MIAMI -- In the days leading up to his managerial debut, Mike Matheny insisted that this would just be another game, not all that different, he said, from the Grapefruit League ones he just sat through.
His grin on Wednesday after the Cardinals' 4-1 win over the Marlins suggested otherwise. Just moments before, nearly the entire team had pulled Matheny out of the manager's office and showered him in celebration.
"The refrigerators are working well in this place, I can tell you that," joked Matheny, his uniform and the nearby carpet doused. "It was just an all-around good day."
Matheny began his tenure as Cardinals manager by watching Kyle Lohse throw six no-hit innings and his offense tally 13 hits. With Lohse cruising for most of the night, there turned out to be little opportunity for Matheny to do much in terms of in-game managing.
The opportunity he did have came in the eighth, when he stuck with Daniel Descalso against a lefty reliever and let Lohse hit for himself. In the bottom half of the frame, Matheny then made a pair of pitching changes. That was as climatic as it got for Matheny, who is the second rookie manager to take over a Cardinals club following a world championship. Red Schoendienst was the first.
Matheny's day began with an early wake-up call, the usual for him, though he said he was able to stay busy enough during the hours that followed that the day didn't seem to drag.
"There was a lot of scouting I wanted to do, a lot of video, a lot of crunching numbers," Matheny said. "I just wanted to make sure I covered all my bases. I was just sifting through everything."
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.