As we know, the Cardinals victory yesterday over the Brewers gave them a record of 15-14 for the month of April. The Cards remain in second place in the National League Central and are 5 1/2 games behind the surprisingly 20-8 Brewers.
What I didn’t realize was this, which I just read from Bob Nightengale in USA Today: for the first time in six years, a team other than the Cardinals enter May in first place in the NL Central.
Are you as surprised as I was by that? Maybe, in my memory, I just concentrate on where the Cardinals have ended up the past six years — not where they are at the end of the season’s first month.
But it’s true (because I had to check myself). Here’s a look …
|Year||May 1 Record
||Games Ahead||Final Record||Final Games Ahead or Behind|
|2013||16-11||+ 0.5||97-65||+ 3.0|
|2012||15-8||+ 3.5||88-74||– 9 (wild card)|
|2011||16-12||+ 2.0||90-72||– 6 (wild card)|
|2010||16-8||+ 4.0||86-76||– 5|
|2009||17-7||+ 4.0||91-71||+ 7.5|
|2008||18-11||Tied with Cubs||86-76||– 11.5|
So, yes, this indeed is new territory for the Cardinals in recent history. But, as we can tell from the chart — and our memories — being in first place on May 1 doesn’t guarantee a division win, or even a spot in the postseason.
And, with 133 games still left to play, there’s no way of knowing where the 2014 Cardinals will finish either. So just try to enjoy the ride, which picks up again tomorrow afternoon at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.
Christine Coleman is the lead writer for Aaron Miles’ Fastball. Follow her on Twitter, @CColeman802, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also follow @AMilesFastball for the latest updates and like AMF on Facebook if you don’t already.