Monday, April 06, 2009

Opening Day!

So, at last, we come to it.

No more prognostication, no more speculation on who'll make the roster, no more discussions over 'what if's'. We start.

Wainwright vs Maholm. 1:15 PDT.

Here is the lineup, courtesy of

Ryan, 2B
Ankiel, CF
Pujols, 1B
Greene, SS
Ludwick, RF
Molina, C
Duncan, LF
Barden, 3B
Wainwright, P

Some thoughts.

As Derrick Goold pointed out, this lineup is fashioned based on the lefty starting pitcher they'll be facing. Hence, Ryan and Barden make the cut. I am surprised to see Duncan in LF against a lefty over Rasmus, as Duncan is a .196 hitter in his career against LHP. Against Maholm he's 0 for 2 with a walk.

Greene hitting 4th also surprises me. Yes, he had a fantastic spring, but I think he's a #5 hitter or lower, vice the #4 guy in the lineup, on this team. With Ludwick (he of the 37 HR and 113 RBI last year) behind AP, AP would/will get something to hit, because teams know Ludwick will punish them for pitching around AP. Greene hit .213 last season - why would Maholm give AP anything to hit today with that behind AP in the lineup?

Interesting that Wainwright is hitting ninth today. I wonder if that's a function of the lineup and opposing starter, or if LaRussa has abandoned the 'pitcher hits eighth' concept this year. I suspect the former.

Apparently the weather today sucks in STL, just like last year. I hope the weather relents long enough for them to get the game in.

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