A two-month road trip that began in Spring Training and continued through Chicago and Cincinnati will conclude when the Cardinals open Busch Stadium for business on Monday afternoon.
"We started off in two cities that don't like us a whole lot," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, whose club will host the Brewers for the opener of a three-game series, "and now we get to go back to a city where everybody loves us."
St. Louis fans hope they can look forward to a performance from right-hander Adam Wainwright similar to his Opening Day start against the Cubs. Wainwright worked six shutout innings in a 3-0 Cardinals victory.
Matt Garza, coming off a five-inning, four-run loss to the Rockies, will start for the Brewers.
"They are real excited," Matheny said of his players. "It's a big deal. Opening Day for us is a holiday in St. Louis. We want [the players] to get their work in, enjoy it, and take it all in."
Things to know about this game:
• Garza, the former Chicago Cub, has made five career starts at Busch Stadium without a victory and owns a 6.95 ERA there. He was on his way to a gem last Aug. 3, pitching six scoreless innings and allowing only one hit before being knocked from the game with a rib-cage strain that would send him to the disabled list. He spent the winter and spring retooling his mechanics in an effort to avoid future injuries.
• Monday will mark the fourth time Wainwright has started a home opener. He also pitched the first game in St. Louis in 2009, 2010, and 2012. Wainwright's results in home openers have been mixed, working eight scoreless innings against Houston in 2010 and giving up eight runs in three innings against the Cubs in 2012.
"He's good, and he knows what he's doing, but he's also prepared," catcher Yadier Molina said of Wainwright. "He gets in the gym and works out every day. The way he prepares shows in the way he starts out."
• The Brewers hope a change of scenery benefits catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who finished fourth in National League MVP balloting last season and slugged his way through Spring Training, only to go 1-for-20 in the first five games of the regular season. Manager Ron Roenicke rested Lucroy for Sunday's series finale against the Pirates but will have him back in the two-hole on Monday afternoon.