ST. LOUIS -- The video board unwittingly told the truth long before Monday's game started at Busch Stadium. A mis-transcription on the closed-captioning for Opening Day ceremonies read:
"Welcome to hoping day 2008."
How right the board was. Hope held out for 2 1/2 hours after Monday's scheduled season opener began between the Cardinals and Rockies, but at 5:45 p.m. CT, the contest was officially washed out. Heavy rains and storms, which had threatened all day, finally won out. None of the statistics from Monday's game will count.
The game will be replayed in its entirety at 7:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday. Kyle Lohse, who had been scheduled to pitch a simulated game on Tuesday before making his Cardinals debut on April 6, will pitch for St. Louis. Former Cardinal Kip Wells will toe the rubber for the Rockies.
With the Cardinals leading, 5-1, in the bottom of the third inning, rain started falling in downtown St. Louis. The game was delayed at 4:16 p.m. CT. The teams waited until 5:45 p.m. CT, at which time an announcement was made that the game was called.
It's the fourth Opening Day rainout in St. Louis, and the first since 1994.
"The umpires made the right call," said manager Tony La Russa. "I'd have liked to wait two more hours. But I think in all fairness to both clubs, once you had what that radar showed, there was no reason to belabor it."
Tickets for Monday's game will be accepted for the rescheduled contest on Tuesday. That game will be carried on FSN Midwest. Gates at Busch Stadium will open at 5:15 p.m. CT.
Starter Adam Wainwright had a rough first inning, allowing a run on two hits with a walk. But he recovered to retire six of the last seven batters he faced.
"We would have liked to have won that game," Wainwright said. "It would have been pretty cool in here. Opening Day in St. Louis, there's a vibe, a buzz going around, and it would have been good to deliver a win for the fans."
Equally out of luck were the Cardinals hitters, who put a hurting on Colorado left-hander Jeff Francis in the first two-plus innings. Rick Ankiel cranked a two-run double and Yadier Molina added a two-run single in the first inning, and Albert Pujols hit a solo homer in the second.
But officially, none of it actually happened.
"Opening Day was still fun for me, but none of the stats count," said Skip Schumaker, who made a spectacular diving catch on Troy Tulowitzki in the first inning. "So we'll look forward to tomorrow. We got out to a good start and had a lot of fun. It's just too bad that we couldn't go at least five."
Schumaker had to be one of the most disappointed Cardinals, because numerous family members and in-laws had flown in from California. Many of them will have to return before Tuesday's game, missing his first career Opening Day start.
Perhaps the postgame music in the Cardinals clubhouse said it even better than the video board. As the clubhouse opened, the speakers blared:
"I've seen better days."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.