The Invasion

Like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock movie, Friday’s game between the Yankees and the Indians featured a massive invasion of insects swarm upon Jacobs Field in the eighth inning. Reliever Joba Chamberlain was on the mound for the Yankees, with the Yankees ahead of the Indians, 1-0. The insects began to appear during Doug Mientkiewicz’s at-bat in the top of the eighth inning, and arrived in a swarm when Joba Chamberlain took the mound in the bottom of the inning. When the cameras panned to Joba’s face, it was pretty crazy. The density of the insects was staggering – probably around fifty to one hundred insects per cubic foot. At one point the camera panned to Chamberlain’s neck, and he had at least twenty insects just perching there. As he perspired more and more, the insects became more attracted to him (they are attracted to moisture). Chamberlain was eventually sprayed with some bug repellant, but it didn’t seem to matter. As he continued to pitch, one could tell that he wasn’t hitting his location and was getting frustrated. A distracted Chamberlain walked Sizemore, then threw a wild pitch that allowed Sizemore to move to second. At this point, I would have pulled Chamberlain and allowed someone else to pitch. However, Chamberlain stayed in the game, Asdrubal Cabrera laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Sizemore to third, and one wild pitch later, the game was tied at 1-1 as Sizemore scored from third. If there is anyone to blame here, it has to be Joe Torre for allowing Chamberlain to stay in the game.

Fausto Carmona, the starter for the Indians, pitched nine innings, giving up only one run. The game went on to extra innings, and the Indians just couldn’t capitalize with RISP. At one point I thought the Indians deserved to lose this game because they were absolutely abysmal (one for fifteen?) with RISP. However, in the bottom of the 11th inning, Lofton drew a walk from Vizcaino to become the eighth leadoff man to reach for the Tribe. Unable to get a sacrifice bunt down, Franklin Gutierrez hit a ball past the infield, which allowed the Indians to have runners at first and second. Casey Blake laid a bunt to advance the runners, and the next batter – Grady Sizemore – was intentionally walked to load the bases. The recipe for redemption came in the hands of Travis Hafner, who only needed to get a base hit (or draw a walk, or get hit by a pitch) to allow the Indians to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Vizcaino threw a changeup down the middle of the plate, and Hafner belted the ball down the gap in center. The wild game was over, and the Yankees are now in a big hole. Alex Rodriguez continued to suck in postseason play, going 0 for 4 in this game (0 for 6 in this series), and stranding three runners on base. At least he was honest in not blaming the “bugs” for his problems: “There were a lot of bugs everywhere, and I’ve never seen anything like it. But it’s certainly not an excuse — we have to be able to go out and play with anything.”

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~ by mlb2007playoffs on October 5, 2007.

2 Responses to “The Invasion”

  1. […] Rosenthal has just reported that Cleveland fans received packets of bug potion in case another insect invasion occurs.  He used the phrase “Global Swarming.” I like the […]

  2. […] The Invasion – the New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians game in which Joba Chamberlain of the Yankees was […]

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