I know what you’re thinking, that I’m about to give a ‘doom and gloom’ scenario because he blew one save. I’ll save that for another day.
Losing a baseball game is never a good thing, but sometimes you have to pull the positives out of a loss like last night. David Robertson blowing a save, after converting on his first 9 save chances, could be a good thing in the long run for the team. Robertson was appointed as the successor to Mariano Rivera, the best closer in the history of baseball, and has performed extremely well in that role thus far this season.
Just the other day I was listening to the Yankees radio broadcast, and John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman were discussing David Robertson’s season, and commenting on how the true mark of the elite closer is how he responds to adversity and how he reacts to a bad outing. Robertson has been outstanding this season, posting a WHIP of 0.846 on the year (the stat I like most when discussing pitching, especially with relievers) and striking out 12.5 batters per 9 innings. However, having only been the closer of the team for less than two months, it is still unknown whether he belongs in the conversation with the likes of Craig Kimbrel as one of the game’s elite closers.
I will be anxiously awaiting his next save opportunity, hopefully it occurs tonight, to see whether he shrugs off allowing Adam Dunn to hit a walk-off homer against him, or if there is some residual effect.
He will never be Mariano Rivera, that would be an unfair expectation to put upon anyone, but I do believe that Robertson will thrive in his closer’s role with the Yankees for years to come, he has done nothing in his career as a set up man that would lead me to think otherwise.
Just the suggestion that the Yankees have something interesting to watch for with their closer hasn’t happened in nearly 20 years (damn you, Mo, for being so consistently brilliant!). So this should be fun to watch.
If you’re looking to catch a Yankees game this yea, check out this great blog post by Razorgator on Yankees tickets in 2014!