The play in question happened in the ninth inning, when, in a one-run game with no outs and runners on first and second, Kolten Wong tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt. Mets pitcher Miguel Socolovich made the play and threw to third baseman Zach Lutz. It was a bang-bang play, as Lutz received the ball and Randal Grichuk slid into third. The umpire, Mark Ripperger, ruled Grichuk out.
That's when Matheny practiced his process.
He turned to bench coach Mike Aldrete and told him what he wanted challenged. Aldrete used a walkie-talkie to get in touch with the video coordinator, who within 10 to 13 seconds (Matheny's estimation) relayed that the Cardinals should use the challenge.
The caveat was that the umpires did not have access to the same video feeds the Cardinals did. As a result, the call was not overturned.
"I still stand behind what [my staff] saw," Matheny said. "Once the season starts, everyone has the same technology. Right now everybody is just feeling their way through it. Today was a day for us to actually see the actual physical system where you could go forward and stop. Why they were different, I'm not exactly sure. "
During the season an umpire will be reviewing calls from the Major League Baseball Advanced Media headquarters in New York. They will have the same video feeds provided to all the clubs. Right now the umpires are simply watching video in a truck at each ballpark.
Although a change in call could have loomed largely in the outcome -- the Cardinals ended up not scoring and went on to lose, 9-8 -- Matheny was pleased to see the procedure go so smoothly from his end.
The Cardinals will get to use the replay system in a few other select spring games.
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.