Cardinals vs. Diamondbacks final score: Opening Day goes south for Adam Wainwright and company

USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals got off to a good start, but Ian Kennedy was nearly untouchable after the first inning.

I am willing to accept, as a non-player/non-journalist/non-mathematician, that there are a lot of subtleties about baseball I'll never quite be able to grasp. But I feel comfortable putting this particular St. Louis Cardinals loss, and the 6-2 final score, down to how difficult it is to win when you have 10 fewer baserunners than the other team.

After their strong first inning this was a classic fraudulent-offense-meme game—lots of "listless" at-bats, which is broadcaster code for "at-bats in which they don't score a run." Really, Kennedy just looked great: He worked from the Kyle Lohse playbook, with the added benefit of not having Kyle Lohse's fastball. In the second inning he didn't throw a single ball, and after the first inning he didn't end an at-bat behind a hitter until the fifth, when Pete Kozma walked on two consecutive borderline pitches.

Wainwright's struggles weren't so much about how he started at-bats as how the Diamondbacks finished them—Miguel Montero's rally-starting single came on the seventh pitch of the at-bat, after three fouls and a swinging strike. Paul Goldschmidt and Jason Kubel were each down 0-2 before they drove him home. Worth thinking about: Even if Wainwright's ability to put hitters away is in decline (a year after his strikeout rate was almost unchanged from his pre-surgery numbers), it will rarely manifest itself that drastically.

One emerging narrative worth looking out for: Carlos Beltran's defense. Last year he had stretches where he drifted between so-graceful-it-looks-like-he's-not-trying and just-not-very-fast-out-there, but it's worth asking how a toe injury that had him on the verge of a disabled-list stint will affect his defense. So you don't have to look it up yourself: No, he hasn't played an MLB game at first base (yet.)

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