Here we are; October fourth, fresh off a 8-4 Wild Card victory. The Yankees are moving on to Cleveland, a feat that is heavily attested to the team’s lights out bullpen. Chad Green, David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Aroldis Chapman combined to allow one run through 8.2 innings while striking out 13 in the win over Minnesota. Although all members of the bullpen flourished, it was Robertson that shined the brightest. The veteran right-hander tossed a career-high 3.1 dominant innings and recorded five strike outs. The extra work load didn’t seem to bother Robertson, who was asked after the game if he thought he was pushed past his limit.
“It doesn’t matter to me, I just wanted to win the game and get to the next series” He stated.
Robertson’s dominance is nothing new, as he has been lights out since coming back to the Yankees in July. Since then, he is 5-0 with a 1.03 ERA, while striking out 51 batters to finish the regular season. Highlighted by a September where he fired off 15 scoreless innings, Robertson continued his mastery into the Postseason.
A huge reason for his success is his ability strike batters out and induce weak contact. Robertson appeared in 31 games for the White Sox this year, where he allowed 21 hits through 33.1 innings. Since moving to the Bronx, he has played in 30 games and has yielded only 14 hits through 35 innings. He also posted a respectable .960 WHIP with Chicago in 2017, but that also improved in New York. The 32-year-old has posted a remarkable .743 WHIP with the Yankees this year.
Robertson has been the anchor of the Yankees’ bullpen, willing to take the ball in any situation. Whether the Yankees are up or down, or if its the beginning of the game or the end, D-Rob has made his priorities clear.
“Roles may change throughout the season and I may be asked to do things that I’m not normally used to doing but that doesn’t mean that I can’t go out there and do it. When Joe calls on me to go out there and pitch, I’m gonna go pitch. If it’s the second or third inning and thats when I’m needed to help us win a ball game then thats when I’ll pitch. It doesn’t bother me I just want to win another World Series.”
Looking ahead, the Yankees will travel to Cleveland for the first two games of the ALDS. Although Robertson likely will not see any action in the opener, he is going to be crucial for the Yanks’ success in the series. Through seven innings this year, he harnessed a 1.29 ERA with 11 strike outs against the Indians. He has especially owned Edwin Encarnacion, who has only gone 1-21 off Robertson. Carlos Santana is hitless in 10 at-bats against the right-hander with six strikeouts.