Rangers’ closer Joe Nathan moved is in some elite company following his save against the Padres on Monday night.
This isn’t to say Nathan wasn’t in good company in terms of numbers for closers before, but with his 16-pitch performance (in which he surrendered two hits but eventually shut the door) Monday, Nathan passed Mariano Rivera for the lead in all-time save percentage.
Rivera, pretty much unanimously considered the greatest closer of all time, has converted 89.280 percent of his 681 save opportunities (for 208 career saves). Nathan has now converted 89.286 percent of his 308 save opportunities. Monday was his 275th career save.
"Mariano is a guy I've looked up to and respected," Nathan said after Monday’s win, per the Dallas Morning News. "I've learned a lot from him about how to handle yourself. I've learned it's about getting the job done, not about celebrating. It's about respecting the game and your opponents."