PITTSBURGH -- Shortly before players and staff began their regular pregame work, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny gathered everyone together inside the visitors' clubhouse for what he later described as "a quick talk."
The message of the meeting, though kept between those in attendance, had to do with how the team would respond to the events of Tuesday's 9-0 loss to the Pirates. Emotions were running high between the two clubs on Tuesday after Josh Harrison knocked Yadier Molina out of the game in a collision at home plate. Later in the night, Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook hit Harrison with a pitch.
That prompted home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson to issue warnings to both teams.
The Pirates disagreed with Johnson's decision to issue warnings. Across the diamond, several Cardinal players expressed their displeasure for the way in which Harrison initiated contact with Molina. Harrison's left elbow went at Molina's head.
"It just applies to everything and, in general, last night probably would have been the time to have the conversation," Matheny said, when asked about the purpose of the meeting. "But I'm smart enough to know when your emotions are flying high, you usually are giving great speeches that you regret. Today was a great day for everybody to slow down, to talk and then to move forward playing great baseball."
Matheny said he and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle had not talked since Tuesday, though they do talk from time to time during the season.
Hurdle, too, was asked about the potential for any carryover from Tuesday's game.
"If we go out and don't play well today, where's the fire?" Hurdle said. "You like to think it heightened your intensity, maybe put a little more bounce in your step. I have seen it happen. I've also seen the team that thinks it's been violated try to respond -- most of what happens tonight will be based on what happens on the mound."