Joba Chamberlain Returns To The Mound In Cleveland Along With The Midges

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Joba Chamberlain Returns To The Mound In Cleveland Along With The Midges
(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Of all the events that took place in the 2007 ALDS, the one that stands out the most was the attack of the midges during the final innings of the game. 

For anyone who watched, it was one of the most unbelievable things ever to happen during a baseball game. 

All of a sudden, it looked like snow was falling from the sky. The game took place in Cleveland during October, but the temperature was unseasonably warm, so needless to say there was no snow in the forecast. 

As the camera angles zoomed in, all of a sudden it became apparent that the white specs were some kind of bug, not flakes. 

The midges make their home on Lake Erie, and the warm temperatures cause their nests to hatch. No one was expecting them in October, which is why their presence caught everyone off guard, especially the Yankees

Visibility became a serious issue for the Yankees on the field. They were all swatting the air trying to ward off the midges, but the little buggers weren't going anywhere. 

Joba Chamberlain was the most affected by the presence of the midges. He was lights-out the inning before the midges arrived, and the then rookie pitcher couldn't deal with the bugs sticking to him while messing with his concentration. 

Yankee trainers hurried out to the mound with bug spray, and tried to hose Joba off. However, it was later revealed that bug spray is probably the worst way to combat the midges. 

The Yankees ended up losing the game 2-1 on a run given up by Chamberlain. There was so much talk that if the midges never showed up, Joba would've never been affected and the Yankees would've taken Game 3, ultimately changing the entire dynamic of the series. 

Almost two years later, Chamberlain made his return to the mound in Cleveland. During the entire four game series, the midges had once again joined the Yankees and Indians on the field. 

Despite the pesky midges hovering for the entire game, Chamberlain pitched as if there were no bugs in sight. He went eight innings, gave up two runs, four hits, two walks, and struck out five in the longest outing of his major league career. 

The highlight of the game was when Chamberlain dove for a bunt that was popped up. He landed with a thud, lost his cap in the process, and after he secured the catch, he threw down to second to complete the double play. 

Joba's acrobatics sent most of his teammates into hysterics, but it helped the Yankees collect another win and wrap up their road trip with a 5-2 record. 

Most importantly, Chamberlain got his velocity up and was able to stretch himself a full eight innings. In order for the Yankees to continue their winning ways, Chamberlain is going to have to turn out more performances like this one. 

Maybe now that he's learned how to pitch around the midges he should have them around more often, because he pitched one, if not his best game as a starter tonight. 

Who would've guessed that those little bugs could have the much of an effect? 

 

 

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