Iglesias to start at short behind Fister in Game 4
Considering righty's ground-ball tendencies, Leyland puts faith in defensive whiz
DETROIT -- Jhonny Peralta started Tuesday's American League Championship Series Game 3 at shortstop for the second consecutive game behind a second consecutive high-strikeout, low-ground-ball-ratio Tigers pitcher. But once Doug Fister takes the mound for Game 4, airing at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, Jose Iglesias will be back in the lineup. Manager Jim Leyland said as much before Tuesday's 1-0 loss and reiterated it afterward.
The decision has nothing to do with Detroit's offense. It's entirely about the defense behind Fister, owner of the fourth-highest ground ball-fly ball ratio in the Majors during the regular season.
Peralta's start at short in Game 3 gave Leyland a chance to offer the struggling Andy Dirks a chance to dig out from his late-season slump. Dirks struck out and grounded out in two at-bats against John Lackey, the latter at-bat coming with a runner on third and two outs in the fifth inning, before Iglesias hit for him against lefty Craig Breslow to lead off the eighth inning.
Iglesias struck out, dipping to 2-for-16 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch this postseason. Aside from Peralta, Tigers left fielders are 2-for-14 with four walks.