Thursday, May 10, 2012

Robertson Blows Save, Offense Blows Game

The Good

In his second start of the season, David Phelps went 4.2 innings allowing 0 runs.  He walked a lot of guys, and got his pitch count up, but you can't argue with 4.2 innings of shut out ball.  The bullpen went on to hold a one run lead into the 9th.  The Yankees offense combined for 9 hits, including multi-hit games from A-Rod, Cano, and Swisher.

The Bad

1 run.  That's all the Yankee offense could muster.  Now, I'm all for needing to win close games, and rely on pitching over offense, but you can only do that when you have really good pitchers.  We had a rookie in his second start of his career pitching.  One run and one extra base hit just won't cut it.

The Ugly

Yes, the headlines are true, Robertson blew the save.  The concern isn't so much that he blew the save, but that he blew the save pitching the way he always does: putting guys on base.  In the past we praised his houdini acts, but as a closer his role is much different.  Its mostly to pitch one inning, and do so in a lights out fashion.  The closer is supposed to tell other teams that if you don't have a lead in the 8th inning, then the game is over.  When a closer regularly puts guys on base, you're giving other teams the opposite message, that there's still hope.  I personally believe that Robertson will grow into this closing role more, but we'll have to give him some time.


That's what the Yankee offense donated to the children at the Children's Health Fund last night.

Raul Ibanez 5hr = $10
Nick Swisher 7hr = $14
Andruw Jones 3hr = $6
Derek Jeter 5hr = $10
Curtis Granderson 10hr = $20
Alex Rodriguez 5hr = $10
Robinson Cano 2hr = $4
Mark Teixeira 4hr = $8
Eric Chavez 3hr = $6
Russell Martin 3hr = $6

Total 47hr = $94


Rich Mahogany said...

Maybe Robertson can be the next John Wetteland, a closer who gives the fans heart problems but almost always gets the save anyway.

Robertson's strikeout numbers this season are tremendous, even better than his usual terrific numbers. He gives up a few less hits and he is just as dominant as most other closers in baseball. It will be interesting to see whether he can put it all together, as our alternative as closer would be Soriano, which gives me heart problems just thinking about it.

Rich Mahogany said...

Apropos of nothing:

Beckett used to be one of the last pitchers I'd ever want to see facing the Yankees in a big game. He was the kind of guy who seemed to get better and tougher when more was at stake. It's stunning to see him fall so far. I can't say I'm upset about it, as he's always seemed like a rather nasty individual.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Yeah, Beckett has never been likable. At some point it feels like that whole clubhouse has already packed it in though.

I'd like to see Robertson do well, and I think he can, but I also think we should at least try Soriano a few times in the ninth. He was, after all, a dominant closer in the AL East not so long ago, and we're paying him closer money. Maybe we should just give it a shot.

Rich Mahogany said...

I think Girardi is leaving the door open to using Soriano as the closer. To my knowledge he hasn't designated Robertson as the closer, which would make it easier to "demote" him back to setup.

I saw an article (I think on Fangraphs) saying Soriano should close and Robertson should remain a "relief ace" that can be used in any high leverage situation, for two main reasons.

First, Robertson is better than Soriano. This goes with the theory that closers are not as valuable as commonly believed and there will be times when the most important situation for using the team's best reliever is not the 9th inning.

Second, Robertson's paycheck will go up dramatically if he's deemed a closer rather than a setup guy.

Then again, maybe the Yankees will keep Soriano from closing as part of a daring ploy to make him opt out of his contract.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Robertson will be better as a closer as time goes on. It is not an easy situation for him. He is replacing Mo, which is an oxymoron. Soriano... I just don't like Soriano.