The Loop

Bugball

Victor Robles plays ninth inning with praying mantis on hat, Nationals blow lead, prove world isn't ready for Rally Mantis

At Yankee Stadium on Monday night, with the Bronx Bombers trailing the lowly Orioles 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, a stray cat wandered onto the field. For nearly four minutes, it led security on a Wil-E-Coyote chase while the crowd cheered the feline’s every effort to thwart its captors like an Aaron Judge moonshot (they needed something to cheer). Ordinarily this would have been the animal moment of the night in the MLB. Usually we’d wake to up rally-cat t-shirts and rally-cat memes, but not today, because at approximately the same time down in the nation’s capital, a bug was stealing all the thunder. Behold RALLY MANTIS [voice of God].

OK, so the technically RALLY MANTIS [voice of God again] is actually just MANTIS [voice of God] because the Nationals were up 3-2 on the Phillies in the ninth inning when Victor Robles trotted out of the dugout and into outfield with his new friend perched in tow. It is says a lot about the post-trade-deadline Nationals that this is how seriously their centerfielder was taking a one-run save opportunity against a division rival, but that’s another issue for another time because RALLY MANTIS [you get the joke].

Anyway, this is probably about the point that you might be saying “oh no, HELL NO.” Bugs aren’t for everybody. As snake haters, we get that. You might also be saying that because you're a Nats fan and after that first out, which you see Robles signaling to his long-legged buddy, the Nationals gave up five ninth-inning runs to the Phillies to lose 7-5. Turns out RALLY MANTIS [one more time with feeling!] might actually have been from Philly ...