Mistakes come back to haunt Tigers

Mistakes come back to haunt Tigers
October 20, 2013, 2:45 am
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BOSTON -- The Detroit Tigers trudged off the field after Koji Uehara retired them in order in the ninth, beaten by the Red Sox for the American League pennant, but with the disheartening realization that they had beaten themselves, too.     

The Tigers made too many mistakes too many times over the course of the American League Championship Series, which concluded with a 5-2 setback to the Red Sox in Game 6.     

In Game 6 alone, the Tigers committed an error and several baserunning blunders, which sealed their fate.     

Jose Iglesias, the former Red Sox shortstop who's defensive skills are unmatched, contributed an error in the fateful four-run seventh.     

Iglesias grabbed a grounder hit by Jacoby Ellbury behind the second base bag. But before he could step on second and force Xander Bogaerts, running from first, and throw to first for a possible double play, the ball bounded out of Iglesias's glove     

The Sox had loaded the bases -- but not for long. Shane Victorino blasted a grand slam to left and the Red Sox never looked back.     

"I think we could have (gotten a double play),'' said manager Jim Leyland. "It was hit pretty hard. 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 (up) once in the series. But that's part of the game.''     

So, too, was poor baserunning, which the Tigers were guilty of all series long.     

That came to a head in the sixth when the Tigers had runners at first and third and no out. Jhonny Peralta hit a grounder to second baseman Dustin Pedroia, who was playing in.     

Pedroia fielded the ball, and applied the tag to Victor Martinez running from first to second. He then turned and fired to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who was waiting for Prince Fielder, the runner on third.     

But Fielder inexplicably stopped halfway down the line, caught in between, as Saltalamacchia chased him back toward third, finally tagging him out a few feet before Fielder could get back to third safely.     

Alex Avila then took a called third strike and what should have been a big inning for the Tigers was not.    

"Basically, that's a play where you just go (home) and make (them make) the throw to the plate,'' said Leyland. "But once again, collectively, we just didn't do good enough.''