While every team in baseball had to adjust to the added weeks and games of this protracted spring training, the Cardinals’ camp went on so long it started to hurt.

The Cardinals escaped Florida on Friday night and headed for Arizona, where their opening game will be Monday night. The team that traveled was not entirely the team imagined even less than two weeks ago, before sudden injuries to third baseman David Freese (back) and closer Jason Motte (elbow) put them on the disabled list to open the year, with Carlos Beltran (broken toe) in jeopardy of missing the opener.

Manager Mike Matheny began spring challenging the players to “get better.” That took on a more medical meaning than imagined during spring as several Cardinals, Matheny included, just needed to get well.

“I think we had vulnerabilities,” Matheny said Friday morning. “We haven’t even begun to start. We start talking about a grind now. We’ll continue to have challenges, most likely. … I’m happy with where we are. I think we just anticipate that there are going to be issues.

“If not, we’re thankful. And if there are, we’re adaptive.”

The Cardinals closed their exhibition schedule with a 7-2 loss to the host New York Mets at Tradition Field and bolted from the ballpark still in their uniforms to expedite their departure. The Cardinals went 16-15-1 during spring. Outfielder Shane Robinson hit .438 to lead the regulars and win a spot on the major-league bench. Prospect Michael Wacha wowed coaches and did not allow an earned run in 11 2/3 innings with the major league club and, through Friday’s games, had not allowed a run in minor-league camp.