2006

Wow, what a great year to be a Cardinals fan! Well, maybe not the whole year. (I'd pretty much given up hope at the end of the season, and was out of town the last week of the season.) But the play-offs were certainly exciting, and the team pulled off a World Series win somehow.

I didn't get in on anyone's season tickets this year, but my brother Wesley and I did get a 4-game package and some single-game tickets. Here are the 2006 games that I went to (or at least had tickets to):

Day Date Opponent Tickets Price Section, Seat Notes
Sun 4/23 Cubs 2 $33 330, row 7, seats 1-2 Lost 8-3. Nice weather.
Sun 4/30 Nationals 2 $28 330, row 7, seats 1-2 Won 9-2. Heavy rain for a short time, sunny part of the time.
Sun 5/14 Diamondbacks 2 $13 SRO Gave tickets away.
Tue 5/16 Mets 2 $90 203M Missed game.
Mon 6/5 Reds 2 $90 207M Lost 8-7. First time in suites in new ballpark. Home runs by Juan Encarnacion, Chris Duncan, and Yadier Molina, and 2 by Ken Griffey Jr. – including a 3-run shot in the 9th, leading to the disappointing loss.
Sun 6/18 Rockies 2 $28 330, row 7, seats 1-2 Won 4-1. Heavy rain for a short time, sunny part of the time. Home run by Rolen.
Sun 6/22 White Sox (away game) 2 $28 550, row 16 Lost 1-0. Travelled up to Chicago with Laura to see this one. Very quick game – only 2 hours, and we missed the first 15 minutes or so in traffic trying to park. Anthony Reyes (just called up from the minors, having pitched 1 major league game in 2005) had a no-hitter into the 7th inning, when Jim Thome hit a home run. I think it's the first time I've ever seen a complete game by the losing pitcher (and the winning pitcher did not pitch a complete game). A good number of Cardinals fans were there, especially up where we were. There was a good loud chant of "Let's go So" when Taguchi was batting with a man on 2nd in the 8th. The Chicago fans were friendly, and their stadium was pretty nice.
Mon 6/26 Indians 2 $90 215M Lost 10-3.
Fri 6/30 Royals 2 $90 288M Lost 7-5.
Sun 7/16 Dodgers 2 $28 330, row 7, seats 1-2 Gave both tickets to Wesley.
Mon 7/17 Braves 2 $90 301M Lost 15-3. Yeah, it was pretty bad. Jeff Weaver's first game as a Cardinal. We were losing so bad, LaRussa put the scrubs in to finish the game. By the 9th inning, the entire bench had been exhausted (including Marquis pinch hitting for Edmonds) and no starting player finished the game in the position he had started. (Molina ended up at first; Luna and Taguchi also played the whole game, but moved positions in one of the double- or triple-switches.)
Sat 8/5 Brewers 4 - 58 Won 4-3. Awesome catch by Edmonds to end the 6th inning with the bases loaded; was hard to tell if he had come up with the ball at first, then to tell if he was OK. Home run by Pujols – along with a single, a stolen base, and a run – made it look like he was starting to be "back". Pitching was good – Reyes with another good start, and Looper pitched 2 scoreless innings. Pitcher Jeff Weaver pinch ran for John Rodriquez in the 8th inning, which seemed kind of weird. Chris Duncan missed a diving catch in shallow right to allow a triple by David Bell, who would later score.
Sun 8/6 Brewers 2 $90 287M Won 7-1. Excellent pitching by Jeff Suppan, into the 8th inning. Excellent fielding by Rolen; haven't seen him that good since early last year. He also hit a big home run, as did Encarnacion. Pujols had 2 singles and a double. Belliard had 2 singles, starting to make a difference after a slow start with the Cardinals. It was good to see all the Cardinal bats back in action.
Tue 8/15 Reds 8 $15 449A, row 9, seats 6-13 Won 5-0. Went with my mom's cousin Marlene, in from Oakland, and other family. Marlene is the biggest baseball fan I know – she's an Oakland A's fan, but roots for the Cardinals unless there's a former Oakland player doing something. Carpenter pitched a complete game – just over 100 pitches, only 4 hits. Home run by Chris Duncan, who also had 2 singles. Belliard went 3 for 3, then was intentionally walked; this raised his NL batting average by nearly 50 points. Pujols had a double and 2 hits, and scored from 3rd on a wild pitch.
Wed 8/30 Marlins 4 $28 340A, row 6, seats 1-4 Won 13-6. I said in the early innings that I thought it would be a long game, because the Cardinals were having a hard time hitting the Marlins' pitching, but the Marlins were hitting us pretty well. It turned out to be a long game – but because the Cardinals kept hitting and scoring. Almost everyone got involved in the hitting, including the pitchers.
Sun 9/3 Pirates 4 $42 LF3, row 9, seats 15-18 Won 6-3. It wasn't nearly as close as the final score would indicate; all 3 Pirates runs came in the 9th inning. Pujols hit 3 consecutive home runs, and he came about 15 feet from hitting a 4th in the 8th inning. After the first one, I mentioned the "Easter Miracle", when he had hit 3 home runs this past Easter. Pujols had all 5 RBIs until the 8th inning. Anthony Reyes' pitching was excellent again, as well. He pitched into the 7th, having given up only 4 hits and no runs.
Mon 9/11 Astros 4 $100 304M
Fri 9/15 Giants 4 $13 SRO (Busch Replica Stadium Night)
Sun 9/17 Giants 4 $24 447, row 10 Rained out. Saw Bruce Sutter's number retirement ceremony though.
Thu 10/26 Tigers 2 $300 241, row 12 World Series game 4. Won 5-4. Took Wesley. Eckstein went 4 for 5, with the fist and last RBIs. Very close game; we won mainly due to Detroit errors.