Matheny was fired on Saturday on the heels of a rain-soaked 8-2 loss to the Reds that dropped the Cardinals to 47-46 on the season. St. Louis has lost 10 of its past 15 games and is 7.5 games back in the National League Central.
Along with Matheny, the Cardinals are parting ways with hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller. St. Louis' .245 average this season is good for eighth among NL teams, though it is 10th in runs scored (407).
"Unfortunately our club has not played up to its capabilities, and it was time for a new voice and new leadership," owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "I think with Mike Shildt we have an opportunity to move forward into the second half."
"We believe in this team. We believe in the talent and the character our players represent. We feel this is an opportunity to do a whole lot better. If it all comes together and they play as a team and respond to the new leadership, we believe we can put together a run hopefully toward the postseason," DeWitt added.
Matheny, 47, has seemingly been under fire for the majority of the last three seasons after leading the team to the playoffs in his first four years since taking over for Hall of Fame skipper Tony La Russa upon his retirement after the 2011 season. In his second year at the helm of the team, Matheny led the Cardinals to 97 wins and a World Series berth, where they lost to the Boston Red Sox in six games.
The Cardinals won 100 games under Matheny's guide in 2015, but lost in the NL Division Series to the rival Chicago Cubs. St. Louis hasn't been back to the playoffs since that year, though it never posted a losing record in a season with Matheny as manager.
"This gives us an opportunity to hit the reset button and evaluate where we are and what we need to do differently," team president John Mozeliak said. "Having a fresh voice is something that we feel is important going into the second half."
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