St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt.

(Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

Compilation of the Cardinals Biggest Moments of 2018

We know it didn't end the way fans would have liked, but here's a look back at the highest-highs and lowest-lows of the season.

October 02, 2018 - 4:51 pm
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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Talk about a roller coaster season. 

The St. Louis Cardinals had postseason hopes entering spring training. At the All-Star break they were seen as potential sellers in a lost season. Come August, they looked like the best team in baseball. Then in September they lost the fire. 

But beyond the win-loss record, this 2018 season had some memorable moments (good and bad) for Cards fans. Here's a look at the top stories of the 2018 season: 

Last-minute signing of Greg Holland

Everyone in Jupiter, Fl. was asking, who was going to be St. Louis' man in the ninth inning? The Cardinals had added possible candidates like Luke Gregerson, Dominic Leone and Bud Norris, and there was an in-house name like Tyler Lyons. Eventually it fell upon Gergerson, but there wasn't overwhelming confidence especially after he was put on the DL at then end of March. 

Then as the Clydesdales were being hitched, just hours before the Cardinals first pitch on opening day Greg Holland signed with St. Louis.

Too bad he wasn't here long. An early injury doomed Holland's career in St. Louis before it even began really. He was put on waivers by July and picked up by the Washington Nationals, who also didn't make the postseason.

Yadi's privates were a public disaster

It still hurts some gentleman just to watch. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took a 102-mph pitch from reliever Jordan Hicks, off the bat of the Chicago Cub's Kris Bryant, straight to his groin. He missed a month after surgery, but from the very beginning we were all witness to his toughness. 

Bengie Molina, also a former catcher in the majors and Yadier's older brother, said the surgery lasted 45 minutes. He said doctors were able to save both of Molina's testicles. Bengie saw him the next morning after surgery and was encouraged by how he looked.

"I was expecting him to come in a wheelchair or (need) a little help," Bengie Molina said. "So, I went over to the door, and when I saw him he was walking."

But then a bulletproof protective cup, made my a St. Louis-based company came to the rescue. Nutshellz, is now the official provider of the Cardinals catcher's Kevlar-enhanced athletic cups.

Another year of recovery for Alex Reyes

He's been St. Louis' prized prospect for the last four-plus years, rising to the organization's No. 1 prospect – Alex Reyes. Coming off Tommy John surgery in 2017, he was expected to pitch in the bigs by this May as St. Louis was taking a very cautious approach with the 24-year-old. 

Then on May 31, starting his first big league game since September of 2016, he suffered a lat strain. It was an ultimate take-the-wind-from-their-sails moment for Cardinals fans. 

Now we wait until next spring to check back in with the young man, who remains atop St. Louis' top prospects.

11 walk-off victories

You did not want to let this Cardinals team bring the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. St. Louis had 11 walk-off wins, although they all weren't via the home run, here's a few of them to rewatch: 

King Miles to the rescue

Where the heck would the Cardinals have finished without the surprise Cy Young-caliber season of Miles Mikolas? Not two games short of a postseason appearance, it might have been closer to 20. 

Mikolas was signed as an international free agent after three years of pro ball in Japan. We weren't quiet sure what to expect from the guy who was most famous during his U.S. baseball career for eating a lizard whole. His 18 wins were tied for the most in the National League. His 1.3 walks-per-nine rate was the best in the majors. And he was an All-Star. 

Now lets hope he can do it again.

The end of the Mike Matheny era

In May we had a story about Cardinals manager Mike Matheny having the best winning percentage through is first 1,000 games, among every manager in Cardinals history. Better than La Russa, Schoendienst and all of them. Then in July he was fired. 

With a combined 591-473 record in six and a half seasons, ranking 5th all-time amongst Cardinals managers in wins, he helped lead the team to the postseason in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, including a National League Championship in 2013. 

The Cardinals announced the personnel change after the July 14, 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. St. Louis, was 47-46, seven games out of first place in the NL Central and on the verge of missing postseason play for the third season in a row. It was a needed change, which in many ways worked...

Then the Mike Shildt era began

St. Louis became the hottest team in baseball in the month of August. St. Louis won 12 of 14 straight series and went from eight games back in the NL Central to 2.5. 

Partially thanks to a the manager, but as Shildt was always the first to say, it was players like Harrison Bader, Jack Flaherty, Yairo Munoz, Miles Mikolas, Jose Martinez, Paul DeJong, and of course, Matt Carpenter. 

It’s officially MANAGER Mike Shildt. #STLCards announce they’re dropping the “interim” in his title

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#ItsGottaBeTheSalsa

Do we even have to explain this story?

His salsa became the magic sauce of St. Louis' potential comeback in July and August. Guess he just ran out of spices in September.