October 05, 2011
Does Busch Stadium need to invest in a dugout dog to help keep the field clear?
For the second straight night, a brave and fast squirrel — we like to think it was the same one — hilariously interrupted a NLDS game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. The tiny critter was even more brazen than it was on Tuesday, streaking across home plate just after Oswalt delivered a pitch to Skip Schumaker(notes) in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Though the sight of wildlife streaking through the batter's box is funny enough — we've never seen that before — a few other factors upped the comedy level. Oswalt actually tried to use the squirrel's dash to get the pitch thrown out (no surprise, it was a ball) but his argument with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez was unsuccessful. Judging from the replay, there was no way it had an actual bearing on the play as Oswalt's pitch was in the catcher's mitt before the squirrel made its way into the play.
"I was wondering what size animal it needed to be or not be to be a pitch," Oswalt later said to reporters.
The squirrel's innocence didn't change what Phillies manager Charlie Manuel would have liked to do to an intruder that trended on Twitter (via The 700 Level):
"Being from the south, being a squirrel hunter, if I had a gun there I mighta did something. I'm a pretty good shot," Manuel said after the game.
Other things we liked: Schumaker not seeing the squirrel despite it running across his feet, the crowd scattering as it made its escape into the stands and the squirrel predicting both a big return and a Cardinals win via his Twitter account on Tuesday night. St. Louis forced a decisive Game 5 with a 5-3 win, bringing their record in squirrel-interrupted games to an even 1-1.
Run, Rocky, run!
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