What was more baffling, Los Angeles Dodgers fans? A goose invading the field on Wednesday night’s NLDS Game 2 matchup against the San Diego Padres, or manager Dave Robert pinch hitting Austin Barnes over Chris Taylor and Miguel Vargas? We’ll let you decide.
But we’d be remiss not to mention the goose’s unexpected presence. So many times in the past, creatures have found themselves interrupting a game, and the result has been a boost for the home team.
Back in 2011, the Rally Squirrel sparked a St. Louis Cardinals World Series run after crossing home plate during Game 3 of the NLDS against the Phillies. Years later, a Rally Cat appeared at Busch Stadium, interrupting Yadier Molina’s at-bat with the bases loaded. When play resumed, he hit a grand slam to give the Cards an 8-5 lead over the Royals.
OK … maybe this is just a Cardinals thing. Wait! How could we forget about the Rally Possum that helped the LSU Tigers mount a five-run comeback against the Arkansas Razorbacks?! The Rally Monkey in 2002 that propelled the Angels to a World Series? (OK, fine, that wasn’t a real loose monkey).
Either way, you get it. These mini acts of divine intervention, outside of the black cats and billy goats, usually provide an unexpected turnaround for the home team. But the Dodgers unfortunately bucked the trend.
The Dodgers wasting the Rally Goose against the Padres was a bummer
The goose seemingly appeared at the perfect time at Dodger Stadium. LA was trailing 5-3 with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Gavin Lux was at the plate facing a 1-1 count. Play didn’t stop as the goose enjoyed a premier view from the outfield grass.
Lux then ripped a single into right field, which brought the game-tying run to the plate. Trayce Thompson stepped into the batter’s box and worked a walk. Now, the game-winning run came to the plate. It was supposed to be Cody Bellinger, but Roberts sent Barnes up to pinch hit instead, despite having other more potent offensive options available to face left-hander Josh Hader.
On an 0-1 count, Barnes lifted one high into center field, but it was caught at the warning track. Inning over. Goose captured. Disposed into a recycling bin. No use for it anymore if it couldn’t at least get LA one run across the plate, right?
From this point forward, Dodgers fans shall refer to Roberts as the Anti-Goose.
Let’s hope this isn’t the end of the Rally Goose, though. Since Padres fans are attempting to restrict Dodgers fans from attending Games 3 and 4 at Petco Park, maybe it’s almost time for the Rally Goose to fly south to San Diego and interrupt one of this weekend’s matchups and give the Dodgers a second chance.
That’ll be a sign for Roberts to make the right pinch-hitting decision, at the very least.