Let’s recap today’s titanic struggle….

St. Louis 11
Cincinnati 6
WP: Carpenter (1-0)
LP: Harang (0-1)

–It’s Opening Day. Baseball is back. Cincinnati was party-central for much of the day. Anytime we have a celebration of baseball, I call that a positive.

–Joey Votto picked up where he left off, going 3-5 with a homer, an RBI, and two runs scored.

–Drew Stubbs didn’t start, but he came off the bench to go 2-2 with a run and an RBI.

–Daniel Ray Herrera and Logan Ondrusek — making his major league debut — pitched very effective scoreless innings. Herrera struck out two.

–Where to start? How about two relievers giving up seven runs in two-plus innings of work? Mike Lincoln pitched an okay sixth inning, then couldn’t get a batter out in the seventh, giving up two runs in the process. Then, with a 6-4 score and the Reds still within shouting distance, Nick Masset tossed gasoline on the fire. In that ninth inning, Masset gave up five earned runs to effectively end the Reds chances of coming back to win.

–Aaron Harang wasn’t very effective, but he wasn’t necessarily ineffective either. Five innings, three earned runs on five hits, striking out two and walking two.

–Disastrous Reds debut for Orlando Cabrera. I really hope this isn’t a harbinger of things to come. I’m concerned.

–Just a miserable way to start the season. Deflating.

–Unfortunately, these guys look like the same old Reds. Fortunately, it’s only one game.

–I know this is going to come as a surprise to you, and I’m sorry to have to break it to you this way, but Albert Pujols is good. Two homers, 4-5, 4 runs, 3 RBI. Sheesh.

–The Cards set a team record with four homers. One of those was a grand slam in the ninth by Yadier Molina (off Nick Masset). It was the third Opening Day grand slam in Cardinals history. Coincidentally, the other guys to hit a slam in a Cards opener were both in the ballpark: Reds 3B Scott Rolen (who also homered today) and St. Louis hitting coach Mark McGwire.

–As I mentioned in the Season Preview Extravaganza podcast, I’m mildly concerned about Nick Masset this year. I’m fairly confident, however, that he won’t end the season with a 45.00 ERA. Masset will go to sleep tonight with that ERA, though.

Listen to this nonsense: “Carpenter complained after the game that the baseballs hadn’t been rubbed up enough, making them slippery. He said he had the same problem in a game last year in Cincinnati.”

Sound familiar? I really hate the Cardinals.

–A wise man once told me that you can’t win them all, if you don’t win the first one. Guess we’ll have to settle for 161-1.