Squirrel steals spotlight at NLDS

The Busch Stadium "Rally Squirrel", who appeared this week at a couple of games, is still on the loose. AP Photo/Tom Gannam

ST. LOUIS -- A squirrel ran across home plate in the fifth inning of the NL Division Series game between the Phillies and Cardinals on Wednesday night.

The squirrel darted across the plate shortly after Roy Oswalt delivered a pitch. Plate umpire Angel Hernandez called it a ball, and Oswalt and manager Charlie Manuel protested. Skip Schumaker flied out to center on the next pitch.

Oswalt argued, unsuccessfully, that the creature's dash had distracted him on a pitch that was called a ball.

"I didn't want to stop in the middle of my motion, so I threw it," Oswalt said. "I was wondering what size of animal it needed to be for it not to be a pitch."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel argued, to no avail.

"Of course, being from the South and being a squirrel hunter, if I had a gun there, might have did something," Manuel said. "I'm a pretty good shot."

This was the third time one of the rodents was spotted at Busch Stadium. Earlier Wednesday, one -- possibly the same one -- was seen beyond the center field wall, and Tuesday night, a squirrel was seen scampering in foul territory along the third-base line.

A Twitter account attributed to the squirrel has been active since Tuesday night.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.