LOS ANGELES – A goose on the loose caused a brief delay during the National League playoff game between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
The bird flew into Dodger Stadium and landed in shallow right field with two outs in the eighth inning. It sat on the grass as Gavin Lux of the Dodgers singled to right.
Then the pursuit was on.
The grounds crew closed in on the goose, but the bird took off. It flew all the way to near the Dodgers’ on-deck circle, where Cody Bellinger was standing. He flinched and edged away from it.
With a blue plastic garbage bin, the crew approached the goose again. It flew to the infield near third base. A worker rushed over and put a towel over the goose and dropped it into the bin.
“That was pretty gnarly,” Padres slugger Manny Machado said. “Just didn’t want to hurt him. I think he was hurt when he landed so I didn’t like seeing that, but I guess it was good luck for us.”
The Padres beat the Dodgers 5-3 to tie the best-of-five Division Series at a game apiece.
The goose was a hit on social media, with one man scolding the game broadcasters for incorrectly calling it a duck. Others made puns about the Dodgers’ putting up a goose egg against the Padres’ bullpen.
The Los Angeles Audubon Society helpfully took to Twitter to identify the bird as a greater white-fronted goose.
“Bright lights can disorient birds that migrate at night, which this species does,” the society tweeted.
It might have been the first goose in a postseason game at Dodger Stadium since Hall of Fame reliever Goose Gossage pitched for the New York Yankees against the Dodgers in the 1981 World Series.
Appropriately, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Tony Gonsolin, who is nicknamed Goose, will start Game 3 on Friday in San Diego. However, Gonsolin is a noted cat lover.