Looking at where his first major league season took him – from Yankee Stadium on opening day to Pawtucket in the middle of the season to Detroit at the deadline to Oakland for the ALDS and back to Fenway for a Game 6 loss to the Red Sox that would send his Detroit Tigers into the offseason – Jose Iglesias knew his year had been a journey.
“Long year,” Iglesias said. “I was blessed to be in the playoffs and get here. It’s been a really good year for me, unfortunately, it couldn’t finish the way I wanted it to, but hopefully we’ll get it next year.”
The baseball gods loving irony they way they do, it was Iglesias who swung hopelessly at a Koji Uehara splitter to end the game, slowing stepping out of the scene as his former teammates stormed the field to celebrate, and it was Iglesias who made the unlikely error that allowed the Sox to mount yet another come-from-behind victory.
In the seventh inning with one out and two on, Jacoby Ellsbury sent a bouncer up the middle. Iglesias was immediately thinking of turning a double play to get the Tigers out of the inning.
But things sped up on him. He chased it down, just on the right side of the bag, but found himself in an awkward position. When he went to make the toss to second baseman Omar Infante, he realized he didn’t have a baseball to throw.
“I felt it in my glove and then after that, I didn’t feel it no more,” Iglesias said.
The error, his second of the series and the postseason, loaded the bases and Shane Victorino took care of the rest, shooting a grand slam over the Monster, a blast that would give the Sox a 5-2 victory.
“I want to make that play so bad, but unfortunately, I couldn’t get it done,” Iglesias said. “You turn that double play the inning would be completely different,” Iglesias said. “It was over. They just got some momentum and Shane hit a grand slam. So that was huge.”
His glove was the reason he was so coveted by the Tigers, and throughout the series he showed why, putting together a reel worth of highlights, including running from second base to shallow left field to chase down a fly ball in Game 5, making the grab at his shins.
The play wouldn’t haunt him in the offseason he said. Instead, he would use the entire playoff experience, error and all, to learn for next year.
“I’ll take this experience and come back next year stronger,” he said.