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Carpenter tossed for arguing strike-three call

SAN DIEGO -- Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter was ejected by home-plate umpire Chris Segal after he was unhappy with the third-strike call in the fifth inning of Saturday night's 8-0 St. Louis loss to the Padres.

Immediately after Ian Kennedy's pitch was called a strike, Carpenter yelled, turned around and got in the umpire's face.

"I let him know how unhappy I was with the call," Carpenter said. "And I stand by it. It was nowhere near the strike zone. It was an 0-2 pitch at a crucial point in the game, and neither the pitcher nor the catcher were anywhere near the plate. It was to set up the next pitch, and [Segal] called it a strike."

The ejection itself occurred very quickly.

"I don't know exactly what he said, I think it is probably more of how he said it. My only complaint is just how fast it did happen," manager Mike Matheny said. "It didn't give me much of a chance to help save him. But that's a big situation and we want him at the plate and he takes a lot of pride on knowing the strike zone, and I don't blame him for being mad right there."

Matheny also had some words with Segal, but ultimately kept his cool and headed back to the dugout.

"It's probably the worst strike I have ever had called against me, and I will stand by that," Carpenter said. "I didn't say anything offensive to him, I just let him know. And I am sure he wasn't happy that I was screaming at him and pointing at him, but in that crucial point in the game, [the call] can't happen."

Carpenter was 0-for-3 before the ejection, and entered Saturday's game batting .136 in his last six games.

Kolten Wong came in to replace him. Wong was out of the lineup originally because he too has been struggling. Before the game, Matheny said he was hoping the day off would help Wong mentally as he looks to find a groove again.

"That's picking up your teammate, we had to do it," Matheny said. "Matt's worked as hard as anybody else, but got to have somebody be able to step in for him when something like that happens."

Wong went 0-for-2, striking out in the seventh and grounding into a double play to end the game.

Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for
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