Cardinals Home Openers in the La Russa Era

A look back at St. Louis Cardinals home opening contests since 1996 and wins back to 1955.

2009-Pirates 6, Cardinals 4

The Cardinals took a 4-2 in the bottom of the 8th on a home run by Ryan Ludwick and a sac fly by David Freese before Jason Motte blew up in the 9th in his first save opportunity, giving up 4 runs, 4 hits and hit a batter with the key hit a 2-out, 3-RBI double by Jack Wilson.  Adam Wainwright started the game and left with a 2-0 lead and one out in the 6th after his 4th and 5th walks of the game but the bullpen allowed both runs to score.


2008-Rockies 2, Cardinals 1

The only scoring until the 8th inning was a Yadier Molina home run in the 5th.  After Ryan Franklin had given up two hits to start the 8th, the Rockies tied it on Matt Holliday's fielder's choice and Troy Glaus' error.  After Franklin walked the next batter, Randy Flores struck out the next two before walking Jayson Nix to score the winning run. 


2007-Mets 6, Cardinals 1

Chris Carpenter gave up 5 runs in 6 innings in what would be his only start of the year. His injury would keep him out of action until July 30th of the next season, a year in which he would only pitch 15 1/3 innings in four games (1.76 ERA).


2006-Cardinals 6, Milwaukee 4

Mark Mulder won the 1st game in the new stadium, going 8 innings and allowing two runs along with hitting a homer.  The Brewers took a 2-0 lead into the 3rd but Albert Pujols' home run and a Molina sac fly tied the game.  Scott Rolen put the Cards ahead to stay with a 2-run double in the 4th and Mulder added a 2-run homer in the 7th to make it 6-2.  The Brewers got two in the 9th before Jason Isringhausen got Gabe Gross to groundout for the final out.


2005-Cardinals 6, Phillies 5

The Cardinals came back from a 5-1 deficit to beat the Phillies 6-5 with three runs in the 8th.  With one out, Mark Grudzielanek, Reggie Sanders and John Mabry all singled to load the bases and a Roger Cedeno sac fly cut the Phillies lead to 5-4.  After Ryan Madson walked David Eckstein to again load the bases, Aaron Fultz came in and walked the next two batters, Larry Walker and Albert Pujols, to give the Cardinals the lead.  The winning run was scored by Jason Marquis who came in to pinch run for Mabry.  Isringhausen loaded the bases in the 9th before striking out Kenny Lofton to end the game.


2004-Brewers 8, Cardinals 6

Matt Morris got knocked around by the Brewers, giving up 7 runs in 6 innings (2 unearned) as the Cards lost the home opener.  Morris did have a 2-run double in the 4th to tie the game 4-4 but gave up a 3-run home run to Scott Podsednik in the 6th.  The Cardinals answered with Albert Pujols' 2-run double in the bottom of the inning to make it 7-6 but would get no closer with only one single the rest of the game.


2003-Cardinals 11, Milwaukee 9

The Cardinals scored six runs in the bottom of the 8th to erase a 7-5 Brewers lead.  They tied it on an RBI triple by Orlando Palmiero and RBI double by Fernando Vina.  The Cards took the lead 8-7 on Kerry Robinson's 2-out drag bunt for a hit, scoring Vina.  The Brewers walked Pujols to get to Scott Rolen, whose 3-run homer made it 11-7.  The Brewers added two in the 9th before Steve Kline struck out Wes Helms for the final out.


2002-Cardinals 10, Rockies 2

Matt Morris allowed only one run over seven innings as the Cards blasted the Rockies 10-2.  They went up 1-0 in the second when Mike DiFelice singled home Jim Edmonds, who added an RBI single in the 3rd to make it 2-0.  Albert Pujols' 3-run double in the 4th along with Edgar Renteria's RBI double made it 6-1.  DiFelice added a home run in the 5th and the rout was on.


2001-Cardinals 3, Rockies 2

Ray Lankford scored the winning run when Jose Jimenez uncorked a wild pitch in the bottom of the 9th in a 2-2 game with the bases loaded and Eli Marrero at the plate.  Lankford reached on an attempted sacrifice when the Rockies failed to get Bobby Bonilla at third.  The Cardinals had taken a 2-0 lead on Albert Pujols' 2-run home run in the 2nd but the Rockies tied it on Larry Walker's 2-run dinger in the 6th.  Andy Benes pitched six innings and Mike Timlin got the win despite giving up two hits and a walk as Jeff Cirillo was thrown out at home in the 9th on Ron Gant's doubles on an Edmonds-Vina-Mike Matheny relay.


2000-Cardinals 7, Cubs 1

Darryl Kile won his first start as a Cardinal, allowing 2 hits and one run in six innings.  The Cards jumped on the Cubs in the 1st on Fernando Tatis's RBI single and a 3-run homer by Craig Paquette to make it 4-0.  Shawon Dunston and Eric Davis would add solo home runs.  This also marked the first game as a Cardinal for Edmonds, Vina and Matheny.


1999-Brewers 10, Cardinals 8

Donovan Osborne's start lasted just two innings before the injury bug crept up again-he would only pitch 5 more games for the Cardinals that year and would resurface briefly with other teams in 2002 and 2004 before ending his career.  Mike Busby replaced him and got knocked around along with Manny Aybar as the Brewers built a 7-1 lead.  One highlight for the Cardinals was a rare opposite field home run by Mark McGwire off David Weathers in a game that featured nearly 2 hours of rain delays.  The Cardinals tried to make a game of it late as Placido Polanco's 2-run single in the 9th cut it 10-8.


1998-Cardinals 6, Dodgers 0

Todd Stottlemyre allowed only 3 hits over 7 innings as the Cardinals shut out the Dodgers 6-0.  The game was scoreless until the 5th when Mark McGwire's grand slam made it 4-0.  The Cardinals got two more in the 8th on RBI singles by Gary Gaetti and Willie McGee.  Braden Looper struck out the side in the 9th (1-2-3).


1997-Cardinals 2, Expos 1

Willie McGee hit a walk-off home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th off of Ugueth Urbina for the Cardinal win.  Mark Petkovsek pitched four scoreless innings to get the victory.  The Cardinals had taken a 1-0 lead on second baseman Roberto Mejia's sac fly in the 2nd before the Expos tied it in the 3rd.


1996-Expos 4, Cardinals 3 (10)

F.P. Santangelo singled home Mark Grudzielanek with the winning run in the top of the 10th after errors by Ozzie Smith and Dennis Eckersley allowed the Expos to tie the game in the 8th.  The Cardinals scored three in the 2nd on a Gary Gaetti homer, an error on ball hit by McGee and a Smith groundout but wouldn't score again.  Todd Stottlemyre went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs.


Other Opening Day Wins (1955-1995)

1995-W Phillies 6-5, Scott Cooper 2-run single in the 9th

1991-W Phillies 3-1, Tewksbury 7 IP 1 R, 4 H, Zeile 1B 2 RBI & 3rd run scores on same play on E6

1990-W Expos 6-5, McGee ties it with 2-run double in 9th & wins it with RBI single in 11th

1986-W Cubs 2-1, Tudor CG 5-hitter, Van Slyke 2-run single in 4th, followed Clark 1B only 2 Cards hits

1985-W Expos 6-1, Forsch CG 8H, Cards score 3 in 5th & 6th, Herr 2-run 1B put StL up 2-1

1984-W Pirates 4-1, LaPoint 7 IP, Sutter 2 IP save, Ozzie Smith 3-run HR in 7th

1980-W Pirates 1-0, Vukovich CG 3 hitter, 9K, Hendrick RBI 2B in 2nd

1979-W Phillies 8-1, Denny CG, 5 hitter vs. Carlton, Simmons HR in 2nd, Reitz 2R 2B in 4th 3-1, Scott 3-R 3B 7th

1978-W Pirates 11-2, Denny CG, Cards score 6 in 1st & 4 in 4th, 1st-Simmons SF, RBI 1B-Hernandez & Reitz, Tyson 3R HR

1976-W Cubs 5-0, McGlothen CG ShO 6H, RBI singles in 5th by Brock & Simmons break 0-0 tie

1974-W Pirates 6-5(10), Pirates score run in 10th off Hrabosky, score 2 in bottom on RBI 1B's by McCarver & Sizemore

1970-W Mets 7-3, WP-Culver 7IP 2ER, Cards 7-run 3rd including 2-run 2B by Torre to make it 2-0, Culver 2-run 3B

1968-W Braves 2-1, Gibson 7IP 0 ER, Washburn WP 2 IP, Cards 8th-Cepeda RBI 2B, Ricketts 9th-GW RBI 1B

1967-W Giants 6-0, Gibson CG, 5H, 13K, struck out 1st 5, Brock 3-run HR in 2nd made it 3-0, Gibson RBI in 7th

1964-W Dodgers 7-6, 6 R in 1st 3 Inn vs. Koufax, 1st-James 3R HR, 2nd-Groat RBI 1B, 3rd-Warwick 2R HR, White HR 7th 7-5

1963-W Phillies 7-0, Simmons CG 5H, Groat 1st-3B scores on E9 1-0/7th HR 4-0/8th RBI walk 6-0   

1962-W Mets 11-4, Jackson CG, Musial 3-for-3, 2 RBI, 2B, White 3 RBI

1960-W Cubs 5-2, Mizell 8 1/3 IP/10K, 2nd Mizell 2R 2B 2-1, 5th Musial 2R 2B 4-2, 8th White HR 5-2

1955-W Braves 8-7(11), Cards trail 7-2 in bottom of 7th, Musial HR in 9th ties it, Virdon HR in 11th wins it



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