The Cardinals thought they actually got a hit against New York Mets left-hander Johan Santana Friday night, but they weren't really whining about the foul ball call made by third base umpire Adrian Johnson in the sixth inning when center fielder Carlos Beltran's liner down the third-base line appeared to kick up chalk.
"I thought the ball was fair," said Beltran. "But at the end of the day, one hit doesn't make any difference in the ballgame. We needed to score runs and we didn't do it tonight."
The Cardinals were beaten 8-0 in a game that wasn't quite as one-sided as the score might appear.
Third-base coach Jose Oquendo disputed Johnson's call but didn't criticize Johnson afterward.
"The ball hit the line," said Oquendo. "But there's nothing you can do about it. We didn't lose the game on that.
"I know (Johnson) is doing the best he can."
Manager Mike Matheny, frustrated by his team's recent slide (six losses in eight games), lamented that Beltran's drive, had it been a hit, would have given the Cardinals a man at second in the sixth inning of a 2-0 game.
"We're right in the game," said Matheny. "We get somebody on base and things start to change."
But Matheny had high praise for Santana and his signature changeup. "His changeup was too good," said Matheny. "It made his fastball look like 100 (miles an hour)."
Besides, said Matheny, "It isn't like there's going to be an asterisk by it (in the record book). We aren't spending any time thinking about (the foul-ball call)."