New York Yankees fans, and some players, are upset that umpires didn’t delay their playoff game against the Cleveland Indians last week when a huge swarm of midges – bugs sort of like mosquitoes – overtook the field.
New York’s pitcher at the time, Joba Chamberlain, hit a batter with a pitch and threw two wild pitches during the eighth inning while he was being buzzed by all the bugs. One of those wild pitches allowed Cleveland to score the tying run and send the game into extra innings, where the Indians ended up winning in the 11th. One Indian batter was able to smack a hit while at bat during the bug flurry.
Umpire Bruce Froemming said that he never considered stopping the game and after about 45 minutes, all the bugs were gone. But the intense blast of bugs lasted for just about 10 minutes. Chamberlain was sprayed with bug repellant twice during the half inning, but it did little to help.
Why were the bugs suddenly showing up for the game? Midges like to breed on warm fall nights near bodies of water. Cleveland’s Jacobs Field is right alongside Lake Erie. Also, they’re attracted to light, and a Major League baseball park has a lot of those burning during a night game. Midges are a common sight in Cleveland on June and July evenings, but not a welcome on in October the Yankees.
Personally, I’m a Yankee hater and love to see any new and creative ways for them to get beat. What do you think about the bug controversy? Share your thoughts here at Science Buzz.