By: Daniel Wilkins
Kirby Lee/USA TodaySports
Back on July 15, when the St. Louis Cardinals were struggling to keep up with the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central, they fired long-time manager Mike Matheny, to straighten things out. Now, the Cardinals have been on a hot streak as of late, and have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games. They've truly turned around since the firing, and now pushing for a playoff spot with Chicago and Milwaukee.
Since the Cardinals are only four and a half games back behind Chicago, the Cardinals decided to make things a little bit more official today. Their manager, Mike Shildt, has been officially made the team’s manager, as opposed to a temporary, interim manager. It has not been confirmed, but it has been reported that the Cardinals have offered Shildt a three year extension as manager.
With their former manager, Matheny, the Cardinals were 47-46 (only one game above .500), but, now are 73-58, fifteen games above the even line. Shildt has been in the Cardinals organization for a long time, first becoming manager for the club’s short-season A-ball team back in 2009. Along with other coaching positions, including being the Triple-A manager just last year, the bench coach has turned into a very valuable asset, now as manager, for the St Louis Cardinals, over his 15-year tenure with the club.
With the new man in the managerial seat, we definitely have seen some changes for the Cardinals. Outfielder Harrison Bader and Hawaiian infielder Kolten Wong have now become regulars in the lineup. Players like Jose Martinez, Matt Carpenter, and Paul DeJong, who were already regulars in the lineup, have gotten even better.
Since it's only been a month or two since the Cardinals have found their new manager, it is still uncertain how the team will perform with Shildt as the manager. But, with how good this team has been as of late, and on the verge of a playoff spot, it seems like the salsa has been working pretty well, and this success in St Louis, may not be over anytime soon.