No way, Jose! Jaws drop over shortstop's play
Tigers infielder leaves Yankees' speedy Gardner in disbelief with plant, throw across body
DETROIT -- Omar Vizquel was on his way out of the clubhouse when someone informed the Tigers' infield coach that he has a pretty good shortstop. Vizquel, one of the greatest defensive shortstops of his generation, and others, joked about Jose Iglesias learning tricks from him.
Not even Vizquel might be able to teach Iglesias tricks like Monday.
"That's probably the best play we've seen from him all season," manager Brad Ausmus said of Iglesias' sixth-inning throw from the hole across his body to retire the speedy Brett Gardner, during the Tigers' 2-1 win over the Yankees.
There's a decent chance he'll make a better play this season, but it might take a while. The look of disbelief from Gardner on his way into the Yankees' dugout reflected how rare of a play it was to beat him.
Iglesias was playing in on Gardner to try to avoid the infield single, which left him having to dart back and to his right when Gardner sent a sharp ground ball into the hole.
Instead of trying a leaping throw against a speedster like Gardner, Iglesias stayed planted and fired across his body, a move not many shortstops can make. Iglesias' ability to generate strong throws seemingly with the flick of a wrist came in handy once more.
"That's a tough play, especially with Gardner running," Ausmus said, "because he's a legitimate speed guy, a Major League steal threat-type guy. And I know Iglesias was playing him a little bit in because of his speed, but to make that play and get a runner like Gardner was pretty impressive."
He couldn't get enough altitude to get the ball there on the fly, but the hop was strong enough to get the ball there ahead of Gardner, who looked stunned.
It was the second out of the sixth inning in what was then a 1-0 game, and one of 11 ground-ball outs induced by starter Alfredo Simon. With the middle of the Yankees order due up, however, it was a huge out.
"That was great. That helped me out a lot in that inning," Simon said. "Gardner's a really fast runner, and after that, who knows if he's going to steal the base, and after that, base hit?"