Joe Nathan RP DET 2 Months

Joe Nathan struck out the side to emphatically shut out the lights on the Angels in a 6-4 Thursday victory.

He did so as new Dave Dombrowski toy Joakim Soria looked on from the bullpen area. This was the second time this season that Nathan has struck out the side. Nathan toted an embarrassing 6.23 ERA from the ballpark after July 19's blown save against the Indians, but he's struck out five and given up just one hit and no walks in three consecutive shutout appearances. As long as he keeps stringing together scoreless appearances, Brad Ausmus will keep trotting Nathan out in the ninth. If Nathan returns to his June form (9.00 ERA), however, it will be Soria time in Detroit.

Joe Nathan RP DET 2 Months

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Joe Nathan will remain the Tigers' closer despite Wednesday's trade for Joakim Soria, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck.

It was a legitimate question, as Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and five blown saves on the year. The right-hander has been better in July, though, having been scored upon in just one of his seven appearances. Soria will presumably hold down a setup role with his new club, but he will be looming if Nathan falters in the closer role going forward.

Joe Nathan RP DET 2 Months

Joe Nathan worked around a single to toss a scoreless ninth, preserve a 4-3 win, and earn his 20th save of the season Monday against Arizona.

Nathan has finished off scoreless appearances in six of his last seven. Unfortunately, the one he didn't was a three-run implosion over the weekend against the Indians, after which the media began discussing his job security. Nathan has been scored upon in 10 of his last 22 appearances, but manager Brad Ausmus has proven he'll grant an extremely long leash. Nathan is 20-for-25 in save conversions to go with a 5.89 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.

Joe Nathan RP DET 2 Months

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday that he's "not near that point" to replace Joe Nathan at closer.

Nathan on Saturday allowed a bases-clearing double, which was preceded by a double and two walks (one intentional). He's been scored upon in 10 of his last 20 appearances and holds a 9.00 ERA over that stretch. Yet, Ausmus is sticking by his veteran closer. "I'm sure there's a possibility I could reach a point sometime," he said. "I'm not near that point. I'll let you know when I am."

Joe Nathan RP DET 3 Months

Joe Nathan slammed the door on the Royals in the ninth inning on Friday, preserving a one-run advantage and earning his 19th save of the season.

The 39-year-old closer has pitched better of late, but still owns a troublesome 5.61 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 35/14 K/BB ratio over 33 2/3 innings on the season. He isn't a good bet to magically turn his season around and improve his ratios, but should continue to be able to rack up saves at the back of the Tigers bullpen.

Joe Nathan RP DET 3 Months

Joe Nathan struck out two over a perfect inning to convert his 18th save of the season in Wednesday's win over the Dodgers.

It was a painless ninth inning, as Nathan entered to protect a three-run lead and got Hanley Ramirez to ground out and Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp to go down swinging. Nathan has converted three straight save chances, but it's certainly been a shaky year overall with a 5.79 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and five blown saves.

Joe Nathan RP DET 3 Months

Joe Nathan earned his 16th save of the season Wednesday in the Tigers' defeat of the Rangers.

Nathan was again shaky, however, yielding a one-out double to Shin-Soo Choo and an RBI single to Adrian Beltre before rallying for the final two outs. The veteran right-hander has a brutal 6.28 ERA and 1.60 WHIP on the season. Joba Chamberlain should get his shot eventually.

Joe Nathan RP DET 3 Months

Joe Nathan blew his fifth save of the season Saturday in the Tigers' win over the Indians.

Detroit bounced back to win the game in extras, with Phil Coke earning the save. Nathan was impressive on Thursday afternoon against the Royals, striking out the side to collect his 14th save, but the 39-year-old's season-long problems returned on Saturday night in Cleveland. Joba Chamberlain remains a must-stash in all mixed and AL-only fantasy leagues.

Joe Nathan RP DET 3 Months

Joe Nathan earned his 14th save of the season Thursday in the Tigers' 2-1 defeat of the Royals.

And the Royals' winning streak has ended at 10 games. Nathan was sharp, striking out all three batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning on just 15 pitches. It was an important bounceback appearance for the veteran right-hander, who has not been good this season. He hadn't struck out the side since last August.

Joe Nathan RP DET 4 Months

Joe Nathan struggled again in a non-save situation against the Twins on Friday, allowing an unearned run on two walks and a hit batsmen in 2/3 of an inning.

To be fair, Nathan should have been out of the inning without any damage, as an errant throw from shortstop Eugenio Suarez allowed the leadoff man to reach. He has been simply pitiful on the mound this season, posting a 6.85 ERA and 1.61 WHIP over his 23 2/3 innings.