Matheny mindful of Cardinals' spring record
Though results less meaningful, skipper wants to maintain winning culture
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Winning games in March certainly is not as important as in April, September or any month in between, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny would like to see his team post more W's than it has so far this spring.
The Cardinals exited Wednesday's game against the Mets at Tradition Field with a 3-7-2 record. Only the Reds (4-11) and Phillies (3-10) have worse records this spring. Before Wednesday, St. Louis' last win had been last Wednesday against the Red Sox.
"We've had conversations about the habits of winning and losing, too," Matheny said before Wednesday's game.
The Cardinals' last losing Spring Training record was in 2011, when they broke camp 14-16-1, but they did reach the postseason that year.
Matheny pointed out that the Cardinals have "a lot of young players out there," and that some of the young pitchers have had their struggles this spring.
"That's to be somewhat expected," Matheny said. "I think the last couple of years, that hasn't been the case. We've had a lot of young prospects come [to camp] and make a splash in [Spring Training]."
The Cardinals have allowed 37 runs in their past three losses, while producing just 14 runs.
"We're throwing kids out there who have barely pitched above Double-A, and [they're] going out in big situations in the game because we need them to fill in so we don't beat up our guys," Matheny said. "That's the purpose of Spring. But we're conscious of the fact that we want to make winning a tradition even in these games."
Cardinals trying to get handle on replay
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny lost his third challenge in as many attempts on Tuesday's 9-8 loss to the Mets in Jupiter. After further review, Matheny is convinced the call that went against St. Louis in the ninth inning would have been overturned by replay during the regular season.
Matheny stood by what his staff saw on replay, which is different from what the umpires have available during Spring Training games. Matheny acknowledged Wednesday that he understands his staff has a different video feed than what the umpires have during these games, but he would like some clarification on the process.
"I was just trying to get that video and just send it to [New York] and say, 'This is what we have, and we'd like to have a better interpretation,'" Matheny said. "Just so we know how to go about the challenge process."
Matheny said there were 10 staff members of the Cardinals and Mets who saw the replay of the bang-bang play at third base in the ninth inning of a one-run game. Matheny said all 10 thought St. Louis' Randal Grichuk was safe and that the out call should have been overturned.
"We understand it's not the technology involved right now that will be later on, but that would have been a great opportunity to see the system work," Matheny said. "So, it's unfortunate [the umpires] didn't have those angles to really use at that opportunity. It's a big play. It changes the game."
• Second baseman Kolten Wong continues to impress at the plate after a slow start. He was 2-for-4 Wednesday, including a two-run homer that he deposited well over the right-field wall onto the grassy berm at Tradition Field. It was Wong's second home run of Spring Training, and his batting average has climbed to .292 since going hitless his first 10 at-bats.
• Stephen Piscotty continued his torrid hitting, going 2-for-3 with a triple and double to raise his average to .389.
"We knew he was making some strides," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Piscotty. "He has a good approach all around."
• Right-hander Seth Maness had allowed six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings before Wednesday, but he pitched a perfect fifth in relief of Martinez against the Mets.
"He looked a lot better," Matheny said of Maness.
• Wednesday's victory snapped a six-game winless streak that included two ties.
"Absolutely, no question about it," Matheny said when asked if it felt good to scratch out the club's first win in a week.
Steve Dorsey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.