Jones keeps his cool on the mound
Tigers closer remains relaxed, even under duress in the ninth
DETROIT -- Todd Jones insisted there was nothing to worry about, even though the Detroit closer conceded there might have been some 40,000-plus Tigers fans with their hearts in their throats when Jones loaded the bases after retiring the first two St. Louis batters in the ninth inning of Sunday's Game 2 of the World Series.
"I might be the only guy in the state of Michigan that's OK when I'm out there pitching," Jones said. "I'm OK. It doesn't always look pretty, and it may not look like it, but I'm relaxed out there, and I know what I need to do."
Jones, however, admitted his ninth-inning error on Juan Encarnacion's bouncer to the mound should have been caught.
"[Detroit starter Kenny Rogers] said, 'You're officially the worst fielder I've ever played with,'" Jones said. "Seriously, I've got to catch that ball. That's about as easy a comebacker that you can get. I just didn't get it. I should have, it wasn't hit all that hard. I'd like to say it took a tricky bounce, but it didn't. I just missed it."
The misplay of Encarnacion's grounder came after Scott Rolen had singled. Jim Edmonds followed with a double to score Rolen and end the combined shutout bid. Jones then hit Preston Wilson with a pitch to load the bases before retiring Yadier Molina on a grounder to short to end the game.
"Kenny's got 23 scoreless innings in a row and I can't even get one," Jones said. "The important thing is we got the win we really needed to get."
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.