Cards outfielder Matt Holliday and manager Tony La Russa took exception to a ninth-inning Drew Storen fastball that sailed behind Holliday, with La Russa complaining to the umpiring crew at length after the pitch. That followed an incident on Saturday night in which Washington outfielder Nyjer Morgan shoved catcher Bryan Anderson on a play where Anderson was looking the other way and did not have the ball.
Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, an old friend of La Russa's, apologized on behalf of his club for Morgan's play, and it appeared matters were settled. But when Holliday was thrown behind in the ninth, it raised suspicions and hackles in the visiting dugout.
"We were told before the game that [there would be] no funny business because of the cheap shot that Morgan hit," La Russa said. "And here's a guy that hits a single and a double and they throw the ball behind him. There was going to be no ifs, ands or buts. But in their opinion, the pitch got away. ... If somebody throws the ball behind you, you're not happy. Especially up in that area. If you don't have that kind of command, it wasn't intentional, then you don't belong in this league."
Storen said afterward that he was not trying to send a message.
"I was not trying to hit Holliday," the rookie reliever said. "Apparently, that's why La Russa came out there. That was not the case."
Storen hit Holliday with a pitch in Thursday's series opener, but Holliday said that had nothing to do with his annoyance.
"When a guy throws a ball three feet behind you, it doesn't matter what happened before," he said. "It's the Major Leagues. It's [94 miles per hour] and it hits a wall behind you, that doesn't have anything to do with what happened before that."