(Busch Stadium) Yes, the St. Louis Cardinals won their fifth game in a row. And yes, they are now just 1.5 games out of first place in the National League Central. But a star was born as the Rally Cat made it’s debut in the 6th inning of tonight’s 8-5 win.
“It’s amazing when you see some animal coming on the field, you expect people to jump on the field but you never expect animals–it was fun,” said Yadier Molina, who hit his fifth career grand slam immediately following the Rally Cat appearance in the 6th inning.
The Rally Cat made it’s way onto the field somewhere near the Kansas City dugout and began trotting out towards centerfield. Initial reactions were that it was a squirrel–or even a raccoon as Mike Shannon called it on the Cardinals radio broadcast. But soon the cameras had the grey, furry little mass on the big screen at Busch Stadium and the awwwws echoed through the crowd. A grounds crew member, Lucas Hackmann, ran out to retrieve the Rally Cat and the game continued.
“As a team you don’t think about that, you just try to concentrate on winning the game, but when something like that happens it’s fun,” said Molina. “Right now, everything is falling. We’ve been taking good at-bats and the bullpen has been there. Hopefully, we can continue doing that.
It was not unfamiliar territory for Molina, who watched the now famous Rally Squirrel make his run across home plate during a Skip Schumaker at-bat in Game 4 of the 2011 National League Divisional Series.
“That’s what I told the catcher,” said Molina. “The catcher told me ‘have you seen something like that before’ I said not with a cat, but a squirrel, yes.”
And for the Cardinals, it marked the fourth consecutive game in which they scored at least eight runs.
“When you see the results, you see the difference, you feel good about it because you’re getting the results you want,” said Molina of the team’s recent success.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports