The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Cardinals losing spring record not good for regular season

While spring marks are inherently made to be forgotten, the St. Louis Cardinals have been very consistent over the Tony La Russa years. Since the manager’s arrival in 1996, the club has posted just two sub-.500 springs – in 2003 and 1998.

The Cardinals went on to miss the post-season both years.

Following Saturday’s bottom-of-the-ninth loss to the Marlins, St. Louis’ 2011 spring record dropped to 13-14, only tenth-best of the 15 Grapefruit League teams. Three Florida games remain, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday – the latter with an asterisk.

By Tuesday, the major leaguers will have headed north for an evening exhibition with their Double-A club in Springfield, MO. The “major league” club also has a Tuesday afternoon game scheduled in Jupiter that seems destined to be staffed by minor leaguers.

Yet, the outcome of that game may be the difference-maker in the 2011 Cardinals having a winning spring record.

The spring and regular season won-loss tallies over the La Russa years follow. Over that time, the Cardinals have played slightly better in Florida than during the regular season, .556 to .543.

St. Louis Cardinals spring and regular season records, 1996 through March 26, 2011

Spring Season
Year FL wins FL losses Ties Pct. FL rank NLC rank NLC rank Pct Reg wins Reg losses PS Result
2011* 13 14 1 0.481 10 3 TBD
2010 15 14 0 0.517 7 3 2 0.531 86 76
2009 19 12 0 0.613 3 2 1 0.562 91 71 LDS L
2008 17 10 2 0.630 4 1 4 0.531 86 76
2007 16 10 4 0.615 3 2 3 0.481 78 84
2006 15 14 1 0.517 T8 3 1 0.516 83 78 WS W
2005 15 11 2 0.577 T3 1 1 0.617 100 62 LCS L
2004 17 12 1 0.586 T4 2 1 0.648 105 57 WS L
2003 12 15 2 0.444 14 4 3 0.525 85 77
2002 17 10 3 0.630 3 2 1 0.599 97 65 LCS L
2001 17 15 0 0.531 6 2 T1 0.574 93 69 LDS L
2000 17 11 0 0.607 3 1 1 0.586 95 67 LCS L
1999 16 13 1 0.552 T4 1 4 0.466 75 86
1998 12 16 1 0.429 12 3 3 0.512 83 79
1997 21 11 0 0.656 2 1 4 0.451 73 89
1996 15 15 0 0.500 T8 2 1 0.543 88 74 LCS L
Total 254 203 0.556 0.543 1318 1110

* three games remaining

3/29 Update: On Tuesday, St. Louis absorbed their seventh loss to Florida in eight spring tries and concluded spring training with a 14-16-1 record.

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