A bug's life: Midges return in Tribe-A's game

A bug's life: Midges return in Tribe-A's game

A bug's life: Midges return in Tribe-A's game
CLEVELAND -- Jack Hannahan refused to be bothered.

Swarms of pesky midges harassed Indians and Athletics players during Wednesday's 16-inning affair, which the Tribe won, 4-3, on Hannahan's walk-off single.

The bugs had mostly dispersed by that point, apparently out of juice after annoying fielders and pitchers for innings upon end. Oakland pitchers Rich Harden and Grant Balfour had an especially difficult time whacking away the winged pests.

"Oh my gosh, yes," said Indians third-base coach Steve Smith, when asked if the bugs were irritating.

"Cleveland obviously has a history for occasionally having bugs," Indians designated hitter Jim Thome said. "I know guys were spraying themselves off."

In Game 2 of the 2007 American League Division Series at Progressive Field against the Yankees, hordes of midges swarmed the field's inhabitants. The bugs altered the focus of reliever Joba Chamberlain, who served up the game-tying run in the eighth inning while constantly wiping his face and attending to the nuisances latching onto his skin.

The midges didn't have as profound effect on Fausto Carmona, who appeared unfazed while hurling nine dominant innings. The Indians overcame the insects in 11 innings, winning, 2-1, and eventually knocking the Yankees out of the postseason in four games.

"I was just watching today, 'The 50 Craziest Things in Baseball,' and that was on there," Smith said. "I was thinking to myself, 'I've been here two years now and there haven't been any bugs. And then, today, the bugs.'"

Zack Meisel is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.