It’s pretty hard to find a perfectly objective opinion on Dave Robertson. For outsiders, his numbers speak for themselves, and there’s little question about his stuff, but that information doesn’t say much about his mental and emotional ability handle the ninth inning or bounce back from a night like last night.
For that, you need people who know him, and the people who know him, really like him.
“I think he’ll be right back here tomorrow ready to go,” Nick Swisher said. “He’s that type of guy. I’ve gotten real close to him the past couple of years and he’s a fighter, man. I mean, in a situation like that, I wouldn’t want anybody else out there other than him right now.”
Truth be told, I like Robertson too, which is probably obvious. He’s a stand-up guy, a good guy, a guy who’s made himself one of the best relievers in baseball. And my belief is that he can handle this job. He got off to a slow start in 2010 and bounced back. He got knocked around one night in July of last year, and he allowed one more run the rest of the season.
“I’ll see how he reacts,” Joe Girardi said. “Take a look at his eyes (today), at his face, and make an evaluation of what I have to do. Being the closer is a little bit like being that kicker with two seconds to go and you’ve got a 45-yard field goal. You either make it and you’re the hero or you’ve got to find a way to bounce back. The great ones find a way to bounce back.”
A lot happened last night: David Phelps was excellent through an extended stretch … The middle relievers did their jobs perfectly … The offense was once again punchless and ineffective.
But all of it was overshadowed by Robertson’s blown save. That’s the life of a closer, and that’s the kind of pressure and scrutiny that Robertson has to come back from if he’s going to stay in this role and be effective. Plenty of people think that he can. He has to prove that he can.
“You give up a lead in the eighth, you still lose the game,” Robertson said. “It feels terrible. I blew it tonight. I can’t really say anything else about it.”