Nobody expects a Tigers squeeze — kinda like no one expects the Spanish Inquisition
DETROIT — Anticipating a Jim Leyland-managed team employing the squeeze play is kind of like trying to anticipate the arrival of the Spanish Inquisition.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.
Leyland dusted off the suicide squeeze bunt early in Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals, and it worked flawlessly — even if the guy they called upon to execute wasn’t quite expecting it, either.
Jose Iglesias laid down a perfect bunt in the second inning, bringing in Omar Infante from third, then beating out the throw to boot.
“I don’t use that play very much, but I thought it was a good opportunity — I don’t think it’s a play that you use only in the eight or ninth inning. I think it’s a play you use when you try to get an add-on run,” Leyland said. “It was early in the game, but I thought it was good enough. For one thing, you don’t expect them to be looking for it that early in the game. So we just took a shot with Iglesias that he could get it down.”
They also took a shot he’d be OK with trying.
Iglesias didn’t really expect it, and gave third base coach Tom Brookens a funny look, so he called if off initially.
“To be honest with you, we had it on the play before. But Brookie took it off because of the way he reacted to it. Like it stunned him, too,” Leyland said after the game.
“Brookie took it off, and I put it on the next pitch.”
Once they put it back on, Iglesias was able to execute it.
“To be honest with you, he bunted a tough pitch,” Leyland said. “It was a breaking ball, and he did a helluva job getting that ball into fair territory.”