Fans hyped as Cardinals enter final stretch of the season with playoff hopes

ST. LOUIS – It might be the salsa. Or maybe it's spending six weeks with Mike Shildt in the interim manager role. Who knows how this team got its mojo.

However you choose to describe this Cardinals team, returning to Busch Stadium for a three-game series with the Pirates is a proven buzz for fans.

Under Shildt, the team has a 26-12 record and sits four and a half games behind the Cubs, having recently blasted the Rockies on the road and bested the Brewers during their last homestand.

The Cardinals recorded the most wins (24) since the All-Star break. And the team won nine consecutive series for the first time since 2009.