Turning the calendar from April to May, the Cardinals have a 14-8 record.
Remember this is one month into a season where the Cardinals:
* Have a new manager in Mike Matheny, who had never managed a professional baseball team in his life before being given the opportunity to take on the role of Cardinals manager. He’s replacing a man in Tony La Russa who had decades of experience. But, he’s got a record of 14-8 after his first month … That’s not bad at all.
* Don’t have That Guy That Used to Play First Base. Here’s a little tidbit you might enjoy! The entire St. Louis Cardinals team has 24 homers thus far this season. That Guy? Not. One. That’s right! Zero homers. Carry on!
* Have had a lot of injuries. Yes, we don’t know when Chris Carpenter will pitch this season. Waino hasn’t exactly been bueno since coming back from Tommy John surgery. Lance Berkman has been on the DL with a calf issue. Allen Craig started the season on the DL but is expected to join the team as early as today. Skip Schumaker and Jon Jay have both had concerns as well. But … the rotation has been excellent with Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse, Jake Westbrook and Lance Lynn all stepping up. The bullpen has had their moments but … it’s not last season’s bullpen. As far as the rest of the team, everyone seems to have picked up the mentality that got them through the end of the season: whatever the team needs to do, let’s do it! Matt Carpenter, Daniel Descalso and Erik Komatsu should be listed as examples. They have been compliments to the “stars” – Yadi, Freese, Holliday and Beltran.
* Have lost some close games. Without a doubt. Sickeningly close losses. To the Cubs. And Brewers. Hopefully mistakes are corrected and this improves.
So I posed the question of what do you think of this team with one month in the books to several Cardinals fans on Twitter. I asked specifically if they were better or worse than they had expected. So without further delay, here is what the fans think:
* Chris: After such a good spring training, my expectations were high for this April. I’m happy with their record — how can I not be? Yet some of those winnable games that they lost — especially the three in the past week — are disappointing. So hopefully they can learn from those games, and the missed opportunities, moving forward and continue their success. Because in another week, the NL Central merry-go-round is done for now so it could be a little more challenging. Happy with Matheny and how he’s handling things, though, for sure.
* Mary: I’m going to say better than expected. Matheny has done an excellent job coaching. Despite injuries, they are rockin’. We have all the Baby Birds getting it handled. Mini Carp, Robinson … those guys are great.
* Stacy: Better. But only slightly … I thought they might be a little slower starting as Matheny and the guys adjusted to life without TLR & PuWho. But I always thought they’d be good.
* @WKYSOX : A LOT BETTER! Specially since PUJOLS is hitting .216, and the Angels are 10 Games BACK!!!
* @MSUBlueNoter: Better but not great … pitching staff has been A+ but the lack of emergence from Tyler Greene and Matt Holliday have hurt. Jon Jay has been a revelation in center … sure handed and swinging a hot bat.
@Jabbered: Record worse than most of the games played. The pitching has improved with the exception of Waino. Issues with running in scoring position have gotten worse.
@NealBradley: Better. No Albert. No Carp. No Waino wins. Numerous injuries. Yet, still solidly in first place!
@Gerbalaya: Better I than expected but not as good as it could or should be. Team has lost some winnable games.
@dmbfan81: Given the lineup, about right as expected.
@CynicalTroll: Better, didn’t think the starting pitching would be this good.
@chriscaylor: Better. Freese, Lynn, Yadi, Beltran, Westbrook, Lohse all terrific so far. Albert Who?
If we missed each other and you want to comment on this question, please feel free to comment below or even send a message on Twitter! Thanks and Go Cards!
Miranda Remaklus is lead St. Louis Cardinals contributor to Aaron Miles’ Fastball. She’s also senior reporter at Aerys Offsides in the NFL section. Follow her @missmiranda.