Friends, that was a surgical deconstruction of a Marlins team that isn't as bad as they looked Wednesday night.
Kyle Lohse came out dealing and went 7 innings before giving up a run. David Freese shook off a poor spring for 3 hits and 2 RBIs. The bullpen got called on and delivered, including Jason Motte who has somehow gained a bit of velocity on his fastball during the off-season.
One up, one down. One hundred sixty one to go.
It's good to have baseball back in our lives. And it's even better when it's good baseball. Albert Pujols mentioned this week that he's got a chip on his shoulder. Maybe he's delusional and telling the truth. Maybe he's more savvy than we'll ever know and is tweaking the media to garner himself more attention and enhance his newly LA 'brand'. But if you want chips, I think you'll find 25 of them flying somewhere over the Midwest en route to Milwaukee.
Pujols got a ton of attention during his tenure as a Cardinal. Hell, he deserved a ton of attention. But no matter how many accolades were deserved, people are people and wouldn't mind some love coming their way. With Albert around, it was hard to find that love.
The ESPN crew calling the season's (US) opener probably referenced Pujols over 100 times during the broadcast. The guys still on the Cardinals have heard his name even more. While they won't admit it, It's burning their asses hearing how much he meant to this team and this city. I think they're ready to shut us up.
Perhaps this is an overreaction to a single win. But this first one felt damn focused for a opener. Almost like it was important to let us all watching know that they can and WILL win without Pujols.
Just how much will be determined starting now.