The 2014 season will mark 20 years of baseball at Progressive (ie Jacobs) Field. It’s been a relatively short history (although with the stadium building boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Progressive Field is the 13th oldest facility in the majors). Did the Tribe Win Last Night has compiled a list of the 20 most memorable moments in the field’s history. We’ll count them down for 20 consecutive Saturdays.
7. 2007 ALDS Game 2
For the first time in six years, the Indians won the American League Central Division in 2007. They drew the Yankees, the wild card winner, in the Division Round. The Indians got four home runs in the first game, a 12-3 beating of the Bronx Bombers, from Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez and Ryan Garko. But in Game 2, they relied on a little help from their friends – little friends.
Then, in the eighth inning, the midges – tiny, relatively harmless insects – showed up. They’re a common sight in Cleveland in the late summer and fall, but the Yankees were used to it.
Heralded Yankees prospect Joba Chamberlain was pitching in the bottom of the eighth, as he was swarmed by midges. He walked Grady Sizemore, who then advanced to second on a wild pitch as Chamberlain was fighting off bugs. Eventually, he stopped the game to get more bug spray, and other Yankees were swatting at bugs with their gloves or hats. Cabrera bunted to advance Sizemore to third, and Sizemore scored on Chamberlain’s second wild pitch of the inning. Chamberlain got out of the inning, but had given up the tying run – without giving up a hit!
The game went to the 11th, with Luis Vizcaino replacing Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the inning. He walked Kenny Lofton, who advanced to second on a Franklin Gutierrez single. Casey Blake dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, and Grady Sizemore was walked to load the bases. Cabrera popped out, but Travis Hafner singled to drive in the game-winning run in the form of Lofton.