ST. LOUIS -- From every which way, the small creatures swarmed upon Busch Stadium, and there was no escaping.
Swarms of moths arrived upon the Phillies and Cardinals game Friday night following a 50-minute rain delay as evening turned to night.
"It was something else," Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg said. "They were all on the grass. The surprising thing about it is nobody really said anything about it. Everybody just plays the game and guys are wiping their eyes and getting poked in the eye now and then."
The moths became evident as Phillies starter A.J. Burnett swatted at the pestering creatures during the later innings. Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina caught 155 pitches from his pitchers on this night, but he had no expectations to catch moths inning after inning inside his mask.
"It frustrated guys, I think, more than anything," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "A couple got in Yadi's mask. Besides that, it didn't do too much damage."
"It was tough," Molina said. "It was as bad as I've ever had to play with with moths. It was bad."
This wasn't the first instance of moths invading Busch Stadium. Not by a long shot.
Back on June 22, 2000, when Matheny was with the Cardinals as a player, the Cardinals fell behind 8-1 against the Giants before the creatures swarmed upon Busch Stadium II.
The Cardinals would battle back for an 11-10 victory, helped by a three-run home run from Shawon Dunston that ricocheted off Giants left fielder Barry Bonds' glove, a moment that made the night even weirder.
"I was kind of hoping that would happen again," Matheny said after his team fell 5-1 on Friday.
Just back in 2011, when the Dodgers were visitors to Busch Stadium, a game was forced to be delayed when left fielder Matt Holliday got a moth stuck inside his ear.
This time around there was no such incident, but the moths didn't draw very many fans.
"It was a mess out there," Burnett said.
Alex Halsted is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less