Troubling development here for the Tigers, as shortstop Jose Iglesias was forced to exit Thursday’s game against the Royals in the third inning when he was hit in the hand while trying to drop down a bunt.
Iglesias appeared to take the ball off a finger on his right hand. He immediately crouched to the ground and was in a tremendous amount of pain before being helped off the field. You can watch the play here.
After missing all of last season with stress fractures in both of his legs, the slick-fielding Iglesias has managed to stay healthy this year while batting .300/.347/.370 with two home runs, 23 RBI, and 11 stolen bases over 120 games. Unfortunately, it looks like his season could be over prematurely.
Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion crushed three home runs and knocked in a career-high nine runs this afternoon as part of a 15-1 thrashing of the Tigers at Rogers Centre.
It was his second career three-homer game. Encarnacion connected for a three-run homer off Buck Farmer in the first inning before adding a two-run shot off Guido Knudson in the sixth and a grand slam off Alex Wilson in the seventh.
Appropriately enough, some fans in Toronto threw their hats on the field to acknowledge the hat-trick for Encarnacion. Everybody seemed to get a kick out of it. Except for the Tigers, I mean. Check it out below.
Lost in today’s power exploits, Encarnacion also extended his MLB-best hitting streak to a career-high 24 games. The 32-year-old is batting .269/.358/.538 with 29 home runs and 90 RBI over 117 games on the year.
Tigers center fielder Anthony Gose had a moment to forget in today’s game against the Blue Jays. I mean that literally, because he forgot how many outs there were after catching a fly ball in the fourth inning.
With Ryan Goins at second base, Josh Donaldson hit a fly ball to deep center field. The speedy Gose had some trouble picking it up initially, but he eventually caught up with it at the warning track for the out. He thought it was the end of the inning, so Goins was able to scamper all the way home. You can watch the play here.
Gose’s brain camp was embarrassing, but it doesn’t really matter much, as the Tigers are losing big to the Blue Jays. Brad Ausmus’ club appears poised to fall further back in last place in the AL Central.
Pedro Martinez is whip smart when it comes to baseball, but we all have bad days I guess:
We’ve already talked a lot about team chemistry this week and it’s relative importance so I won’t rehash it all here. I will, however, default to Occam’s Razor and prefer the simplest explanation which explains a phenomenon over a more complex explanation. And in this case it goes like this:
- Robinson Cano has been far below his usual level of production for most of the year, Seattle has one of the worst offenses in the AL and, unlike the past couple of years, now has the fourth worst pitching staff in the AL in 2015;
- Justin Verlander was gone for the beginning of the season, sucked for a decent chunk in the middle and has only recently returned to form;
- Miguel Cabrera missed a month and a half on the DL and, even when he was there and was awesome, was not, unfortunately, a member of the Tigers awful bullpen and could not start games in place of the back end of the Tigers rotation which, for most of the year, has been a tire fire.
I will also note that, during my visits to Comerica Park over the summer, I specifically asked Justin Verlander, Gene Lamont, Al Kaline and some other Tigers about their clubhouse culture and the like. All of them, particularly Verlander, talked about how great a clubhouse it is, how supportive the veterans are of the kids and how, even when they were losing like they were then and even when trade rumors were swirling, everyone kept an even keel. And it was born out in their behavior too. Guys joked and laughed and played video games together and all of that. If there are chemistry issues in Detroit, they’re really, really well-hidden.
Chemistry is a thing. I’ve never argued that it’s not. But it’s not a big enough thing to cover for the aforementioned issues with the Mariners and Tigers, and it’s certainly not as clearly explanatory as those things are.
Star players can carry a crappy basketball team. They can’t carry a baseball team. Especially when the star players themselves do not perform like stars.