Wash doing all he can to keep Nathan sharp

Wash doing all he can to keep Nathan sharp

NEW YORK -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said earlier this month that he wanted to use closer Joe Nathan only in save situations. Washington admitted that's not always practical, and he went into Thursday's game against the Yankees planning to pitch Nathan regardless.

Nathan recorded saves on Aug. 7 and 8 against the Red Sox at Boston but hasn't pitched since then.

"One way or another, we've got to get him in there," Washington said. "It was not my intention for him to sit for seven days. The games just haven't dictated using him."

Nathan, who has 23 saves, said he really doesn't expect to be limited to save situations.

"It's more of being smarter in certain situations," Nathan said. "If you do that, you're only going to appear in about 40 games. If you did that, guys wouldn't stay sharp. Obviously, it would be good to throw, but when you're playing close games on the road, it's hard to do. It's easier to do at home."

Nathan isn't the only Rangers pitcher who has been sitting around; Roy Oswalt also hasn't pitched since Aug. 8.