ARLINGTON, Texas — Joe Nathan heard from plenty of people following his controversial 300th save Monday night.
One of them was Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon.
Maddon sent over the Tampa Bay scorecard and signed it for Nathan, inscribing “Congrats. Outstanding career. Keep it coming.”
That meant a lot to Nathan, especially given how the game ended.
“Joe Maddon was very nice and sent over the scorecard, which was nice,” Nathan said. “He was very nice even though I know he probably wasn’t too excited about the call there at the end. He was nice enough to sign that along with a nice message.”
Nathan got the 300th save by striking out Ben Zobrist on a pitch that was low and outside. Home-plate umpire Marty Foster called it a strike and then said after the game he made the wrong call.
Maddon, who said he talked with Foster and appreciated his postgame response, said the Rays pay attention to key moments for opponents.
“After the game we keep track of milestones on the part of the other team,” Maddon said. “I’ve actually got to give a lot of the credit there to Chris Westmoreland, our clubhouse manager, because he’s really the guy who keeps me abreast of those moments. Westy told me about it. We got the card and signed it up. We’ve done that before with different players at different moments, and I’m glad Joe appreciated it.”