Opening Day 2017

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The Cardinals’ Randal Grichuk celebrates his walk-off single.

Will Sieracki, Reporter

     Baseball is back for the next several months, and it’s welcomed with open arms. Sure, there was the World Baseball Classic, but it just isn’t the same when compared to regular MLB games. The Yankees played the Rays and the Diamondbacks played the Giants on Opening Day, but the real highlight was the Cubs vs. Cardinals game on Opening Night.

 

     Cubs-Cardinals is one of the best rivalries in the sport, and Opening Night’s game did not disappoint when it came to drama. The Cardinals took an early 1-0 lead when first baseman Matt Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly to right field, with Dexter Fowler scoring on the play. There weren’t any more runs scored until the 8th inning, but there was a little bit of controversy when Cubs second baseman Javier Baez couldn’t see a ball coming at him because of the advertisement on the board behind home plate. The ball blended in with the ad, so Baez wasn’t able to track it.

 

     In the 8th inning, Cubs reliever Pedro Strop gave up a two run homer to Cardinals left fielder Randal Grichuk, putting the Cards up 3-0 late, and what seemed to be the killer of any hope the Cubs had of a comeback. That is, until the top of the 9th inning.
     Right fielder and reigning World Series MVP Ben Zobrist was hit by a pitch from Cardinals closer Seung-Hwan Oh to lead off the inning. Oh struck out Addison Russell for the first out, and the outlook for the Cubs still looked pretty bleak even with a runner on. Jason Heyward was the next batter up, and he hit a ground ball to Matt Carpenter that looked like the second out of the inning. Instead, Carpenter looked over to second, hoping to get Zobrist out, but when he saw that he had no shot, he tried to get the out at first, but Heyward slid in just ahead of the throw, leaving two runners on with one out for catcher Willson Contreras, who hit a long home run to left-center field, tying the game at 3. In the bottom of the 9th inning, the Cubs brought in Mike Montgomery in relief of Strop, and retired Carpenter on a fly ball to left field. The next batter, pinch hitter Jose Martinez, hit a double to center field, and the Cardinals suddenly had a runner in scoring position with only one out. Montgomery intentionally walked catcher Yadier Molina, who already had two hits that night, and that brought up right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who struck out. Montgomery then walked second baseman Kolten Wong to load the bases for Randal Grichuk, who hit a walk off single, winning the game 4-3.