Friday, June 1, 2012

Mets' Johan Santana Pitches No-Hitter, 3B Umpire Adrian Johnson Earns Save

Mets pitcher Johan Santana and 3B Umpire Adrian Johnson combined for a little Friday night magic in New York as Santana completed the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history.

Here's how. Santana, who had kept the St. Louis Cardinals hitless through five innings, faced Cardinals slugger Carlos Beltran in the top of the sixth inning. With a 1-0 count, Beltran connected on an 88 miles-per-hour fastball from Santana, sending a line drive screaming past third base and down the left field line.

Ruled a foul ball by Johnson, the broadcasters and replays indicate the ball traversed the front edge of the third base bag in fair territory before striking the ground past third base, also in fair territory and on the chalk line; had an ejection resulted from the animated argument between Johnson, 3B Coach Jose Oquendo and Manager Mike Matheny, the Quality of Correctness would have been incorrect (because of where the line drive first touched the ground, not because of where it passed over third base as the Cardinals broadcasters incorrectly cited, though the answer to both questions is one and the same).

Nonetheless, as the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League traditionally does after a no-hitter, here is the instant analysis of how plate umpire Gary Cederstrom called Johan Santana's no-hitter.

Callable Pitches: 77 (57-20)
Called Balls: 54 of 57 Correct = 94.7% Accuracy
Called Strikes: 16 of 20 Correct = <90.0% Accuracy
Total Accuracy: 70 of 77 Correct = 90.9% Accuracy

As the above statistics indicate, Santana was the beneficiary of four incorrect strike calls (called strikes located outside of the strike zone) while he was the victim of three incorrectly ruled balls (called balls located within the strike zone), a net result of one incorrect strike call or one beneficial call.

This of course does not include 3B Umpire Adrian Johnson's huge foul ball call on Beltran, which is why at least one Cardinals writer who was in the Citi Field pressbox reported the question, "Will 3B Umpire Adrian Johnson get the save?"

After the contest, Santana addressed the incorrect foul ball call during his press conference: "There are times where one play, one call makes the whole difference ... tonight that was that call. I can't say anything about, I just went with it, the umpire made his call and that was the end of it. I just stayed with my game."


Wrap: Cardinals at Mets 6/1/12
Video: Umpire Johnson Erroneously Rules Beltran's Liner Foul; Preserves Santana's No-Hitter
Video: Santana's post-game press conference, addresses foul ball call

Does Adrian Johnson's Missed Call Cheapen Johan Santana's No-Hitter?

43 comments :

Gil Imber said...

From the previous thread: js1metsfan said...

I completely understand that Johnson missed the call. The ball was definitely on the line.

But---as umpires, we know that umpires' calls are not supposed to have an impact on the game. We live with them and we die with them and that's it.

and while I've umpired for 23 years, I've been a Mets fan for 26 and have bled blue and orange my entire life.

I for one will not let Johnson's missed call cheapen the first no-hitter in franchise history!

Jay said...

I'm surprised there was no ejection on that play. I was shocked to see Oquendo staying out to coach third base and even more surprised to see Matheny remain in the game. There was a lot of yelling and arguing for a non-ejection.

Anonymous said...

It's not quite as blatant as Jim Joyce/Armando Galarraga because Johnson's blown call happened in the 6th inning instead of the 9th. Still, you've gotta believe Johnson won't get as much grief as Joyce, even if this call had been with 2 out in the 9th, because the call went against the Cardinals and in favor of the home team with the pitcher trying for the no hitter. Fans are much more forgiving if an umpire helps rather than hurts an attempt at a perfect game, no hitter, etc.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but this is a fly ball (not a ground ball) as it has not yet touched the ground until after the bag. Therefore, the fair/foul call is based on where the ball bounces and not the path of the ball over the bag. You can argue whether the ball hit the line (I believe it did), but the path over the bag matters not.

Anonymous said...

Instant replay? Clearly landed on the chalk, though I'm surprised that the chalk didn't jump up, which may have confused Johnson.

Will said...

tough call - I would have a hard time being really upset if the call went either way - in real time it looked foul, in slow motion it looked fair.

Jared said...

@Anonymous 7:27, you're right. The announcers said something about the ball passing the base in fair territory, which is factual as this article points out, but is also irrelevent for balls on the fly.

@Anonymous 7:31, it was damp in New York (rain, notice that the Atlanta - Washington series was postponed because of the weather), so the chalk and dirt was likely very wet so that it wouldn't bounce up when hit like it would in, say, Arizona or Houston.

Anonymous said...

You're correct, the bag has nothing to do with it since it never bounced. Treat it like a deep line drive that stays in fair territory until it hits barely foul near the outfield fence.
It did just hit the chalk, tough call for Johnson to make on a rocket liner, but the bag has nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Stupid idea time: All fair/foul lines should be like the yellow line of neon lights on the Green Monster at Fenway Park. That way, when a ball hits the line, the light breaks and everyone knows it's a fair ball. Everyone also gets electrocuted, so that may not be a good idea.

This is pretty similar to Bob Davidson's call in the old Marlins/Dolphins stadium in Florida a few years back when the announcers were letting him have it for such an "obvious" call.

KellerNo2 said...

Seems like the Cards announcers gave Adrian Johnson the benefit of the doubt there, with the "where it passes over the bag" nonsense. Of course, it was the wrong logic, but as has already been mentioned, even if it had been a ground ball, it would have passed over in fair territory, just as it landed in fair territory. CLearly a missed call, but a tough one at that.

Anonymous said...

It does have that asterisk quality to it, but it's still a no hitter in the books while Galarraga just has a shutout. Unfair

Turducken said...

POSTGAME

Reporter: Did you make the wrong call on the Beltran play where you ruled the ball foul?

Johnson: No comment.

[So much for accountability...]

Anonymous said...

I didn't know you could get a save in the 6th inning ;) Or in an 8-0 game ;)

"tough one at that" Isn't that what they hire umpires for? To make the tough calls? I mean there are plenty of calls that we could get by without umpires ;) But they're there to make the tough ones..

This call changed history and might have changed the game. Who knows what happens if Beltran is standing on 2nd at that point..

Dan said...

As a long suffering Mets fan, nothing can take away from this moment for me. Adrian Johnson doesn't get the benefit of slow motion instant replay. He called it the way he saw it in real time, and I'm not gonna fault him for that. Gary Cederstrom didn't call every pitch correctly. It's the human element of the game.

I don't think it cheapens in any way what Johan accomplished tonight for himself, the Mets organization, and the fans. You have to be a Mets fan to truly understand what this means.

Anonymous said...

The human element giveth and the human element taketh away.

Ryan said...

I was surprised to not see an ejection over this call, but good judgement by Johnson for not doing so I believe. Without any stats on hand, Adrian seems to be a very solid umpire. You do not hear a lot about him and as we know, that's a good thing.

Looking at the play in live speed, it is hard to see it as fair (I know it is clear in slow mo). No doubt it was close. Tough call but to say it had an outcome on the game is a bit of a stretch.

Can anyone tell Johnson is saying at the end?

Big Marc said...

@Turducken.

It might be possibe that Mr. Johnson is not allowed to speak to reporters. He is not the C.C., so hold on a second. Next, his C.C. may have told him to say nothing to reporters. Remember a no comment is just that, it's not a comment either way. I know C.C.'s are allowed to speak to the press, but I'm not so sure if that's the case for everyone else.
Listen, the kid did a hell of a job. He avoided an ejection, and he let the players know he didn't like what was being said. He's laid the ground work for the next time, they are already on notice that whatever they said to him after the call, he didn't like.

Good kid, Good kid.

Turducken said...

@BigMarc

No, Johnson was opened to a pool reporter, in which he declined comment.

Not disputing that Johnson is a fine young umpire, because he is, but quite frankly, he kicked the call, and should own it. Not like the media's going to crucify him for it, it's the New York media that's been waiting for a no-hitter from Queens for 51 years.

JohnShulockFan said...

In 10 years, nobody will remember this insignificant call. Ok, more like 10 days.

BAPACop said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BAPACop said...

@Turducken: Do you know whether or not Johnson had the time to see a replay before he was asked that question?

Anonymous said...

What's Gary Carter doing in the middle of that Mets celebration? Dumb fan.

Anonymous said...

This was a really difficult call that probably was missed because the chalk didn't kick up. I don't think anyone can say definitively in real time that the ball was fair (well the Cards announcers claim they could at 1:30 in this video- http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21949141&c_id=mlb)

Turducken said...

@BAPACop,

Report didn't say. Presume by the time that the pool reporter got to him that he had seen the play.

Anonymous said...

In 1988 when Tom Browning threw a perfect game, the game wasn't televised. Who knew if a bad call in the game allowed the perfect game to continue?

Bill said...

Amazingly tough call for Johnson with one shot in real time. And 26 other Cardinal batters never even got that close.

What is really stunning here is the history...not Seaver, not Koosman, not Gooden, but a guy name Johan with a rebuilt arm gives the Metropolitans their first no hitter.

alabaster said...

So, some people think this no-hitter is "cheapened" or even discredited due to the missed call? What's next, are we going to go back and check for all the past no-hitters where there were pitcher-friendly strike zones, and put an asterisk on those too? Give Santana his due.

Anonymous said...

Cardinals fans have already slapped the asterisk by this no-hitter no matter how much it meant to NY and all other baseball fans. They put the asterisk on there just like the one that says.....

KC ROYALS 1985 WORLD CHAMPS*

UmpsRule said...

When they showed the first replay, didn't the Cardinals play-by-play man say foul?

@ Anon 7:18

Mark McGwire's 70 homer season*

MattAB said...

I must agree with the folks who say this call does not cheapen the no-hitter. Also, I would be willing to bet that if we had every no-hitter thrown in Major League history archived on a set of high definition footage, shot from 8 or 10 camera angles, with slow motion replay we would find blown calls in past no-hitters, ones we never knew occured simply because the technology didn't exist at the time. It happens, it has happened, it will continue to happen, such is life. As a Twins fan I must say I wish Johan had done this in a Minnesota uniform, but congrats to him none the less.

Big Marc said...

If it's in the game, it's in the game. Calls in favor, or against, it's all part of trying to get the no hitter.

Did you ever see the called 3rd strike that Don Larson got during his perfect game in the W.S.?????
Yogi stood up and reached to his right and caught the ball for a called 3rd strike.

I don't care if you no-hit the Pete Gray allstars, at the MLB level there is no asterisk........

singleswitch said...

Don't understand the controversy. There is indisputable, empirical evidence the call was blown - the hole in the chalk where the ball landed. The umpire is standing 10 feet from where the ball landed. All he had to do is walk a few feet, look at the hole in the line and correct himself. I understand he got scared by the speed of the ball, blinked and missed the call. But that's what he should have done. No technology or instant replay required. It not a judgment or close play discretionary call that you can argue. It was a hit, end of story. In the books, it's a no hitter. In your mind and heart, if you are honest with yourself and take pride in what you accomplish, you know it was a one-hitter.

Jeremy Dircks said...

Singleswitch, he called foul/time/dead ball. All one in the same, it immediately kills the action. Since it isn't a boundary call, there is no "overturning the call." He killed the play. Period. Adrian Johnson could not just look at the spot and then point fair and put Beltran at second base.

Anonymous said...

Singleswtich's ignorance is showing....you cannot "unfoul" a ball once it is called foul...and that is in every variation of the rules...LL, Fed, NCAA, and Pro.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 7:56

The problem with putting an asterisk on McGwire's 70 homer season (or Bonds 73 homer season) is that steroids were not against the rules until 2002 so McGwire's achievement (while perhaps unethical) was not in violation of ANY baseball rule.

And if we're gonna asterisk unethical behavior that isn't against the rules....well we've got a LOT of asterisks to give out. Ty Cobb anyone? 1951 Giants? (sign stealing isn't against the rules is it?)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that no one has mentioned there was a second blown call in this game. Cardinals' hitter Shane Robinson was hit on the hand by a pitch late in the game, and Cederstrom called it a ball. I know it doesn't affect the no hitter directly, but it brings up another batter with a man on, and who knows what happens?

cgreen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cgreen said...

Cederstrom knows what its like to get unwanted attention in a no-hitter/perfect game situation. He was working first in a game in 1994 and in the 6th inning, as Bobby Witt was pitching a perfect game, Cederstrom called a runner to first safe while replays showed the runner was out. Witt went on to pitch a one hitter. I think Cederstrom was a full time fill in at the time and not yet a regular member of the staff.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 2:42

I was watching the game live, and I believe that the call is correct because Robinson didn't seem to make any attempt to get out of the way, which is what I believe Cederstrom ruled. That would also explain why the Cardinals barely argued the call.

Anonymous said...

If everyone knows it was a fair ball and should have been a hit, why are we all looking the other way? It diminishes other no-hitters. It will diminish the actual first Mets no-hitter when it happens. This no-hitter has been tainted by an umpire blowing a call.

Anonymous said...

This is small potatoes, but that sure looks like paint not chalk. It is cheaper to use field striping paint these days, and paint does not 'kick up.'

Like I said, small issue, but a point that's been bugging me haha.

Jon Terry said...

What a silly argument!

1. Foul call cannot be changed. Some mistakes can't be fixed.

2. The only thing that cheapens this no-hitter is the fact that we have the technology to nit-pick it to pieces. What was done on the field is just as historic as any other no-hitter.

3. I have never even heard of AJ being so upset on the field. What control it must have taken to keep those coaches in the game when he was that angry.

4. As steroids are illegal without a prescription, MLB should never have had to have legislated against them. Just like they should never have had to make rules against cocaine. The law of the land is the law, and baseball doesn't overshadow that.

Big Marc said...

Jon, true true and true.

However, if my competitor is using steroids, and making big money. And I'm having a bad year and about to lose my job. And MLB is not testing for steriods. And my wife likes diamonds. And I like to spend money..........
See my point.
MLB was a predator, they knew guys would use the drugs if they didn't test for them. Of course MLB benefitted with bigger attendance. Now MLB wants to wash their hands of all this, but they are the ones who created this problem.

It's akin stopping a homeless man, telling him you will loan him 1mil. Now you already know the homeless man will default on the loan before you give it to him because he has no home or job. But as a homeless man he would be a fool not to take the money. Predators and opprutunists are everywhere!

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