Matheny's quick hitters – Cards home opener

Summarizing St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny's comments before and after to his club's 2014 home opener, a win over Cincinnati.


On Opening Day: Not like a second opener. Like coming home. All teams have traditions, but Cardinals seem to have more long-standing ones.

On rain delays: If it was later in the season, like July, the players would prefer a quick cancellation. Now they want to play. Everything he is hearing, today's game should start on time.

On Peter Bourjos batting second: Gotta get him moving. Right now he is pushing it. May need to harness him (because he is working too hard). Second spot in order (ahead of Holliday) can get guys going.

On Jhonny Peralta: Has done well in #2 spot, but has been producing runs so moving him down to take advantage. Was also impressed with Wong at #2. Trying different things, but want to avoid consecutive left-handers in the order.

On Allen Craig: (Back at cleanup after a short time at #6.) His timing is off by a hair. Everyone wants to get off fast.

On Michael Wacha and opening day distractions: Didn't have to say anything unusual to him about pitching in the opener. He has a lot of comfort. He has his routine. Has pitched in big games in playoffs.

On Yadier Molina: Not Billy Hamilton out there, but a smart baserunner with nice feel and instincts. If he sees something (in the opposing pitcher's tendencies), he tells them (coaches) in advance. They check it out and sometimes turn him loose.

On Mark Ellis: (Hitting in cages for first time today. On DL – left knee.) Need to talk to trainers for next steps.

On Reds starter Tony Cingrani: They got good looks at him last time, but they need better timing and execution. (The lefty threw seven scoreless innings at the Cards in Cincy last Wednesday.)


On Michael Wacha: He held his ground. Double plays helped him out of jams. Seemed to make pitches at the right time. Distractions do not faze him.

On Yadier Molina: (His bases-clearing double in the first) kept the momentum from potentially passing to Cincinnati.

On taking Wacha out: Was trying to add onto the lead. It was not just a smooth 82 (pitches) for Wacha. Could have left him out there (for the seventh), but it would have been on a short rope. Will watch pitch counts and innings over the season, but reason was that the best move for the day was to try to get more runs.

On Tony Cingrani: He was more in the zone in his earlier outing.

On Trevor Rosenthal: He was amped up. Jumped across a little bit in his delivery. Had only thrown 12 pitches in last four days, which was why he was in there. (Rosenthal gave up two runs in the ninth.)

On Carlos Martinez: Having him stretched out as a starter this spring helped. By pitching quick innings, he may be able to pitch the next day. See how he feels tomorrow. (Martinez threw 1 2/3 scoreless following Wacha.)

On Peter Bourjos: The first hit took a ton of weight off his shoulders. His speed kept the defense in, setting up his second hit (a double in the seventh).

On Kolten Wong: (following up on Bourjos point) Teams have to take Wong's speed into account, too. (Wong stole second base in the eighth inning.)

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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