Will midges invade Game 3 of ALDS in Cleveland against the New York Yankees?
Forget the weather forecast.
What's the likelihood of a swarm of midges pestering New York Yankees players as the ALDS series moves to Cleveland Saturday night?
Well that depends on a lot of factors involving science and perhaps a bit of luck.
Cleveland baseball fans and foes alike remember the series between the same two ballclubs some 15 years ago when a swarm of midges arrived almost as if on cue to rattle Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain late in Game 2 of the ALDS on Oct. 5, 2007.
There were so many midges buzzing around the mound and Jacobs Field, as it was called back then, that umpires stopped the game and brought out bug spray for themselves and Chamberlain.
A clearly rattled Chamberlain soldiered on to throw a wild pitch that led to Cleveland crossing the plate to score the tying run in a game that went to extra innings before a victory for the hometown heroes.
Yankees fans, players and coaches alike have second guessed whether so-called Bug Gate cost the team the series that year.
Memories of one of the strangest games in baseball history have been revived as the teams face off once again in October postseason baseball at Progressive Field.
And the hopes that the midges will once again be the 10th player on the Guardians roster have been raised after this past weekend's Browns game at FirstEnergy Stadium.
The midges swarmed before and during the football game, bothering both Browns and Los Angeles Chargers players.
But don't get your hopes too high that history will repeat itself at Saturday's Guardians game.
Lake Erie midges A to Zzzzzs
Nicole Gunter, curator of invertebrate zoology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, said a lot of things went right at just the right time to ensure Cleveland's last buggy victory.
Midges or muckles, of which there are some 1,000 different varieties, make two appearances along the shoreline of Lake Erie − in the spring and in the fall.
They can also be found in and around other bodies of water from ponds to streams.
Gunter said it is the males who can stray and swarm while the females stick pretty close to the water to lay their eggs.
With the emergence of the fall batch of midges last weekend, Gunter said, the likelihood of a repeat of the 2007 swarm at Progressive Field is unlikely as these buggers have a lifespan of only a few days.
And the swarm back then was a perfect storm of things lining up from Lake Erie reaching the optimum temperature in the lower 60s to just enough wind blowing in off the lake to carry thousands of midges to the brightly lit confines of Jacobs Field that night.
While the midges might be considered a pest, Gunter said, they play a vital role to northern Ohio's ecosystem as their larvae in Lake Erie and in ponds and other bodies of water are like vacuums eating up undesirable debris while providing food for other aquatic species.
Once they do emerge and take flight in the spring and fall, they are a tasty dinner for everything from fish to other insects to bats.
And they can be a nice distraction for a visiting pitcher.
"Maybe they can rally again against the Yankees," she said.
As for the weather for Saturday night's game, the National Weather Service says it might be better suited for football with a chance of showers after 3 p.m.
The high for the day will be in the low 60s with temperatures dropping into the 40s through the evening.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Midge forecast in Cleveland for ALDS Game 3 against the Yankees