“I’m a fan of him pitching the home opener, I am,” Counsell said. “The home opener is a big day. I know it’s not Opening Day, but the home opener is a big day. When we put this together, there was some thought put into that.”
As a side effect of the rainout, Woodruff will be pitching on a traditional, five-day schedule. Perhaps that’s a good thing as he tries to get locked-in following a shaky spring and an uncharacteristically poor showing against the Cubs, when Woodruff matched his career high by allowing seven earned runs.
When told that Counsell was a fan of featuring Woodruff in the first game at home, the right-hander smiled and called it “cool.”
“I told him if it was just about that — I was OK with not throwing the home [opener]. I just want to win games,” Woodruff said. “If that means I’m pitching the second game at home, then so be it. But I did tell him I wanted to start the first game at home. He gave me an option to decide. I can’t not throw ‘Opening Day’ at home in front of our home crowd. … The crowd is so energetic and it feels like postseason baseball, which we’ve been used to the past four years and is always fun.
“You just have to go out there and really calm yourself down. It’s loud and St. Louis is in town, so you know they’ll bring a good crowd with them. And they’re good. It will be a good series.”