By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – A day removed from the most recent poor outing by closer Joe Nathan, Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus still felt confident that Nathan will bounce back.READ MORE: Ribs RnB Music Festival Kicks Off This Weekend In Downtown Detroit
After giving up a pair of hits, a pair of walks and four runs Tuesday night, Nathan has allowed eight runs over his last three outings. He now has an ERA of 6.86.
“Joe has been doing this for a very long time,” Ausmus said. “He’s obviously experienced failure in the past. He’s not perfect in closing out games in his career, so he’s learned to deal with the fact that sometimes doesn’t go your way, and you have to bounce back the next day and try to accomplish the same thing. The best closers have the ability to put that last blown save behind you. I’ve said many times, as a closer, you have to have a special makeup mentally because if you don’t do your job, there’s more than a good chance that your team lost, so it’s a special breed to be a closer, and Joe’s done it for a long time. Really, whether it’s physical or mental, long-term I expect him to be fine.”READ MORE: Judge Says Michigan Gov. Whitmer Won't Have To Testify In Abortion Lawsuit
Ausmus expressed no hesitation in going back to Nathan the next time the team needs him.
“I talked to Joe last night, and obviously that’s between Joe and myself,” Ausmus said. “If we have a save situation tonight, Joe’s going to be the guy.”
Ausmus did not comment much on Nathan’s characterization of his recent performances as partly bad luck, but overall Ausmus simply said he has faith in the veteran closer, a six-time All-Star who has a career ERA of 2.85.MORE NEWS: MDHHS Lifts No-Contact Recommendation In Huron River Chemical Spill
“You’ve got to get the leadoff guy, which is the most important thing. Joe knows that,” Ausmus said. “But that’s neither here nor there – can’t do anything about it now. Again, like I said, if there’s a save tonight, I’m going to give Joe the opportunity.”