2018 St. Louis Cardinals
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2018 St. Louis Cardinals / Franchise: St. Louis Cardinals / BR Team Page
History, Comments, Contributions
On June 25th, the 2018 St. Louis Cardinals recorded the 10,000th win in franchise history in shutting out the Cleveland Indians, 4-0. That made them the 6th major league team - all in the National League - to reach the mark. The number dates back to the St. Louis Browns joining the NL from the American Association in 1892.
The Cardinals were expected to contend in a wide-open NL Central division, but after a good start, they began to lose ground and were hovering around .500 as the All-Star break approached. The offence was strangely quiet, given it was expected to be the team's strength, and there were rumors of dissensions in the clubhouse, something also very unusual for this team. On July 14th, following a loss to the Cincinnati Reds in the penultimate game before the break that put them just one game above .500, the Cardinals decided to fire manager Mike Matheny and hitting coaches John Mabry and Bill Mueller. Bench coach Mike Shildt took over in the interim, with permanent replacements to be named in time for the resumption of play. At a press conference the following day, however, General Manager John Mozeliak explained that Shildt would hold the reins until the end of the season.
It seems that the change of managers was exactly what the Cardinals needed, as they immediately began playing better, winning 21 of their first 31 games under their new skipper. As a result, on August 18th, they caught the Milwaukee Brewers for the second wild card spot in the National League thanks to a 7-2 win. They also had a streak of 15 games with a homer starting on August 7th and won 17 of their first 21 games that month, making them the hottest team in the majors.
Awards and Honors
- Will Leitch: "Cardinals roster audit: 2018 proves pivotal: St. Louis looking to reach postseason for first time since 2015", mlb.com, March 22, 2018. 
- Mike Lupica: "Cards 'changing the narrative' on rocky season: Mozeliak breaks down St. Louis' back-and-forth year, postseason hopes", mlb.com, August 14, 2018. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Heat is on the Cardinals - and manager Mike Matheny feels it the most", USA Today Sports, July 4, 2018. 
- Bob Nightengale: "With Mike Matheny fired, could Cardinals turn to Joe Girardi? Mark McGwire?", USA Today Sports, July 15, 2018. 
- Joe Trezza: "Cards confident in postseason return in '18: Retooled lineup could be among Majors' elite", mlb.com, March 18, 2018.