David Robertson has aspirations of one-day becoming a closer.
But those days haven’t arrived just yet.
“I don’t have to worry about that,” Robertson said. “We’ve got No. 42.”
True. The Yankees do have the best of all-time in Mariano Rivera closing out games for them.
But on Saturday afternoon, Rivera wasn’t available, so the Yankees had to turn to their eighth-inning man to finish up the ninth.
It wasn’t easy per se, but Robertson did finish off the Blue Jays, throwing two scoreless innings to earn his first save since Aug. 12, 2010 against Kansas City.
“I knew going into this game I could be ready for possibly both,” said Robertson, who earned just the third save of his career, allowing one hit and striking out three. “I ended up coming in in the eighth and finishing the ball game.”
Robertson hadn’t thrown as many as two innings since May 20, 2010 against Tampa Bay.
He said it was “a little different” pitching in the ninth inning as opposed to the eighth.
“I kind of got a little worried there after I gave up the double (with one out to Brett Lawrie),” Robertson said. “I thought to myself, ‘Gosh. This is it. I better figure out a way to get out of it.’”
And get out of it he did. Robertson stranded Lawrie at second, getting J.P. Arcencibia to ground out to third and struck out Mike McCoy to end it.
“I just had to focus a little more and make a couple pitches,” said Robertson, who 34 pitches, 21 of them for strikes. “I was getting into deep counts and I didn’t have my best stuff.”
Robertson (1.28 ERA), who has now held the opposition scoreless in 15 of his last 16 appearances since July 26 (16.1 IP, 1 ER) wasn’t available on Friday because he was experiencing some soreness in his pitching arm.
“I wasn’t feeling great,” Robertson said. “I just had some normal muscle soreness from just pitching because I threw a lot of pitches in Boston.”
So manager Joe Girardi opted to sit Robertson on Friday. But Rafael Soriano and Rivera appeared and that game, making them unavailable on Saturday, which meant double-duty for Robertson on Saturday.
No problem, though.
In talking with reporters after the game, Robertson asked how many saves Rivera had.
Told Rivera had 596, Robertson responded, “He’s a great pitcher.”
Sensing some sarcasm? Yeah, there was.