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Opening Day Game Thread: Cardinals at Reds


Next Game

St. Louis Cardinals
@ Cincinnati Reds

Monday, Apr 5, 2010, 1:10 PM EDT
Great American Ball Park

Chris Carpenter vs Aaron Harang

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The Reds won on Opening Day in 1991, 6-2 over the Astros. It was their ninth straight win on Opening Day, moving their Opening Day record since 1901 to 46-45. In the 18 years since they have gone 6-11-1 and are now 4-games under on the day everyone calls a holiday in Cincinnati.

It's time to usher in a new era of winning in Cincinnati.

I know some people are upset at the lineup that Dusty Baker has announced for today's game (after the jump). I'm not. Sure, Laynce Nix isn't that great of a player, but Chris Carpenter is a great pitcher. Being conventional against a pitcher like Carpenter will get you conventional results. Maybe the Reds see something in the scouting reports that makes Nix a more attractive match-up for Carpenter? Is it what I would do? Probably not. But as long as Nix isn't starting regularly in left field, I'm not going to get too bent out of shape about it.

On the plus side, Nix does provide some quality defense in left field. Aaron Harang will likely need some help against the solid St. Louis offense that had the third fewest strikeouts in the NL last year. The combination of Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday in the middle of the lineup is intimidating, and Colby Rasmus and Ryan Ludwick have the potential to do some damage. They aren't the best offense in the league, but they are not somebody that can be taken lightly.

The Reds and Cardinals play each other 12 times by June 2nd. We'll likely know by then if the Reds can be taken seriously this season.


Lineup

St. Louis Cardinals
Cincinnati Reds
Skip Schumaker - 2B Chris Dickerson - CF
Brendan Ryan - SS
Orlando Cabrera - SS
Albert Pujols - 1B Joey Votto - 1B
Matt Holliday - LF
Brandon Phillips - 2B
Colby Rasmus - CF
Scott Rolen - 3B
Ryan Ludwick - RF
Jay Bruce - RF
Yadier Molina - C
Laynce Nix - LF
David Freese - 3B
Ramon Hernandez - C
Chris Carpenter - P
Aaron Harang - P