And in some games a team gets the first no-hitter in its 50-year history … even though it happened because a fair ball was called foul by the umpire.
Tonight the St. Louis Cardinals were on the wrong side of history, as Johan Santana threw the first-ever no-hitter for the New York Mets.
Yes, the ball hit by Carlos Beltran in the sixth inning should have been called fair. Here’s the play once again, if you haven’t yet watched it or want to watch it once more. Yes, it’s just another in very bad calls by umpires this year (and in years past too — tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of the one-hit perfect game by Armando Galarraga).
For now, bad calls are part of baseball. Like it or not, the human element is there and part of the game.
But the Cardinals had no hits in nine innings, so the entire game didn’t necessarily hinge on one call by the umpire — bad or good. Adam Wainwright was not sharp either, so that didn’t help. David Freese found out that karma can work both ways, as he made the final out.
As Tony La Russa used to say, sometimes you just tip your cap to the other team when you lose.
Tonight is one of those times.
Congratulations, Johan Santana.