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I'd like to think that most of the people who read this site regularly would not be foolish enough to start panicking after David Robertson's blowup in the 9th inning yesterday. But driving back from Delaware with my family, I was taken aback by the number of people who were calling into WFAN to complain about D-Rob and suggest that Dellin Betances be put into the closer role and so I feel like it's my duty to write this post and remind everybody that there's no reason to do that.
D-Rob sucked yesterday. There's no doubt about it. If you asked him if he thought he sucked yesterday, he would say yes. It happens, it's part of being a closer. It's really no different than when a starter doesn't have it on any given day or when a position player goes 0-5 with 3 strikeouts. The only difference is that closers don't get another chance to rectify their poor performance in the same game. Once the save is blown and the game is lost, that's it.
D-Rob had that happen to him yesterday and it happened to happen on a day when Betances threw 2 perfect innings with 5 strikeouts ahead of him. Betances is what's hot in the streets right now, I get it. But has everybody really forgotten about how great D-Rob had been pitching before yesterday? Do none of those saves and full side strikeouts count because he didn't do it yesterday? Does the guy really deserve to be booed off the mound because he had 1 bad game and his teammates couldn't pick him up or give him a bigger lead to work with? Come on now, grow up. Be better than that, Yankee fans.
For all that he's done over the last 4+ years, D-Rob deserves a little more appreciation and a little more forgiveness for a bad outing yesterday. Find me a closer out there who's never given up a home run in the 9th and never blown 1 save. I dare you. Some people might not believe this, but the great and powerful Mariano Rivera blew plenty of saves in his career. 46 to be exact, and that's not counting the 5 years he was closer before blown saves started being counted as a statistic. He blew 7 saves last season, a career high for him, and I can't recall any times where he got booed off the mound and had a bunch of morons calling into The Fan to say that Joba Chamberlain or Tom Gordon should take over the close role.
Obviously D-Rob is not Mo, and that's his greatest fault here. It's really his only fault when you take the time to go back and review what he's done in his career. He's in the position of replacing the best there ever was and there are going to be people out there who are always going to hold him to that standard. Hopefully those people are smart enough to remember that Mo blew a few too in his day, but I doubt it. If they were, they wouldn't have been trashing D-Rob and praising Betances after the game yesterday and I wouldn't be writing this post.
Betances has been lights out, there's no arguing against that. To say he should be ushered into the closer role because D-Rob had a bad day and cost his team a game in which they couldn't get more than 2 runs off of Phil Hughes, however, is short sighted and dumb. Betances will have his time. Right now it's D-Rob's and he deserves better than to be killed by the fans for doing something that every closer has done. Worry about the shitty offense or the injuries or the rotation and talk about how to fix that. D-Rob will be fine.