David Robertson is looking like a worthy heir to Mariano Rivera’s closing throne. If Rivera retires after this season, wouldn’t you want to see Robertson in the ninth? He’s sure doing a wonderful job in the eighth again.
Robertson struck out the side in the eighth Monday night, setting up Rivera for his fifth save in the 2-1 win over the Orioles. Not only does Robertson own 18 strikeouts in 11 innings over 11 outings so far this season, he has yet to give up a run, earned or unearned.
In fact, he has now thrown 24 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings dating to Sept. 1, 2011, the longest current streak in the major leagues.
“He’s been lights out,” Russell Martin said with the view from behind the catcher’s mask. “He’s just got that sort of fastball that nobody seems to be able to put the barrel on. It gets on you quick and it has got some late cut action. His ball is moving. Guys just don’t seem to recognize it well. He’s got a good curveball to go with that. He’s got a changeup. We rarely have to use the changeup because there are so many guys who are just overmatched by his fastball.
“It’s just a luxury to have a guy like that in the eighth inning.”
Martin can see some of Rivera in Robertson.
“They have the same type of fastball,” Martin said. “It’s just heavy. It’s like a heavy ball and it bores in on left-handers. Righties, they start their swing and it’s just moving a couple of inches off the barrel. So it’s nice to have them.”