Yankees-Guardians Playoff Series Sets Up a Potential Rematch With Midges

Cue the flashbacks to 2007

Joba Chamberlain, 2007
Remember midges? Joba Chamberlain does.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

In the fall of 2007, the New York Yankees traveled to Cleveland for a playoff game that quickly became one of the most surreal in baseball history. As a retrospective piece in The Ringer described in minute detail, Joba Chamberlain took to the mound for the Yankees in the seventh inning and soon faced one of his most relentless opponents. We’re not talking about a preternaturally skilled batter; instead, Chamberlain was attacked by a swarm of midges.

In the article at The Ringer, Jake Kring-Schreifels describes midges as “small, mosquito-like flies that are endemic to the Great Lakes.” And they proved to be unnerving enough that Chamberlain lost his concentration, ultimately giving Cleveland — who were more used to the bugs’ presence — an opportunity to tie the game, which they eventually won in extra innings.

And now, the Yankees are returning to Cleveland for another postseason game — and the midges might be there as well. ESPN notes that midges were present last weekend when the Browns played the Chargers. Could the insects try to make it two sports in the span of a week?

Cleveland’s Triston McKenzie spoke about midges to ESPN using phrases that wouldn’t be out of place in a horror film. “When you try to swat them away, they don’t care and they will land on you anyway,” he told ESPN. “I don’t even know how to explain it. That’s the best way to explain it. They will land on you.”

Will they land on the Yankees? We’ll know soon enough.

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