After the parades and the music from the St. Louis Cardinals opening day festivities stop, the club is sit for a bitter early season battle against the Cincinnati Reds.
The first game of the year at Busch Stadium will the the second match-up between two of the best young pitchers in baseball.
St. Louis starter Michael Wacha and his Reds counterpart Tony Cingrani battled to a scoreless tie for seven innings only to have the game be decided in the bottom of the ninth long after they each had their shower.
Wacha allowed three hits in 6 2/3 innings with one walk allowed and seven strikeouts. Cingrani, a lefty, held St. Louis to two hits and two walks. He struck out nine.
The Cardinals offensive woes span nearly every hitting category. The Birds are near the bottom of MLB in sacrifice flies with a grand total of one hit through the first six games of the season.
Only the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros and Milwaukee Brewers are stuck on zero in the sac fly department. The Colorado Rockies and Chicago White Sox are tied for the most sacrifice flies with five each.
The Cardinals are also near the bottom of the sacrifice hits category with the Boston Red Sox and Anaheim Angels the only two other teams in baseball who don't have a single sacrifice hit so far this season.
What you'll see that's new on opening day:
The Cardinals have completely re-sodded the field at Busch Stadium with Kentucky Bluegrass. When we last saw the Redbirds in October, they were playing on a field chewed up by a college football game and spots had to be patched which created splotches of grass that didn't match.
In section 172 near the visiting bullpen is a new manual strikeout counter which will be operated by fans in the area.
The Budweiser script, clock and sign lighting on the centerfield scoreboard were replaced with LED lighting which is expected to be brighter and more efficient.
What you probably won't see:
Unless you're a luxury suite guest, you won't notice that the artwork, cabinetry and flooring in those area's have been replaced and upgraded. They'l also have new appliances and food warming units. They also got new countertops and a central table near the TV designed to be a gathering place.