Nathan continues to be Texas' saving grace

Nathan continues to be Texas' saving grace

Nathan continues to be Texas' saving grace
KANSAS CITY -- It's been a while since Joe Nathan blew a save.

It happened on April 11 to be exact, when the Rangers' closer sustained his only blown save of the season against the Mariners. That was his third opportunity of the year, and he's since picked up 28 in a row -- the longest consecutive saves streak in his career. It also extends a Texas club record and ranks as the longest streak in the Majors this season.

After matching his previous career high in Wednesday night's 7-6 win over the Royals, Nathan added to his streak with his 30th save of the season in Thursday night's 5-4 victory in 10 innings.

So what's been the key to Nathan's success this season?

"Nothing different. No secrets," Nathan said. "I'm trying to move the ball in and out, use all my pitches, keep them guessing. I know what my strengths are and that's being able to use all four pitches. I don't feel like I could blow someone away. I have a good enough fastball, a good enough slider, a good enough curveball and good enough movement on the pitches that I've got to use them all, and try and keep them guessing. Location's been key."

The last time Nathan converted 27 saves in a row was May 8 through Aug. 15, 2004, when he was with the Twins.

Nathan gives a lot of credit for a strong season to the Rangers' bullpen as a whole, which, entering play on Thursday, ranked fifth in the American League with a 3.27 ERA.

"We've had a good run down there," Nathan said. "We've got guys up and down that bullpen that can do a number of different things. If guys need breathers throughout the course of the season, we've got guys that can step up and pick them up. That's what's helped us out. We haven't had too many guys get taxed down there. It's been going well."