(Doin' the damn thing again)
The Yankee starting pitchers in this series, as awesome as they’ve been, have been completely overshadowed by the A-Rod saga and Raul Ibanez’s heroics last night, and that’s a bit of a shame. CC, Andy, and Hiroki last night have all been terrific and limited the Orioles to just a handful of well-struck balls that led to runs. Subtract maybe 3 or 4 pitches and we’re talking about a couple of shutout games here. And the small bit of credit and ink the rotation has gotten has also overshadowed another positive pitching story from this series- the lights out relief work of David Robertson.
The Yankee bullpen has pitched 5 total innings in the first 3 games of this series, and Robertson has pitched 3.1 of them. He’s the only Yankee pitcher who has appeared in every game, and as usual he’s been used in a variety of different situations. He came in to get the final out of Game 1 in relief of CC with a runner on, he pitched the 8th inning of Game 2 to hold the O’s down and give the offense a chance to come back in the 9th, and he pitched 2 scoreless innings in the 11th and 12th last night and got credit for the win.
And he hasn’t just been getting by on some lucky pitches, D-Rob has been BRINGING it. Dude has allowed just one baserunner, hasn’t walked a batter, and has struck out 4. He’s thrown 41 total pitches in his 3 appearances, 17 curveballs, 14 cutters, and 10 4-seamers, and 33 of them have been strikes. He’s pounding the zone, getting ahead in the count, and overwhelming the Oriole hitters with his combination of great late fastball life and near impossible-to-square up curveball movement. He’s essentially been a footnote in every game thus far, but don’t discount the great job that The Fireman has done in this series.