The St. Louis Cardinals have clinched a postseason berth with the Milwaukee Brewers loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon.
The postseason berth means that Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has become only the fifth manager in Major League Baseball history to have managed his first three teams to the postseason.
The National League Central Division crown remains the goal for the Cardinals but the club is guaranteed of at least playing in the Wild Card game for the second time in three years.
The Cardinals are the only National League team to advance to the postseason for four consecutive years. This dates back to the 2011 Cardinals team that just made it into the postseason following Game 162 and went on to win the 2011 World Series over the Texas Rangers.
St. Louis won’t clinch at home and will do so on the road. Celebrating a Wild Card postseason berth is fun and all but the Cardinals are still aiming for the division title. Matheny said as much before tonight’s game.
“You can tell that it is a one-track mind right now,” Mike Matheny said in an MLB.com article. “It’s, ‘What do we have to do to win this division?’ There will be a time, if things play out and we’re able to go in as a Wild Card team, we will celebrate that, because there are a whole lot of teams that would like to be in this situation. But right now, we’re also in a position to keep moving forward to try and win this division.
“I guess the way to look at it was there wasn’t a whole lot of high-fiving, ‘Hey, we’re in the playoffs now.’ I think guys have their minds set on, ‘OK, what do we have to do to take [the division].'”
For now, the fans can celebrate the postseason berth but for the Cardinals, there remains work to be done.