Umpiring Delay Has No Effect on Santana’s Latest Victory

August 10, 2009

When home plate umpire Randy Marsh left under his own power during yesterday’s game, he was visibly shaken up from the previous play. Marsh was struck in the face mask by a foul tip off the bat of Padres pinch hitter Luis Gonzalez in the bottom of the fifth inning. At the time of the incident, Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana was clinging to a 1-0 lead. Marsh never did return to the game which meant that Marvin Hudson, the crew chief, was relegated to calling the remaining balls and strikes. In all, the act of replacing Marsh lasted a total of thirteen minutes.

For some pitchers, having to stop pitching for any length of time could force them to lose their focus on the task at hand. Fortunately for the Mets, Santana stayed sharp. He completed eight efficient innings and earned his thirteenth win of the season. The left-hander surrendered just one run on five hits lowering his earned run average to an even 3.00.

On another picture-perfect day in Southern California, the Mets offense continued their struggles and failed to exploit San Diego’s patchwork pitching staff. Tim Stauffer, the Padres starting pitcher, held Mets batters in check for five innings by striking out six. He allowed just five hits and one run. Eventually, Stauffer’s day would be done as he was lifted for a pinch hitter. The Mets seized the opportunity and jumped on Padres reliever Edward Mujica in the sixth inning by plating three runs on three hits along with a little help from San Diego’s defense. The Padres would score a run in the bottom half of the sixth to make it, 4-1, but today’s game belonged to Johan Santana.

“He is truly a competitor in every sense of the word,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said when asked to comment on his left-hander yesterday.

In an ideal world, the Mets wish they could have their star pitcher out there everyday.

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