St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was probably smiling on the inside when he won a critical replay challenge on Tuesday night. It's a safe bet that smile turned to a frown in a matter of moments as the action unfolded. During the Cards' game against the Cincinnati Reds, starting pitcher Adam Wainwright allowed two runners after recording an out in the bottom of the third inning. Against Eugenio Suarez, Wainright was able to force a pop foul down the right field line and it appeared to be caught.

After the apparent catch, the runner on third tagged up and scored, putting the Cardinals behind 2-0. Attempting to save his team a run, Matheny challenged whether his own outfielder had actually caught the ball or whether the ball hit the wall while the fielder was bobbling it.

The umpires ruled the ball had indeed not been cleanly caught and the run was taken off the board.

Cardinals want that challenge back

After the run was erased, and the out was taken off the board, Wainwright went back to work. It turns out that his struggles continued. Suarez, instead of being out on the fould ball, ended up drawing a walk. With the bases loaded and just one out, the Cardinals pitcher ran into the buzzsaw that is Scooter Gennett and this happened:

In the grand scheme of things, there is no guarantee things would have gone better for the St. Louis Cardinals if Matheny had never challenged. It's possible Gennett would simply have hit a three-run home run instead of a Grand Slam.

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On the other hand, a pitcher is likely going to pitch differently with two out and two on, then with the bases loaded and just one out. Maybe Wainwright was being overly cautious in that at-bat.

The Cardinals woulda lost anyway

While Matheny would likely be the first to point out that the challenge didn't affect the outcome of the game even a little, considering his team lost 13-1, it does go to show that when it rains, it pours. The manager is enduring what can only be described as a disappointing start to the season. It's not very often we see the Cards sitting under .500 at this point in the season.

When it comes to Matheny, he's long had certain Cardinals fans lament the way he manages a ball game. There's likely to be a discussion as to whether it was a good idea to wipe an out off the board. In the long run, that decision is not going to have an affect on how the rest of the season goes for the Redbirds but it could end up having at least a little effect on whether he keeps his job.