By: Jeff Riger
Tigers closer Joe Nathan continues to be the talk of Detroit fans everywhere.
On Saturday, Nathan trotted out of the pen in a 2-2 game in the 9th and left after giving up 3 runs. Tigers lost to the Indians 5-2. Then Sunday, Nathan pitched again. This time Detroit had a 4-1 lead and the team was trial to salvage one game of a four game series. Nathan went 1,2,3!
The veteran closer has been better since making a mechanical tweak about a month ago, but he hasn’t been that much better as his season stat line shows an ERA of over 6 and a WHIP of over 1.5. In the meantime, fans clamor for the team to make a trade for a closer and then part ways with Nathan; a guy that is owed $20 million for the remainder of this season and next.
What will happen?
Who knows as we await the trade deadline on July 31st, but Nathan seems pretty open to talking about it.
After skipping out on the media Saturday night, the 39 year old took about 15 minutes to chat on Sunday before catching a plane to Arizona for the start of a 7 game road trip out west. Nathan was asked a litany of questions ranging from the booing fans to the team making a trade for another closer.
Take a listen to the answers to the questions below…
1. Does he worry about the Tigers trading for another closer, a move that would bring uncertainty to Nathan’s current role with the team?
2. If Detroit did make a trade for a closer and Nathan was still in the bullpen mix; would that move throw him off his game?
3. How does Nathan feel about Tiger fans that have started to boo him constantly?
4. Does he understand why the fans have been so brutal on him of late?
5. Why does Nathan believe he can return to his dominant form of last season and in years past?
6. What does Nathan believe is the biggest key to being a good closer? The only reason I included this answer is because it made me laugh.
Take a listen to Nathan’s most interesting responses from Sunday and then ask yourself; what the Tigers should do with their 39 year old closer?