Defending D-Rob

From Adam Spunberg (YESNetwork.com):

Robertson is an amiable guy, but he let his affability extend to the Phillies today. After Marte came in and expertly navigated through two outs of a jam, Robertson proceeded to walk Jayson Werth and surrender a two-RBI single to Raul Ibanez. Good-natured Dave should offer to do CC Sabathia’s laundry for a week after muddying what had been a detergent-fresh start.

While Spunberg is correct in that David Robertson allowed a frustrating 2-out 2 RBI single after Damaso Marte had already pulled a rabbit out of a hat, I think placing this much blame upon him is absurd. Robertson allowed a weak single to Ibanez, that’s true, however, Phil Hughes had already walked two men—Rollins and Victorino—in that half inning and they were the two runs. The hit wouldn’t have mattered if Hughes had done his job (or if he had done even 1/3 of his job), but, then again, if that were the case, Robertson would not have been facing Raul Ibanez to begin with.

Last night’s loss, a 6-1 drubbing, can be connected to the poor job done by the Yankees offense and by two relievers, specifically—Hughes and Bruney. To heap blame upon anyone else is both unwarranted and unfair. Then again, I guess you could criticize Joe Girardi for bringing in Brian Bruney, who was awful in what will hopefully be his only appearance this series. I can see that move as a premature, informal surrendering of sorts, as he promptly gave up 2 earned runs and put the game out of reach for the Bombers’ bats. Still, while that’s a legitimate managerial critique, the Yankees didn’t lose because of that decision, instead, it just made winning that much more difficult in the 9th inning.

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

8 thoughts on “Defending D-Rob

  1. Classic Steve

    “Robertson is an amiable guy, but he let his affability extend to the Phillies today. After Marte came in and expertly navigated through two outs of a jam, Robertson proceeded to walk Jayson Werth and surrender a two-RBI single to Raul Ibanez. Good-natured Dave should offer to do CC Sabathia’s laundry for a week after muddying what had been a detergent-fresh start.”

    This is one of the silliest and most superficial observations that I’ve seen in a while. Reality is that Howard hit a bullet to right off of Marte which was caught while, as was noted, lbanez rolled a weak grounder to the right side off of Robertson which found a hole. Much like a manager and his moves, a pitcher can often “do his job” by inducing weak contact and not be rewarded while at other times he can experience success despite throwing a pitch that is not as good.

    • Exacty, Steve. Well said.

    • How does Robertson owe CC laundry? If anything you guys precious Hughes should do his laundry, after all he was the one who came in and walked two batters with out recording an out! Robertson just came into a bad situation and couldn’t get out of it for the first time in the playoffs. Robertson actually looks calm and like a pitcher out on the mound in the playoffs instead of scared out of his mind like Hughes looks every night!

  2. Tom Gaffney

    Good article. NOt to mention that Cano was out of position, got a late jump and then proceeded to lazily just plain give up on that slow roller that scored 2 on D-Rob.

  3. Adam Spunberg

    I think you guys are partially correct. However, the single that Robertson allowed – weak or not – dramatically reduced the Yankees’ probability of winning the game. Yes, Hughes was responsible for the two walks, but Robertson effectively closed the deal. Sometimes baseball is a game of luck. Robertson had one job to do and failed.

    That being said, I respect your opinion and certainly give credence to your arguments.

    • How can you blame Robertson for letting Hughe’s runs to score? Had Hughes not failed to even get an out he wouldn’t have put Robertson in that position. If you comes in and get 0 outs and walk the only 2 batters you face you are terrible and deserve that loss!

    • Hey, Adam. Thanks for stopping by. I can see your side as well and appreciate you coming into clarify your perspective.

      • Adam Spunberg

        Chris H.’s,

        Sure. I wasn’t offended at all. In fact, I was happy to be the catalyst for a debate.

        I decided to take a look at WPA’s at http://www.fangraphs.com. I’m not saying this validates anything, but if you look here:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/wins.aspx?date=2009-10-28&team=Yankees&dh=0&season=2009

        Robertson had a -0.98 effect while Hughes just a -0.5. As I said, that’s hardly sacrosanct, but it lends some support to my argument at least.

        I think you guys do a wonderful job. Keep it up!

Comments are closed.