Twenty years ago on this date, actor(?) Fabio Lanzoni was riding a roller coaster at Busch Gardens. It seemed like good, clean fun until a goose flew into the path of the coaster where it had a fatal encounter with Fabio’s face. I realize that the previous two sentences might not make much sense to some of the readers, so here’s a helpful video:
I realize that it still might not make much sense to some of you, and you may be wondering just how this relates to Monday’s game between the Phillies and the Nationals. Well, try to picture what happened to that poor goose upon hitting Fabio’s face. That’s basically what happened to the baseball upon coming into contact with Rhys Hoskins’ bat.
Full disclosure: I was going to find a way to work the Fabio goose story into this recap one way or another. I’m just glad I sort of found a way to make it work.
Hoskins homered twice on Monday (that’s three in two days and five for the season), and the second provided the final margin of victory in a hard fought 4-3 win. The Phillies’ first two runs were provided by Odubel Herrera, who had a goose-murdering shot of his own in the fourth inning.
Vince Velasquez made his first start of the season, and while it wasn’t a bad effort (two earned runs), he continued his career-long trend of not pitching deep into games. He racked up a high pitch count in the early innings, and was lifted for a pinch hitter after the fifth inning.
That meant the Phillies required four relievers to close out the game. The first three - Seranthony Dominguez, Adam Morgan, and David Robertson - pitched extremely well, allowing one base runner between them. The ninth inning was handled by Pat Neshek, and he was much less dominant. After allowing a home run and double to the first two batters he faced, Neshek settled down, and retired the final three batters to close out another win.
The Phillies and Nationals will be back at it on Tuesday, as Stephen Strasburg will attempt to cool down Hoskins and the Phillies. Strasburg has been successful against Hoskins in the past (1-10), but keep in mind that until that fateful day twenty years ago, the goose had successfully avoided being killed by actors riding a roller coaster. That shows just how suddenly - and violently - things can change.