A winning streak never matched before in franchise history that ultimately led to a surprise postseason berth was central to Mike Shildt being named a finalist for the National League Manager of the Year Award. But that honor went to Gabe Kapler of the Giants, after San Francisco's skipper led his surprise club to the best record in the Majors.
A victory would have been Shildt’s second time winning Manager of the Year, after he captured the honors in his first full season in 2019, when he led the club to the NL Championship Series. This year, Shildt finished third (25 points) in balloting, 118 points behind Kapler in first and 50 behind Brewers manager Craig Counsell in second, as announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Tuesday night on MLB Network. Shildt and Counsell each received one first-place vote, while Kapler earned the remaining 28.
All told, Shildt led the Cardinals to a 252-199 (.559) record in his 3 1/2 years as manager, which he started in an interim role after the dismissal of Mike Matheny in 2018. This past season, Shildt led the club through a rash of injuries -- many to the pitching staff -- that led to a disastrous 10-17 month of June. But by season’s end, thanks to a 17-game win streak in September and five eventual Gold Glove winners amid a defensive shift Shildt helped shepherd, he had his club within a swing of the NL Division Series before the Wild Card Game went the Dodgers’ way.