In front of a crowd of 44,696 on Saturday, Cardinals' ace Adam Wainwright tossed a masterful four-hit shutout while going 3-3 at the plate with two RBI as the Cards downed their divisional rival Milwaukee Brewers at home to go 7-4 on the season.
This performance at home came 17 days after Wainwright tearfully expressed to fans during a press conference the significance of showing up to work at Busch Stadium each season.
The win marked the fourth straight victory for the Cardinals and made them 4-1 at home this year. Yes, another home win, a trend that seems so commonplace if you track the Cardinals and their games.
So what is it that makes them so good at home year after year even in these post-Albert Pujols days?
Sure, the Cardinals have always put together a great team that has continually maintained a level of dominance and competitiveness in the National League Central. They seem to draft fairly well and do their best to hold onto to fan favorites and players that make them better.
Does fan participation help win home games?
But I know a secret that everyone in St. Louis already knows. The Cardinals have an x-factor that makes them so good year in and year out at home—the fans.
If there's one thing I truly respect out of the city of St. Louis, is that the whole town seems to be huge fans of baseball and truly loves their hometown Cardinals more than anything.
I'm from California, but the last time I was in St. Louis, I was in shock at how knowledgeable and passionate the Cardinals fans were and how they truly love the game of baseball. Everyone, young and old, seemed willing to talk ball, and all had nothing but positive things to say about their team. I was really in shock and amazed at the city's loyalty and could only wish this were the case for every city that is home to a major league team.
Here in Los Angeles, "fans" typically show up leisurely somewhere around the second to third inning and will also start to make their departure somewhere around the seventh or eighth inning. Sure there are passionate fans that will come early and stay late and traffic is a huge consideration to factor in to the equation, but I couldn't imagine Cardinals fans ever doing that at home games. And as a fan of baseball, it makes me sick to witness this with regularity game after game.
I wish all teams had fans like the Cardinals do. It makes a difference at home games, and the players acknowledge the fans participation and excitement for their team.
So keep it up Cardinals fans, whatever you're doing works. I admire your passion and share in your love for the game. If there's one wish I had for every team in the major leagues, it would be for everyone to have fans like yours.