Player(s): Joba Chamberlain
Game(s): Game 2, 2007 ALDS
Baseball has always been known as a game of superstitions; don’t step on the white line, wear your hat a certain way, adjust your batting gloves 8,000 times before each pitch and so on. But what happened in game 3 of the 2007 ALDS was well beyond weird, it was downright biblical, and will forever be known as “The Bug Game.” In the home half of the 8th inning at the Jake, with the Yankees clinging to a one run lead, a swarm of bugs descended on the pitching mound and Yankees rookie reliever Joba Chamberlain. Talk about baptism by fire.
The bugs swarmed and agitated Chamberlain like a locust on a persecuting Egyptian, rattling the rookie’s concentration and forcing two wild pitches, the second of which allowed the tying run to score. The Indians would go on to win the game 2-1 on a Travis Hafner walk-off single in the 11th and take the series 3-1. Joba’s a big boy but homie didn’t need a 98-mph fastball that inning, he needed a fly swatter.