MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals were none too pleased with home-plate umpire Bob Davidson's "generous," as manager Mike Matheny described it, strike zone on Monday, and that frustration culminated in Matt Carpenter's his first career ejection after he argued a called third strike in the fifth inning of their 4-0 win.
St. Louis was leading Milwaukee, 1-0, when Carpenter took three consecutive strikes as the second batter to hit in the fifth. The first two, according to PITCH/fx, were over the plate. The third, however, fell well outside the PITCH/fx strike zone.
Carpenter paused before leaving the batter's box and exchanged some words with Davidson. The conversation continued as Carpenter began toward the dugout, at which point Davidson ejected Carpenter before he could reach the stairs.
"I'm not sure what happened," Carpenter said afterward. "Usually profanity is what gets you thrown out of games. There was none of that. I'm not sure what I said was worthy of being ejected."
Carpenter added that he had watched Davidson eject Red Sox manager John Farrell in a nationally televised game on Sunday. Carpenter, who said he had never been ejected at any level, went back to look at the pitch in question after returning to the clubhouse and felt his frustration had been warranted.
"It was not good," Carpenter said, "not very good at all."
Matheny proceeded to have an extended argument with Davidson but was not ejected alongside his third baseman. He had already been chirping at Davidson from the dugout for several innings about strikes that he and his staff did not believe should have been called as such.
"We saw some pitches that didn't look right to us, and we're going to continue to fight for each other," Matheny said. "Matt didn't like what he saw. The umpire didn't like Matt's opinion of what he saw and said something to Matt; Matt returned something. No foul language, but the umpire had heard enough, mostly because of the staff and myself barking the majority of the game.
"Hopefully there is no follow-up on that for Matt, because checking on where that pitch was, it wasn't a pitch he should be swinging at. It was frustrating. Guys care about what they do. Emotions, you can't take them out of this game."
Daniel Descalso entered the game in the bottom half of the inning to play third and take Carpenter's spot atop the lineup.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.