Does Texas Rangers Joe Nathan have Limits?

So far this season the Rangers have played 6 games, winning all but 2.

Before the season started the Rangers made some changes to their pitching rotation. The Rangers got Joe Nathan, a closing pitcher, from the Minnesota Twins. Rangers then moved Neftali Feliz, one of last season’s closing pitchers, to a starting pitcher position so that Nathan could be one of the closing pitchers.

Last night, Wednesday April 11, 2012 the Rangers lost to the Mariners 4-3. The Rangers played great for 8 innings and were up 3 to 1. Then in the 9th Nathan came in to close the game. It was up to Nathan to save his team and complete the win. Nathan also closed the game the night before, Tuesday, when the Rangers beat the Mariners 1-0, so he was closing a back to back game Wednesday night. Joe Nathan allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, meaning 3 runners scored from 4 Mariners hits off Nathan’s pitches. This put the Mariners up by one and cost the Rangers their win.

Last night was Nathan’s second time to pitch on back to back nights this season; the first was on April 7, 2012. On opening day, April 6, 2011 Nathan pitched the game against the Chicago White Sox and the Rangers won 3-2. Then Nathan pitched against Chicago again the next day. The game was tied 3-3 when Nathan approached the mound. Alex Rios, White Sox #51, hit a homerun and won the game for Chicago. Rangers lost 4-3.

So both of the Rangers loses have come from Nathan on nights he is pitching back to back. Joe Nathan pitched back to back nights only 3 times last season as a Twin. Maybe they thought he could not play to the best of his ability on back to back nights. Nathan has been a good closing pitcher for the Rangers, and has pulled out many saves and finished off a few great wins on nights he is not pitching back to back. The Rangers should really watch Nathan this season and take note, so come play off time, this is not a problem.

Resources:

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/recap?gameId=320411113

http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4881279/rapid-reaction-mariners-4-rangers-3-2

http://espn.go.com/dallas/mlb/recap?gameId=320407113

http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/04/07/12/Rangers-sunk-on-night-of-missed-chances/landing_rangers.html?blockID=704812

http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=tex#y=2012&m=4&calendar=DEFAULT

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