The no-hitter that wasn't
Johan Santana officially threw a no-hitter on Friday night. But did he REALLY throw a no-hitter?
And here's a slow-mo, looped look at the ball Beltran "foul" ...
See the chalk? Third-base ump Adrian Johnson didn't.
And finally, there's Exhibit C, which, as you might anticipate, involves chalk and the disrupting thereof by a struck baseball:
It's one thing to dismiss "human element" blown calls within the scope of wins and losses, but it takes even more willful nonsense to do so in a narrowly defined outcome like a no-hitter. While an improperly ruled foul-fair, safe-out, ball-strike in what turns out to be a one-run game is merely a contributing factor, a hit that wasn't properly ruled a hit in a "no-hitter" undermines the entire thing, ipso facto.
Johan Santana pitched a gem on Friday night, and his ongoing renaissance is one of the best stories of the season. However, he threw a no-hitter only in the most clinically technical sense of the word, which is to say that in the untidy realm of objective reality he didn't.
But at least the robot-umps weren't around to ruin a good story, right?
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