Jose Iglesias’ Costly Error ‘Part of the Game,’ Says Tigers Manager Jim Leyland

Omar Infante, Jose IglesiasBOSTON — Isn’t it funny how playoff baseball works?

Jose Iglesias, who was traded from Boston to Detroit back in July, did the one thing that no one could have ever expected in the seventh inning of Game 6 of the ALCS. Iglesias, who demonstrated defensive wizardry all series against his former team, made a costly error that opened the door for Shane Victorino‘s game-winning grand slam.

Jacoby Ellsbury hit a ground ball up the middle with runners at first and second and one out in the seventh. Iglesias ranged over to scoop it and perhaps start up an inning-ending, rally-killing double play. Instead, the ball bounced off his glove, and the Tigers failed to record an out. Victorino launched his clutch grand slam three pitches later, and the Red Sox took down the Tigers 5-2 to secure the American League pennant.

“I felt it in my glove and then after that, I don’t feel it anymore,” said Iglesias, who admitted that he may have rushed things. “I want to make that play so bad. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it done. It’s bad, but gotta keep moving forward.”

Iglesias’ forward progress will have to continue in 2014, as the Tigers’ season is now over. If the slick-fielding shortstop had made that play in the seventh inning, however, there’s a chance that the ALCS could still be going.

“I think we could have. It was hit pretty hard,” Jim Leyland said when asked if he thought the Tigers could have turned a double play on Ellsbury’s grounder. “But that’s part of the game. I have no problem with that. Probably could have turned that, even though Ellsbury runs good. I think we doubled him once in the series. But that’s part of the game.”

Iglesias also struck out versus Koji Uehara for the final out of Game 6 — and the Tigers’ season.

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