David Robertson is one of only a handful of players who was part of the Yankees’ 2009 World Series champion team, and the right-handed reliever who is in his second tour with the Bombers wants to try and help get the club back to the playoffs for another title run.
That includes taking the mound whenever he is called upon — whether in his customary eighth-inning role or, as was the case Monday, coming in much earlier in the game. Monday night Robertson replaced Yankee starter CC Sabathia in the fifth inning with one out and Sabathia killer Evan Longoria at the plate.
“It’s just the way the game was lining up. Phone rang in the fourth and (bullpen coach Mike) Harkey told me just get ready. I was like, ‘Ok, it’s not a big deal.’ Got enough warning to know I might possibly be in there. Game played out perfectly and it worked out,” said Robertson after earning the win (8-2) in the Yankees’ 5-1 victory.
After being acquired in a trade with the White Sox July 18, Robertson made a point of telling Yankee manager Joe Girardi that he would do whatever was needed, especially since the Yankees’ bullpen was already loaded with relievers Dellin Betances and closer Aroldis Chapman.
Girardi made the bullpen call Monday after Sabathia threw just 88 pitches. Robertson ended up pitching a career-high 2.2 innings, striking out four and giving up no runs. Robertson was called in to face Longoria first because Girardi said the Rays slugger and their DH Monday has owned Sabathia in the past. Robertson promptly struck out Longoria looking.
David Robertson has been solid out of the bullpen since the Yankees re-acquired him in a trade with the White Sox.
(Frank Franklin II/AP)
“I kind of felt like that could be the game so I went to (Robertson). I’m not going to have Robbie for a day or two. I had Dellin ready to come in. I think (Robertson) has really adopted the attitude, ‘I’m a real team player and I’ll do whatever you want,'” said Girardi.
Robertson said the key Monday was to “stop (the Rays’) momentum” when he entered the game and to throw strikes.
“I looked at the spot in the fifth inning when I came in as being the same as coming in the eighth inning. That was kind of the point where we needed a stop to happen, stop their momentum. I was able to get a couple punch outs and put a zero up. We grinded out the rest of the game,” said Robertson. “I don’t care when I pitch. I’ll do whatever it takes to get us back to the playoffs, give us a chance to get another ring. I’m ready to go. I get down there in the third or fourth inning, and if the phone rings, I know it could be me. If it is, I get ready to go.”