On our way to St. Louis from Kansas City, we stopped by for lunch at a bistro/winery near Columbia...Mark's suggestion, a spot he'd been to before (and one of my sister's favorites spots), and a great idea. Excellent view of the Missouri River, and a tasty burger. Mark tried to get me to get my picture taken with a large group of Red Hat Ladies, and I should've done it...but I didn't.
We arrived in STL in the very early afternoon, the weather was great as we strolled around the Waterfront Park and visited the Arch. We didn't take the tram up but we did wander through the museum, there was a very kool exhibit on the history of St. Louis baseball...since the Arch is a 'Westward Expansion' memorial, there was a lot of focus on how the St. Louis area served as the 'gateway' for the baseball world in that respect.
As game time approached we headed for the stadium, stopping by Mike Shannon's for a polish (as we were advised to do so by my friend Don). Mike Shannon's has an outdoor pub where the grill was located. Great stuff, excellent recommendation!!
2 beers + 2 brats = NO PROBLEMS
We arrived at Busch Stadium (right across the street from Mike Shannon's) just as the gates were opening and BP was underway!
Busch Stadium is beautiful; very little rememberance of the old field was evident and even though the sun was out in full strength, walking through the main level concourse was very comfortable. I promised our game-ticket benefactor I would dress neutral, hence my Hanshin Tigers gear. Given the present set of circumstances in the NL Central, I would have loved to see the Cubs and Cards a bit closer in the race but the Cards are playing well, the Cubs aren't, and regardless...the Astros have had the Cards' number lately...
What wasn't very beautiful was the PRICES of food and drink. I left the Big K in KC thinking their high prices was reflected by the cost of a newly renovated stadium...Busch has been open in its present form for a few years, so why $8.50 beers?!?
We made our way to the 'special' escalator to the REDBIRD CLUB, the bonus seating we were so generously gifted by our game-friend Gary!
This was a VERY nice area, large enclosed air-conditioned concourse, with rows of barstool seating against big picture windows, access to the broadcast booth (with proper credentials) and a variety of food and fare that was decisively a notch or so above offerings on the main level. We passed through our comfy padded stadium chairs and enjoyed BP in progress, with the shadows of the west creeping in...
As you can see, our view was totally shabby...he he...
The game itself was a very exciting pitchers' duel, the first of its kind on our trip and really the most intense battle of this sort I've ever witnessed since the Astros @ Padres game I enjoyed in San Diego a few years ago.
ASTROS 0 3 0
CARDINALS 1 3 0
Both pitchers served their skill dramatically, Adam Wainright against Wandy Rodriguez. Both carried on through late innings, allowing only a few hits each. Pujols' RBI double in the very first inning was St. Louis' only scoring opportunity. Rodriguez struck out 6, walked one; Wainwright struck out 4, walked none.
"old skool" Hunter Pence (left-hand glove, high n tight stockings) AB in the first inning
Yadier Molina rapid-fouls his way to a swinging strikeout in the 7th
No big ball tonight, although there were a few warning-track close calls on both sides of the fence.
Great game, mega-fun amongst a sea of Cardinal red. After spending a considerable slice of eternity getting out of the parking garage, we are off to see the mighty Peoria Chiefs!!!
Official Souvenir 'program'
Gameday lineup and info