John Lowe had some sobering information in today's Detroit Free Press. In case you didn't see it, he wrote about the success closers in the AL Central have had against the Tigers. How successful have they been?
Joe Nathan of the Twins has converted all 26 of his save chances against the Tigers.
Bobby Jenks of the White Sox has converted 20 of 21 save chances against the Tigers.
Joakim Soria of the Royals has converted four of five chances against the Tigers.
That's a 96% save percentage, people. How do you like them apples?
Maybe Lowe's provided something of a public service here. If you see Nathan, Jenks, or Soria take the mound versus Detroit in the ninth inning, you can probably turn the TV off at home or get a head start on traffic leaving the ballpark. Or maybe this knowledge just makes victory that much sweeter if it were ever to occur against these pitchers.
We saw some evidence of this last season - against the Twins, at least. When the Tigers managed to win, they got Minnesota's starter out of the game in the sixth or seventh inning with the game close or tied. Then Detroit could feast on soft middle relief before the game could be turned over to Nathan in the ninth. They might have to take the same approach this year.
Now, if only the Tigers' bullpen could have a similar influence on games against AL Central opponents...