On Wednesday May 28, 2014, Nick Castellanos had the ball bounce over his glove. Shortly afterward, Joe Nathan gave up the game winning home run to Oakland’s Josh Donaldson. This was the low point of the Tigers season so far.
During the post game press conference both Joe Nathan and Brad Ausmus placed the blame on Nick Castellanos. With this I could start to see the crack in the Detroit Tigers team chemistry. They both said Nick should have caught the line drive that bounced off of his glove in the 9th, claiming Nathan would have pitched differently to Josh Donaldson if he had. That may be true but that does not excuse leaving a meatball over the middle of the plate to Donaldson.
I have never been a fan of players or coaches calling out other teammates in the media. This reeks of a team not on the same page when this happens, especially when the person doing the calling out has not done his job this year.
Joe Nathan should keep his mouth shut and concentrate on the closer role. In the two games he pitched following the blown save in Oakland that he gave up multiple runs. That is the first time Nathan has done that since 2008.
Nathan has blown more saves this season than all of 2013 and with a season era of 6.86 he is brining back memories of Jose Valverde. I was a big supporter of the Detroit Tigers signing Joe Nathan as a free agent this off season although I would have liked to see Joaquin Benoit keep the closer role. Now the signing is beginning to look more and more like a $10 million mistake.
The Tigers have now 7 out of 10 games and the bullpen and the offense look much worse than last year. As bad as this team has played, they still have a 3 game lead right now. But with the White Sox and Royals surging on winning streaks, the team will not be able to maintain control of the Central if they keep playing like this. In order for the Tigers to right the ship they need their closer to concentrate on his role and not the errors of his teammates.