St. Louis Cardinals: Opening Day No Holiday for Matt Holliday and Red Birds

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St. Louis Cardinals: Opening Day No Holiday for Matt Holliday and Red Birds
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Matt Holliday smashed a home run in the bottom of the eighth to put the Cardinals up 3-2, but it wasn't enough to get the win. 

Cameron Maybin hit a two-out home run in the top of the ninth to tie up the game, and the San Diego Padres added two more in the top of the 11th to ruin the Cardinals' season opener at home. 

It was one of the more unusual box scores for the Cardinals in a long time. The only starter who failed to reach base was Albert Pujols, who had arguably the worst day of his career and the worst opening day in Major League Baseball history.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the only player in history to hit into three double plays on Opening Day. 

Coming into the season there were concerns about the Red Birds' defense—normally a strength of the team. It proved to be the downfall of the team on the deciding two runs.

On consecutive bad throws from John Jay to Ryan Theriot and then from Theriot to Yadier Molina, Chase Headley was able to score off a Maybin single. Maybin was injured on the play and was pinch-run for by Cedric Hunter, who scored the insurance run. 

In addition to Pujols' horrible outing (which hopefully does not portend the season to come) and the defensive woes was Ryan Franklin's blown save.

Franklin worked through first two hitters fairly easily and it just seemed Maybin caught a pitch perfectly and sent it out of the park. 

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Not all the news was bad news for the Cardinals, though. On the bright side, Holliday was terrific going 3-for-5 with the homer, one walk and two RBI. Colby Rasmus also went 2-for-3 with two walks. Lance Berkman was 2-for-4 with a run scored in his first game as a Cardinal. 

In fact, every other player that recorded an at-bat, with the exception of Allen Craig, reached base.

Chris Carpenter also pitched well going seven innings and allowing only two runs on two hits and two walks. 

There will likely be an exaggeration of Pujols' Opening Day "exploits" as speculation will focus on distractions about contracts as the reason. The fact is that every player has had a worst day of their career. It just took Pujols 11 years to record his. 

The Cardinals won't get a chance to even out their record until Saturday when they face the Padres in the second game of their series. Jake Westbrook will be going up against Clayton Richard.

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