- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 14, 2007

SEEN AND HEARD AT SHEA STADIUM

At precisely 7:10 p.m. last night, the New York Mets took the field to a thunderous roar from their home crowd. First baseman Carlos Delgado started rolling grounders to his infield mates. Outfielders Moises Alou and Carlos Beltran began playing catch. But as rookie Mike Pelfrey stood on the mound and prepared to throw his first warmup pitch, catcher Paul Lo Duca noticed the one thing no one else on the field apparently did: There were no umpires.

Unbeknownst to the Mets, Bruce Froemming’s crew was late to arrive at Shea Stadium (rumor was they got stuck in Friday rush hour traffic). So Lo Duca looked around, held his arms out in disbelief and then instructed Pelfrey to return to the dugout to stay warm.

As the crowd buzzed in bewilderment, the men in blue finally appeared from behind home plate, several minutes late. The two managers joined them for a quick exchange of lineup cards, Pelfrey and Lo Duca retook the field and the game commenced without further incident.

BY THE NUMBERS

9 Consecutive games with a hit for Ryan Church entering last night, a career best.

8 Consecutive games with a hit for Ronnie Belliard entering last night.

TODAY’S GAME

Nationals RHP Shawn Hill (0-2, 3.09) at Mets RHP Orlando Hernandez (1-0, 1.38), 1:10 p.m., MASN, AM-1500, FM-107.7.

— Mark Zuckerman

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