Animals occupy a mythical place in baseball lore. Whether it's a squirrel propelling the Cardinals to an upset NLDS victory over the Phillies in 2011 or a cat inspiring the Marlins to an early-season win over the Braves, animals on the field of play seem to impart some sort of divine blessing upon the team that claims them as their own.
During the top of the first inning of Thursday's game between the Nationals and Brewers, a pigeon appeared in the vicinity of home plate, entering stage right on a Max Scherzer strikeout.
Bryce Harper was the first to channel the bird's magic into a home run.
It was in the vicinity of home plate that the pigeon remained. It was there during the second inning:
But, it wasn't until the bottom of the third inning that the Nationals fully tapped into the power grazing in their midst. They hit five home runs in the inning, including back-to-back-to-back-to-back dingers from Brian Goodwin, Wilmer Difo, Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. Anthony Rendon added a fifth. The magic pigeon was there for it all:
After that barrage, the pigeon clearly wasn't about to go anywhere. Not even a Daniel Murphy foul ball that went sailing past its head could get a reaction.
In the bottom of the 4th inning, Brewers catcher Jett Bandy decided enough was enough with this animal's magic. He took a trip to the backstop as an opportunity to rid his team of the pigeon once and for all.
But, the pigeon returned once more in the top of the fifth and remained through the final out of the Nationals' 15-2 win.
In the pigeon's honor, Cespedes Family BBQ issued a revised lineup for the Nationals:
Nats starting lineup today pic.twitter.com/EJOe80CWZn- Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) July 27, 2017
And gave their scouting report on the bird:
Clearly, the pigeon's powers were too much for the Brewers to handle. The Nationals would be well-advised to find a way to retain its services for future home games.