Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nathan Keeps Going

Several stories have been written about how Johan Santana’s record doesn’t reflect how he’s pitched this year, but the same could certainly be said for Joe Nathan. Like Santana, a simple examination of one statistic -- wins for the starter, saves for Nathan -- could lead you to believe he’s having an off year. Nathan has only 14 saves so far this year, ranking him an amazing 14th in the majors, with barely half of Coco Cordero’s 27 saves for Milwaukee.

It seems like a down year for a guy who has averaged 41 over the past three years -- and yes, his ERA of 2.43 is higher than last year’s incredible 1.58 -- but it’s all a matter of circumstance.
The Twins just haven’t had many save situations for Nathan this year, but he feels he has made adjustments to his game that make him just as effective.

His 33-pitch effort Tuesday night, by the way, won’t keep him out of tonight’s game, if the situation arises.

Tonight’s lineups:

Wells cf
Rios rf
Stairs 1b
Glaus 3b
Thomas dh
Zaun c
Lind lf
Clark 2b
Clayton ss

Towers p

Castillo 2b
Bartlett ss
Mauer dh
Cuddyer 1b
Hunter cf
Kubel lf
Redman c
Ford rf
Punto 3b

Bonser p