Joe Nathan, Texas Rangers closer, joins 300-saves club
Joe Nathan, the Texas Rangers’ closer and a Pine Bush High School graduate, joined an exclusive club Monday night, earning his 300th major league save -- but the milestone came with some controversy.
Nathan struck out Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist looking to seal a 5-4 victory in Arlington, Texas. But the final strike appeared to be low and outside, sending Rays manager Joe Maddon storming out of the dugout to argue the call. After seeing a video replay of the strike following the game, home plate umpire Marty Foster admitted he blew the call.
“It’s pretty safe to say we got fortunate, but I’ve seen plenty of them go the other way,” Nathan said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "I threw the pitch where I wanted to. He just didn’t offer at it like I wanted him to. Did I draw it up this way for my 300th? No, but I’ll take it.”
Nathan becomes the 24th player to record 300 saves, which officially became a statistic in 1969.
A five-time All-Star, Nathan, 38, has been one of the big leagues’ top closers for the better part of the past decade. As a Minnesota Twin, he had at least 36 saves in six straight seasons from 2004-09. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010, Nathan bounced back with 37 saves last season, his first with Texas.
Monday’s save was his second of the young season.