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NEW YORK—Johan Santana's no-hitter Friday night, the first in New York Mets history, was helped by an umpire's missed call.
Carlos Beltran, back at Citi Field for the first time since the Mets traded him last July, hit a line drive over third base in the sixth inning that hit the foul line and should have been called fair. But third base umpire Adrian Johnson ruled it foul and the no-hitter was intact—even though a replay clearly showed a mark where the ball landed on the chalk line.
"I saw the ball hitting outside the line, just foul," Johnson told a pool reporter.
The umpire acknowledged that he saw the replay afterward but declined to comment.
“When things aren’t meant to happen, what can you do. I thought it was a fair ball … the way I saw it, the ball was over the bag, and the replay showed it landed on the line,” Beltran told NorthJersey.com.
Santana said he didn't have a good look at the liner.
"It was tough because it happened so quick. I wasn't able to see anything," Santana said.
"The umpire made his call and that was the end of it."
But with the next batter at the plate, Cardinals third base coach Jose Oquendo twice got in Johnson's face for heated arguments — the two even appeared to bump each other. Rookie manager Mike Matheny also came out to protest, but nobody was ejected.
"It's not like there's going to be an asterisk by (the no-hitter). That's the way the game goes," Matheny said.
Almost exactly two years ago — on June 2, 2010 — Armando Galarraga lost a perfect game when first base umpire Jim Joyce admittedly blew a call that should've resulted in the final out. The miss in Detroit instead gave Cleveland's Jason Donald a single with two outs in the ninth.
Major League Baseball had considered expanding replay for this season to review fair-or-foul calls and trapped balls. The change required the approval of MLB and the unions representing the umpires and the players — when there was no agreement, extra replay was postponed until at least 2013.
Johnson, 37, has been a major league umpire since 2006, and a full-time ump since 2010.
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