Detroit went down this road two years ago when Jose Valverde blew up during the playoffs. It doesn't want to revisit that scene again, not halfway into the first of two $10 million seasons it is paying Nathan to finish games.
Nathan didn't pitch Sunday because he threw 32 pitches Saturday night and also worked Friday night. Ausmus said he Adidas Hi Tops Outlet
Nathan allowed two runs Saturday night in the ninth inning of Detroit's 8 6 victory over Boston, and he left the tying run Adidas Duramo 7 Grey
Another problem: His slider is inconsistent. Big bite one day, all bark the next.
on base at game's end.
"His velocity has dropped off in the course of his career," Ausmus said, "but his velocity is the same as it was last year."
If Sunday also brings questions about Chamberlain's suitable for closing, the Tigers have another option building arm strength at their spring training base in Lakeland, Fla., one time closer Joel Hanrahan.
Nathan pitched at 90 92 mph last season and is doing likewise this year. The difference may be in an inability to locate the diminished fastball as well as in the past. When he gets behind in the count, that 91 mph fastball gets hit if it is too close Adidas Duramo Black Pink to the center of the plate.
Not yet anyway.
"The truth is we need Joe Nathan," Ausmus said. "We've got to find a way to get him back on track."
Back end of Tigers' bullpen is wobbling
Joe Nathan was rocked about as much as a weepy infant lately, and his safety net, Joba Chamberlain, gave up a three run home run Sunday night to Boston designated hitter David Ortiz that turned a potential 3 2 Detroit win into a 5 3 Red Sox victory.
The club insists he is the same Joe Nathan who chalked up 43 saves in 67 games with a 1.39 ERA for Texas last year.
would have felt terrible had Nathan gotten hurt pitching after that workload.
He is on track but it is the wrong track.
want to be giving up runs like that in the ninth inning," Ausmus said. "I'm not overly concerned about it, but it's got to stop at some point."
The 39 year old veteran has allowed two or more runs in five of six games and 12 runs in his last eight outings covering just 6 1/3 innings.
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