Thrilled with the results, the St. Louis Cardinals thanked Mike Shildt.
The Cardinals took off the interim tag from Shildt’s title and promoted him to full-time manager through 2020, a reward for steering the team back into postseason contention after replacing the fired Mike Matheny.
“Why now? We could have waited but we feel like the time is right,” President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said Tuesday at Busch Stadium. “As we stated from Day One, we would use this time to really see how he handled the job. We just felt like we could not do better. Mike has shown he can do the job. Mike checks a lot of boxes along the way.
“It made sense to do it now. Everything is going well, and more importantly momentum is building behind our players. Having Mike Shildt as manager is a tremendous story. I hope the next chapter is even better,” he said.
In danger of missing the playoffs three straight years for the first time since the late ’90s, the Cardinals have gone 26-12 since July 15 — the most wins in the majors during that span. A 19-5 mark in August has put them into the top spot in the NL wild-card standings.
“I have been given a lot of credit for what’s happened in the past six weeks,” Shildt, 50, said. “I appreciate it, but I cannot accept it. The players make the plays and run the bases. They are a special group and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
The Cardinals were 47-46 when Matheny was fired a day before the All-Star break. They’ve cut their deficit in the NL Central from 7 1⁄2 games to 4 1⁄2 behind the division-leading Chicago Cubs.
“The team’s focused, high-level style of play under Mike is a standard that his teams consistently displayed during his prior years in the minors, and it has continued here at the major league level,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “We’ve won, certainly, but he’s got great relationships with the players. We all watch the games and my observation is, I think his game strategy is excellent.”
The Cardinals made the move before hosting Pittsburgh. St. Louis has won five of six, all on the road, and have won each of their last nine series overall.
“What a privilege and honor it is to be the field manager of the St. Louis Cardinals,” Shildt said. “Mo had a vision for my career far greater than my own and I’m very grateful for that.”
Shildt, who never played in the minors or majors, joined the Cardinals organization in 2004. He spent most of that time managing in the minors and was a member of the major league coaching staff the past two seasons.