Matheny granted the request and changed his lineup so that it would include Holliday as the Cardinals' cleanup hitter and starting left fielder one day after Holliday exited a game with blood dripping down his face. Holliday was fortunate not to have incurred a facial fracture, and he even showed little bruising evidence of the impact made by Andrew Cashner's 95-mph fastball a day later.
Holliday's insistence that he get back on the field right away was a stance Matheny, in particular, could appreciate.
That's because for the Cardinals' manager, Thursday's incident brought back memories of a May evening in 1998 when he took a Rich Loiselle fastball off the face. Matheny, then playing for the Brewers, never went down and spit up chunks of blood as he walked off the field with a towel to his face. Like his manager before him, Holliday walked off the field Thursday evening under his own power.
"I remember that well," said Matheny, who lost several teeth from the impact of the pitch. "I remember, after I got back from the emergency room, I went into the manager's office because I got clearance from the doctors. I thought it was something I really needed to do: one, for me and my psyche, and two, for my team. I went in and asked if I could play, and same thing -- he didn't have me penciled in.
"So last night as Matt and I went through that, I have a great deal of respect for him wanting to be back in there."
Jenifer Langosch has covered the Cardinals for MLB.com since 2012, and previously covered the Pirates from 2007-11. Read her blog, follow her on Twitter, like her Facebook page and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.