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Brad Ausmus sticking with Joe Nathan as the Tigers’ closer

Aug 9, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT

Joe Nathan Getty Images

Joe Nathan had another bad day at work this afternoon, blowing his seventh save of the season when he allowed a run in the ninth inning in an eventual 10-inning, 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays. Nathan now has a a 5.36 ERA, even after going on a run of seven consecutive appearances without allowing a run.

James Schmehl of reports that Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is sticking with Nathan as the club’s closer. Joakim Soria would have been next in line for the job, but he left with an injury during today’s game and will be reevaluated tomorrow.

The Tigers, now 63-51, have seen their first-place lead in the AL Central slip from five games last Sunday to two games after today’s loss, and it can shrink further to 1.5 games if the Royals defeat starter Tim Hudson and the Giants tonight.┬áThe Tigers’ bullpen has proven to be their undoing frequently throughout the season and may wind up being the culprit if they lose their seat atop the division.

  1. thatguytml92 - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Tigers do this every year. They can never run away with the division gotta make it interesting. If they miss the playoffs though ausmus will get fired. Just way to much talent on this team.

    • moogro - Aug 10, 2014 at 1:32 PM

      No one is culpable except Dombrowski. Unreliable relief pitching doesn’t get managers fired.

  2. proudlycanadian - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    I have no problem with Nathan. Furthermore, the Tigers had no business being in the lead. Stroman was magnificent over 9 innings for the Jays and did not deserve to be saddled with a loss.

    As far as replacing Nathan is concerned, Soria may not be available. He exited the game early with an injury.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:25 PM

      Joba is no substitute either. He gave up the winning run.

      • tigersfandan - Aug 10, 2014 at 8:13 AM

        Yes, but Joba had to get warmed up very quickly.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 10, 2014 at 8:22 AM

        He had as much time as he wanted to warm up since he was replacing an injured pitcher.

    • indaburg - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Please explain how the Tigers had no business in the lead when their pitcher, Scherzer, pitched 8 innings, struck out 11, and gave up 1 run. That’s pretty darn good.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 9, 2014 at 6:49 PM

        Stroman pitched just as well as Scherzer and was more efficient. Those strikeouts ran up Scherzer’s pitch count.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 9, 2014 at 8:04 PM

        Except that Strohman had 7 less strike outs, 3 walks, and gave up one more run.

        But really, wins — like birthdays — are not really about deserving.

      • indaburg - Aug 9, 2014 at 8:16 PM

        So true. It just seemed odd to read the Tigers had no business being in the lead when their starter pitched more than well enough to keep them in the game. It was a good old fashioned pitchers’ duel.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 9, 2014 at 8:18 PM

        Well, last night we didn’t so much deserve winning, so it cuts both ways. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to rock back & forth sobbing on the couch with my Scherzer bobblehead.


  3. weaselpuppy - Aug 9, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    Scherzer was at 106 and easily could have pitched the 9th

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 9, 2014 at 7:23 PM

      I am sure he could have pitched in the 9th against Reyes, Melky and Bautista, but there is no guarantee that he would have been successful. Bautista would have been looking for a cripple to hit with a runner on base.

      • weaselpuppy - Aug 9, 2014 at 7:44 PM

        You mean the 97 mph smoke trail he threw for his 106th?

        cmon man….of course there are no guarantees. Max was dialed Way in. No way I want Joe Flambe in there over Max at that point.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 9, 2014 at 7:58 PM

        A 97 MPH fastball goes a long way when hit.

    • Damidwesterner - Aug 9, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      Ausmus said Max was done, and apparently Max also said he was done on the postgame show. Still, being done after 106? And a short 8th to boot? I’m not buying it. I woulda left Max in to win it. If he let one on, then go to the pen. But don’t put in Joe Nothin’ when Max was dealin’ all day.

      • weaselpuppy - Aug 9, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        Max’s comment was cover for Ausmus. Not the first time max has done that…

  4. rawdog2013 - Aug 9, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    The hyenas better get their closer role fixed or it’s gonna be a quick exit out of the playoffs, via Oakland.

  5. papacrick - Aug 9, 2014 at 9:37 PM

    Ausmus is terrible. If this were Leyland, fans would be calling for his head but I guess the honeymoon is still on. Same goes for Joyner. McClendon got blasted non stop if the offense even hit a mini slump and not one fan is calling in sports radio calling for Wally to be fired.

  6. themagicfanguy - Aug 9, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    The bullpen will be the Tigers downfall just like last season. Sad to watch.

  7. royalsblues - Aug 10, 2014 at 12:18 AM

    Dear Brad Ausmus,
    Please continue to stick with Joe Nathan as your closer.

    Royals Fans

  8. vincentbojackson - Aug 10, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    Patiently waiting for more brilliant insight from homer of the month, proudlycanadian.

  9. disgracedfury - Aug 10, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    The Tigers have a great rotation but in the postseason your bullpen is as important.

  10. disgracedfury - Aug 10, 2014 at 2:15 AM

    The Tigers have a great rotation but in the postseason your bullpen is as important.

  11. shipdog7 - Aug 10, 2014 at 9:45 AM

    I’m sure by now you have heard the Nathan comments on what anybody thinks of his sudden decline in his job. As Fielder had expressed these guys just don’t care. They have enough money to last a lifetime and more. No….we don’t expect you to be perfect. Why did you accept the big money contract if you didn’t deserve it? At the time you thought you did. You walked with swagger. Now you sweat like a pig hoping someone will chase that hittable fastball down the middle of the plate. When you can find the plate. All we ask as fans is that you accept the fact that you ^%&$ right now. Be honest. “I don’t have any idea how to correct what I am doing right now”.

  12. wheels579 - Aug 10, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Somebody should tell Nathan that Donnie Moore actually did kill himself. So if he wants to lecture fans about how difficult his job is, he should refrain from joking about taking his own life.

  13. westerly75 - Aug 11, 2014 at 8:46 AM

    my guess is that behind closed doors, management isn’t so committed.
    would love to be a fly on the wall when dombrowski and ausmus discuss the closer issue.

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