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Joe Nathan makes the case to keep his job

Jul 25, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 8.45.19 AM AP

It’s never a great sign when your boss brings someone in who does pretty much what you do and, lately anyway, has been doing it better. That’s what Tigers closer Joe Nathan is contending with right now as, following a couple of shaky months, the Tigers have brought in Joakim Soria. Nathan is still the closer, but it’s clear that, should he falter, Soria is around to take over.

PerhapsĀ that motivated Nathan last night, asĀ Nathan struck out all three Angels hitters he faced in the ninth, locking down the save with only 12 pitches.

Maybe it wasn’t Soria himself that motivated Nathan. Maybe the mere whispers that the Tigers were seeking to add a reliever worked, because it’s now three good outings in a row for him. Indeed, he’s struck out five and given up just one hit and has issued no walks in three consecutive shutout appearances.

But whether it’s all about motivation or, instead, Nathan coincidentally returning to form, Detroit having two potentially shut-down relievers in the pen in Nathan and Soria would be a game-changer for them. And would make them extremely difficult to face in the playoffs.

  1. hotdogfinger - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    restore the roar

    • snowman69bobbysmela - Jul 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      I’m a Tigers Fan always have been since i was a kid, but i have to say, that last night Joe Nathan, ” GOT VERY LUCKY” He really is not that good in my opinion, when the game is on the line, Joe nathan useally CHOKES!! and then we end up losing The game in the 9th.

      They better put Soria in tonight he is way better then Nathan thats why we aquired him in the first place, so that when Nathan Chokes again and he will, we can put the real closer in, SORIA!!

  2. kabukiman7 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Isnt it Funny that this is an Article.. So what about his blown Saves? His over used slider and Worn out raggedy Fastball otherwise known as Meatball!! He is so overpaid and why do we keep paying Big $$ for past performance.. Fix the issue and pay each player upon performane only.. Then we can see who makes the most, it would be great to talk about the incentives as each player would be fighting for playing Time, otherwise the wont make money, Example: Base MLB 25 man roster salary..Each start=2,000, Each atbat=500, Each hit=1,000, Walk=300, HR= 5,000, RBI= 750, etc. Pitchers.. Each Start= 3,000, Each Win= 10,000( Qualified Start by inn. Pitched), Walk= -500, K= 750, HR allowed= 1,250, Strikes thrown= 175, Saves= 4,000, Holds= 1,250, etc. This gives us a Ton of Things to discuss as well as watching players give 100% and then we can lower ticket prices and Concession items to where we can get back to America’s Pastime because we can afford to take the Family.. The game has gotten away from the Founders & Owners as the MLBPA has taken hold of what was once a beautiful thing, but now its oblique strains, otherwise know as ” Partied All Night & dont wanna play 2Day”.. Make the Game fun again instead of a Business.. The Clubhouse, in majority, is nothing more than Wall Street War Room and Who said what.. I so wish this would come to fruition and if the players strike… Oh well, I know the minor leaguers would love to get a call, sign the new contracts and let these overpaid Bums go.. If you Love the Game.. Then restructure your contract and welcome back.. This needs to Happen abd what better Timing.. New Commissioner means New Rules!!

    • elpendejo59 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:22 AM


    • philliesblow - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:39 AM

      People on ‘ludes should not post.

      • spursareold - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        OK, Jeff Spicoli…

    • gigab0t - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      “He is so overpaid and why do we keep paying Big $$ for past performance”

      Dear God I hope you’re not a Tigers fan…

    • historiophiliac - Jul 25, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      That was AWESOME!!!! Do it again! Do it again!

  3. wilmyers09 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    kabukiman7 dude u make no sense joe Nathan was one of best closers last year

    • toledotigerfan - Jul 26, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      wilm—- But he got old in a hurry during this past off-season.

  4. kastout11 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:37 AM

    When they play Oakland in the playoffs, that will be one hell of a series. I will have to sacrifice some sleep and stay up at night to watch those two teams square off.

  5. holographicribs - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    Hopefully the Soria trade put the fear of God back into Joe.

  6. weaselpuppy - Jul 25, 2014 at 10:53 AM


  7. rawdog2013 - Jul 25, 2014 at 12:29 PM

    A houseboat trip on lake Minnetonka can do wonders for your confidence.

  8. edelmanfanclub - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    10.04 k/9 hasn’t dropped off in recent years, and is on par with than his career relief k/9 of 10.53. His WHIP of 1.49 is significantly higher than last years 0.90 and his relief career of 1.02. Still, a good kick in the behind should get Nathan amped up for a good 2nd half, but even with 362 career saves he probably doesn’t have that long of a leash. He’s not that filthy 06-08 Twins shut down guy anymore. But I think old man still has it in him.

  9. toledotigerfan - Jul 26, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    Nothing like a little competition to make someone elevate their performance. Hopefully, it wasn’t a one-time thing. His fastball still isn’t going above 92 consistently. Last year he was still hitting 95-96.

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