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Joe Nathan’s Shakiness Is A Threat To Undermine Powerhouse Tigers

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BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 14: Joe Nathan #36 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 14, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Detroit won the game 7-5. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE, MD – MAY 14: Joe Nathan #36 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 14, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland. Detroit won the game 7-5. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Tigers suffered arguably their worst and most disheartening loss of the season on Wednesday night, when a 1-0 win over the Athletics turned into 3-1 walk-off loss with one swing of Josh Donaldson’s bat. Closer Joe Nathan served up the homer, and on Thursday afternoon he nearly blew a three-run lead before stranding the tying and go-ahead runs on base.

Following Thursday’s near-catastrophe, Nathan is sporting a 5.23 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 20 2/3 innings this season. He’s also allowed four home runs and blown four saves in 17 opportunities. That’s after blowing three saves in 46 opportunities all of last season with the Rangers.

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