(BaseballStL) -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny stopped short of saying his team would have won Sunday's game against the Giants had catcher Yadier Molina not been ejected in the third inning. But he certainly believes it had a significant impact.
With two outs in the bottom of the third, the Cards were down 2-0. Runners were on first and second base with Molina at the plate. He hit a sharp ground ball to Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, who made a terrific play in the hole to throw the Redbirds catcher out at first base.
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The play ended the inning and kept the Cardinals from scoring at least a run off San Francisco starter Chad Gaudin.
Out of frustration, Molina threw down his helmet and started walking back to the dugout. But first base umpire Clint Fagan immediately ejected Molina from the game, prompting a loud argument from him and Matheny, who was also thrown out of the game.
Afterwards, the Cards manager was asked if he was given an explanation for Molina getting tossed.
"There was an explanation all right. The explanation was he threw his equipment, which is a very poor explanation in my mind," Matheny said. "It's a shame. The guy plays with passion. He was frustrated with himself which happens every single day in this league. The wrong decision was made."
"I know I was out. I wasn't upset because he made the call. I was upset with myself," Molina said. "I tried to hold the helmet. I ended up going to the dugout and I heard (the umpire say) 'you're out, you're out of the game'. I was surprised."
It was the third time Matheny and Molina have been ejected in their managing and playing careers, respectively.