield, Cloudy
The Starting Line-ups
- Eric Young
- Ricky Gutierrez
- Sammy Sosa
- Mark Grace
- Henry Rodriguez
- Shane Andrews
- Don Buford
- Joe Girardi
- Kevin Tapani
St. Louis Cardinals
- Fernando Vina
- Edgar Renteria
- Ray Lankford
- Fernando Tatis
- Jim Edmonds
- Craig Paquette
- Eric Davis
- Mike Matheny
- Darryl Kile
It is always fun when the Cubs and Cardinals play each other and this was particularly sweet that it is Opening Day.
The Cubs go down in order in the first inning after a lead-off single and a double play took care of them. The Cardinals have Vina getting it going with a lead-off triple. Tapani, Cubs pitcher. gets Renteria to hit a short flyball out and Lankford strikes out and things look good for Chicago. Tatis singles in a run, Edmonds walks to keep the inning alive and Paquette smashes a 3-run homer and the Cardinals lead 4-0 after one inning.
Things remain that way until the bottom of the 4th when Matheny doubles with one out and Vina singles him home for another Cardinal tally to make it 5-0. With one out in the top of the 5th inning the Cubs load the bases with a sinle, walk and HBP. Jeff Reed pinch hits for the pitcher and lifts a sacrifice fly to score the one and only run of the game for the Chicago Cubs.
The Cardinals tack on single runs in the 6th and 7th with home runs from Shawon Dunston and Eric Davis. Heathcliff Slocumb, Mark Thompson and Dave Veres pitch scoreless innings in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings to preserve the victory for the Cardinals
2B: M Matheny (1, off K Tapani).
3B: F Vina (1, off K Tapani).
HR: C Paquette (1, off K Tapani, 1st inn, 2 on, 2 outs to LF); S Dunston (1, off M Karchner, 6th inn, 0 on, 0 outs to LF-CF); E Davis (1, off A Lorraine, 7th inn, 0 on, 1 out to LF).
TB: F Vina 5; C Paquette 4; E Davis 4; S Dunston 4; M Matheny 3; F Tatis; E Renteria.
RBI: C Paquette 3 (3); S Dunston (1); F Vina (1); E Davis (1); F Tatis (1).
2-out RBI: C Paquette 3; F Tatis; F Vina.
Team LOB: 10.
With RISP: 3 for 11.
DP: 1. F Tatis-F Vina-C Paquette.
SB: F Tatis 2 (2, 2nd base off D Young/J Girardi, 2nd base off K Tapani/J Girardi); E Renteria (1, 2nd base off M Karchner/J Girardi).
2B: R Brown (1, off M Thompson).
SF: J Reed (1, off D Kile).
HBP: J Girardi (1, by D Kile).
TB: R Brown 2; E Young; S Andrews.
GIDP: R Gutierrez (1).
RBI: J Reed (1).
Team LOB: 4.
With RISP: 0 for 2.
CS: E Young (1, 2nd base by M Thompson POCS)
After Opening Day
The Cardinals went 95-67 during the season, their best finish since 1987, and won the National League Central division by ten games over the Cincinnati Reds. In the playoffs the Cardinals defeated the Atlanta Braves 3 games to 0 in the NLDS but lost to the New York Mets 4 games to 1 in the NLCS.
The Cardinals sweep of the Braves in the NLDS was notable because it made the Mets run to their first World Series appearance since their championship season of 1986 much easier. The Braves had eliminated the Mets from the playoffs on the final day of the 1998 season and in the 1999 NLCS.
Catcher Mike Matheny and outfielder Jim Edmonds won Gold Gloves this year. Matheny was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays during the off-season, while Edmonds was acquired from the Anaheim Angels less than a week before the start of the season.